■ SEM Dom­i­nant in Class A quar­ter­fi­nal.

The Citizens' Voice - - SPORTS - BY MATT BUFANO STAFF WRITER Con­tact the writer: mb­u­fano@cit­i­zensvoice.com; 570-821-2060; @Cvb­u­fano on Twit­ter

SOUTH CEN­TRE TWP. — The sus­pense was short-lived.

Sort of like watch­ing a movie where you al­ready know the end­ing, spec­ta­tors at Cen­tral Columbia High School knew all along that Wy­oming Sem­i­nary would win. Well, not all along.

“We thought it was go­ing to be a re­ally tough game,” said Sem head coach Karen Klass­ner. “Our kids just took them out of the game quickly.”

What Satur­day’s PIAA Class A field hockey quar­ter­fi­nal lacked in sus­pense, it made up for with an awe-in­spir­ing of­fen­sive dis­play, as Sem cruised to an 11-0 win against Dis­trict 11 cham­pion Le­high­ton.

“I def­i­nitely thought some­thing just kind of clicked to­day, which is per­fect tim­ing,” said for­ward Han­nah Maxwell. “The other team called a time­out in the first half and our coaches said, ‘This is the best you’ve played as a team since Eastern.’ We to­tally agreed.”

Since last month’s 1-0 loss against na­tional No. 1 Eastern (New Jersey), Wy­oming Sem­i­nary has gone 8-0-1 and outscored op­po­nents 62-3.

But it did seem the Blue Knights kicked it into an­other gear Satur­day, when Maxwell’s four first-half goals — at the 24:20, 21:29, 11:56 and 3:52 marks — helped set a his­toric scor­ing pace.

The 11 goals were the most scored by a team in the PIAA Class A tour­na­ment since the clas­si­fi­ca­tion was estab­lished in 2016.

The work con­tin­ues Tues­day, when Sem (19-2-1) plays in the semi­fi­nal round against Dis­trict 3 cham­pion Green­wood (21-1), a 9-1 win­ner against Sa­cred Heart.

Sem-green­wood will be a re­match of last year’s state fi­nal that Green­wood won, 2-1.

“Of course, we’ve had them in the back of our minds this whole sea­son, hon­estly,” said Sem cen­ter mid­fielder Bari Le­fkowitz. “But we’re kind of tak­ing one game a time, fo­cus­ing on our op­po­nents that we’re play­ing. We’re go­ing to see them soon.”

In ad­di­tion to Maxwell, a Wake For­est re­cruit, Iowa com­mit Alex Wes­neski also had a multi-goal per­for­mance scor­ing twice.

Le­fkowitz, Kelsey Reznick, Quinn Medico, Ju­lia Chris­tian and Ava Bu­falino each scored, as well.

“Our kids beat them to the ball all day, ev­ery­body played well,” Klass­ner said. “I can’t say much more about the team. It was a to­tal team ef­fort — that’s what you love to see.”

Lead­ing 3-0 be­hind Maxwell’s quick hat trick, Sem goal­keeper Mia Mag­notta faced Le­high­ton’s (17-5-1) best scor­ing chance with 9:46 to play in the first half.

The ball was prac­ti­cally lay­ing at the Sem goal line with an at­tacker ap­proach­ing, but Mag­notta won the matchup with a div­ing save that kept the shutout in­tact.

Sem dom­i­nated in all ar­eas Satur­day, as 11 of its 14 shots on goal found the back of the cage. The Blue Knights also had a 6-1 ad­van­tage in penalty cor­ners.

Now, all eyes turn to Tues­day’s matchup — at a time and place to be an­nounced — against Green­wood, which is led by se­nior Paityn Wirth, a Penn State com­mit and 2017 All-amer­i­can.

“They are kind of the ul­ti­mate team, and they’re a team that we have trou­ble with,” Klass­ner said. “Their style of play, we have a lit­tle bit of trou­ble with. So, we were hop­ing we’d get this far. And we hope we show what we’re made of on Tues­day. I hope we play like we did to­day.”

FIRST HALF: Han­nah Maxwell (Sem) from El­lie Sey­farth, 24:20; Maxwell (Sem) from Ju­lia Chris­tian, 21:29; Maxwell (Sem) unas­sisted, 11:56; Bari Le­fkowitz (Sem) unas­sisted, 6:35; Maxwell (Sem) from Chris­tian, 3:52; Kelsey Reznick (Sem) from Chris­tian, 1:43. SEC­OND HALF: Quinn Medico (Sem) from Alex Wes­neski, 26:24; Wes­neski (Sem) from Le­fkowitz, 15:40; Chris­tian (Sem) from Maxwell, 14:08; Wes­neski (Sem) from Maxwell, 12:07; Ava Bu­falino (Sem) from Aubrey My­tych, 4:53.

Shots: Sem 14, Leh 2. Cor­ners: Sem 6, Leh 1. Saves: Sem (Mia Mag­notta, Ahna Dins­more) 2, Leh (Ash­ley Wo­j­ton) 3.

FRANK C. LAURI / CON­TRIBUT­ING PHO­TOG­RA­PHER

Wy­oming Sem­i­nary’s Han­nah Maxwell (13) scores in the first pe­riod of the PIAA Class A field hockey quar­ter­fi­nal against Le­high­ton at Cen­tral Columbia.

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