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