Making visitor feel right at home
Stauffer doesn’t attend Salisbury, but she gets to play for its team
Riley Stauffer still plays field hockey with friends whom she has known for several years, all the way back to the time when they were learning they could use only the flat side of the stick.
Things are a little different now. Stauffer goes to school 10 minutes away at Allentown Central Catholic, while her longtime teammates attend Salisbury High School.
Central Catholic does not offer field hockey as a sport, so Stauffer and two other players hustle over to Salisbury for practice and games each day. For several years, Salisbury and Central have had an agreement that allows for situations such as this.
This has benefited Stauffer greatly. In the spring she excels in lacrosse, but in the fall she switches from Vikettes green and gold to Falcons blue and white for field hockey season. She was second-team Colonial League last year as a sophomore.
If Salisbury and Central did not have this agreement in place, Stauffer and others would not have the opportunity to play field hockey.
“I actually went to Salisbury [Middle School] up until eighth grade,” Stauffer said. “It’s not that weird.
“I have friendships with everyone on the team. Everyone gets along pretty well. I feel pretty included with everyone.”
Freshman Rebecca Rachiele and sophomore Athina Filipos commute with Stauffer each day. Salisbury coach Jane Brennan said that the agreement has led to a small number of players coming over from Central each year.
“The parental support is great — they take turns driving,” Brennan said. “It’s a good co-sponsorship, but it can be challenging.
“The girls have to want to be here. Central is very welcoming to me. When they have their awards ceremonies, they invite me [and] they invite me to meet freshmen at incoming orientation.”
The agreement does have a cost. Because the enrollments of both schools must be figured in when classifying for the postseason, Salisbury is considered a Class 2A school. It would be Class A under normal circumstances.
Stauffer enjoys not only the chance to play but to play a different position.
“I consider lacrosse my main sport, but I enjoy field hockey a lot,” she said. “In lacrosse, I play defense; in field hockey, I play forward. It’s fun to score some goals sometimes.”
“I consider lacrosse my main sport, but I enjoy field hockey a lot. In lacrosse, I play defense; in field hockey, I play forward. It’s fun to score some goals sometimes.” —Central Catholic’s Riley Stauffer
Stock rising at Northampton: Carrie Saul is in her fourth season as head coach at Northampton, and it’s safe to say the first three went well: The Konkrete Kids qualified for the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference and District 11 playoffs
The problem is the seasons have ended too soon for Saul’s liking. A run into late October would be nice.
“This year, we not only want to make the districts, but we want to make it past the first round,” Saul said.
Northampton (5-1) is off to another excellent start, having scored at least nine goals four different times. The schedulemaker will make sure that the K-Kids have a chance: Starting Saturday against Easton, they’ll play four EPC contenders in five games.
Although the competition at the top appears to be just as good, Northampton’s early returns show some promise. Junior forward Bri Sell is one of the area’s scoring leaders. Midfielder Morgan McEntire is becoming a force, and sophomore defender Taylor Kranzley has moved there from the midfield to become a defensive force.
“The girls are starting to play well together,” Saul said. “Our passing has improved tremendously.”
The EPC has scrapped the idea of divisions. The Skyline, Steel and Mountain are no more in field hockey. All teams play each other once. The top eight make the playoffs.
The defense never rests: Kaitlin Csensits of Emmaus “controls the midfield play and is one of our main defensive players that have only allowed our opponents 15 shots [13 on goal],” coach Sue Butz-Stavin said.
Marina Falzone and Annie Hohl of Moravian Academy have been key cogs as the Lions have allowed only four goals in a 6-0 start.
For Catasauqua, Juliza Rodrigues has three defensive saves and Katie Parks has made 51 saves in seven games
Bethlehem Catholic goalkeeper Kara Vasquez recorded a shutout versus Pocono Mountain West while helping the Hawks go 4-0. She only allowed a total of three goals on the week.
Another Hawkeye: Junior Jacey Wittel of Pocono Mountain East committed to the University of Iowa last Thursday, her mother and coach Amber Wittel announced.
That gives the Lehigh Valley two future Hawkeyes. Emmaus junior Annika Herbine is also an Iowa commit.
Her school doesn’t offer field hockey, but Central Catholic’s Riley Stauffer, right, gets to play for Salisbury thanks to an agreement the two schools have had in place for several years.