Mak­ing vis­i­tor feel right at home

Stauf­fer doesn’t at­tend Salisbury, but she gets to play for its team

The Morning Call - - SPORTS - By Tim Shoe­maker

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.

APRIL GAMIZ/THE MORN­ING CALL

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.

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