White­hall stays white-hot

The Morning Call - - SPORTS - By Tim Shoe­maker

White­hall started the year with records of 1-4 and 2-5, but even though the Ze­phyrs did not start the way they wanted to, there were signs of hope and progress. White­hall lost by a com­bined score of 18-0 to Easton and Em­maus to open the sea­son.

“It took us some time to get our bear­ing,” Ze­phyrs coach Jenn Bod­nar said. “We learned a lot and grew a lot. I’m ex­cited about the run we were able to make in the sec­ond half of the sea­son.”

Bod­nar was ex­pect­ing im­prove­ment from last year (6-12), when the team did not qual­ify for the Dis­trict 11 tour­na­ment in a long time. But af­ter a 4-2 loss to still-un­beaten Park­land and con­tender Nazareth, White­hall has been close to white-hot: the Ze­phyrs (10-6) have won eight of nine to se­cure spots in the EPC and Dis­trict 11 Class 3A tour­na­ments, some­thing that they did not do last year.

“It was def­i­nitely our goal to get back into the Dis­trict 11 team tour­na­ment this year,” she said. “I’m su­per-proud that we were able to do that. … The girls did com­mit them­selves in the off­sea­son. Our goal was not to let that hap­pen again.”

Mad­die Trocki has scored 26 goals and is one of the area’s scor­ing lead­ers. Se­nior de­fend­ers Jayne Lu and Hal­lie Kern — two of the best stu­dents in White­hall’s se­nior class — have been im­por­tant in White­hall’s turn­around, along with mid­fielder Olivia Mit­tura.

Carr Part Of Sau­con Val­ley’s Surge: Salome Carr has as­pi­ra­tions of work­ing in the med­i­cal field, specif­i­cally ath­letic train­ing, af­ter she grad­u­ates from col­lege, and per­haps be­fore.

A se­nior field hockey and lacrosse player at Sau­con Val­ley High School, Carr is un­for­tu­nately im­mersed in the med­i­cal field sooner than ex­pected.

Carr was play­ing a sig­nif­i­cant role in Sau­con Val­ley’s turn­around sea­son when she suf­fered a sea­son-end­ing ACL in­jury in a loss to Ban­gor. She said that she will be out for about six months.

Carr has an in­ter­est­ing past, present, and hope­fully, fu­ture. She is the fifth of eight chil­dren of Ron and Sue Ellen Carr of Heller­town. The Carrs have four daugh­ters in their late mid-to-late 20s and four adopted chil­dren from China: Salome, Lei, Ronnie and Steven, who are all from dif­fer­ent parts of China.

Salome ar­rived in the United States at 10 months old in 2002.

“I love be­ing in a big fam­ily,” he said.

Carr un­for­tu­nately has to watch as her Pan­thers team­mates com­plete a sea­son that is a vast im­prove­ment from 2018. New coach MK Om­dahl, who re­signed from Lib­erty last sea­son, has re­turned to her alma mater and given Sau­con a chance to com­pete.

“It’s an as­ton­ish­ing dif­fer­ence, hav­ing a coach that un­der­stands the game and can rec­og­nize our strengths and weak­nesses. We have made a big im­prove­ment.”

Of­fense helps, too. Sau­con scored 28 goals in 2018 and has 53 so far this sea­son.

“The nice thing is our scor­ing is spread all across our front two lines,” Om­dahl said. “No one per­son in par­tic­u­lar is car­ry­ing the load. That’s helped us a lot. We don’t have to rely on just one per­son.”

Om­dahl also cites the fact that most play­ers on the team, like Carr, also play lacrosse.

“They’re re­ally good friends. That has re­ally helped,” she said.

The De­fense Never Rests: Em­maus’ An­nika Her­bine de­fen­sive save against Lib­erty. Kait­lyn Csen­sits penalty cor­ner de­fen­sive flyer deny­ing Lib­erty and Po­cono Moun­tain East.

Park­land se­nior Erica Steele suc­cess­fully thwarted Northamp­ton and Easton to less than 10 shots on goal this week. So. GK Tess Garchin­sky. In her first sea­son play­ing var­sity, Garchin­sky pitched 2 shutouts ver­sus top con­tenders in the league, Northamp­ton and Easton.

Lib­erty DB Sammy Tay­lor has been lead­ing the team with 2 ma­jor de­fen­sive stick saves. GK Kat Borda has a 94 per­cent save per­cent­age.

Northamp­ton fr. GK Kadee Schrader had 19 saves in loss to Em­maus 3-1, 11 saves in shutout vic­tory against PM East

Play­off Pic­ture: There is still a mess to be un­tan­gled in the EPC. White­hall (9-6), Nazareth (9-6) and Strouds­burg (9-6) are tied for the Nos. 7 and 8 seeds in the EPC play­offs, which start Satur­day. That game of mu­si­cal chairs will be set­tled Tues­day af­ter the re­sults of three games — Nazareth vs. Easton, Northamp­ton vs. White­hall and Strouds­burg vs. Pleas­ant Val­ley.

If the teams are still tied af­ter Tues­day, EPC of­fi­cials will look to the Dis­trict 11 power points sys­tem to break the tie and de­ter­mine the odd team out. That sce­nario might fa­vor White­hall and Strouds­burg, but Nazareth has the most to gain Tues­day, be­cause the Blue Ea­gles play Easton and could claim more power points with a win be­cause of Easton’s high­qual­ity record (13-3).

At any rate, the EPC quar­ter­fi­nals are set for Satur­day. Park­land still has a chance to wrest the top seed from Em­maus. Those two ri­vals meet Tues­day night at Park­land. Easton, Lib­erty, Po­cono Moun­tain East and Northamp­ton are also in the tour­na­ment.

The EPC semi­fi­nals and cham­pi­onship are set for Oct. 15 and 17.

The Colo­nial League ex­panded its play­offs to al­low in six teams. Satur­day will be the wild-card round. The win­ners will move into Mon­day’s semi­fi­nals against the top two seeds. The cham­pi­onship is sched­uled for Oct. 16.

West cham­pion South­ern Le­high and East win­ner Mo­ra­vian Acad­emy are set as the top two seeds. Ban­gor (11-4), North­west­ern Le­high (10-4-1),Sau­con Val­ley (9-5) and Pal­isades (8-7) were in be­fore the re­sults of Mon­day’s games.

Palmer­ton (7-8) could tie Pal­isades for the No. 6 spot, but Pal­isades de­feated the Blue Bombers 2-1 on Sept. 17, giv­ing the Pi­rates the tie-breaker.

Notes: Both the EPC and Colo­nial end their reg­u­lar-sea­son sched­ules by Wed­nes­day, giv­ing their teams a chance to play one more game. Some took ad­van­tage, giv­ing ob­servers some in­ter­est­ing matchups on Thurs­day: No. 3 South­ern Le­high at No. 2 Park­land, Phillips­burg at No. 4 Easton, No. 6 Mo­ra­vian Acad­emy at White­hall.

CON­TRIB­UTED PHOTO

Sau­con Val­ley field hockey player Salome Carr was part of the Pan­thers’ bounce-back sea­son be­fore be­ing side­lined by an ACL in­jury that is ex­pected to keep her off the field for six months.

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