The Oley Valley High School field hockey team made it all the way to the championship game of the Berks County League playoffs last Wednesday, Oct. 16 at Exeter. Oley and Twin Valley needed an overtime period to decided the game, but it was the Raiders that came out on top, 1-0, on a goal by Natalie Wilkinson with just under seven minutes remaining in the first overtime period.
It was a tough way to lose for the Lynx, who defeated Conrad Weiser and Wilson in the first two rounds of the playoff tournament.
"I thought that we did a good job of moving the ball down the field and stepping up aggressively on defense,' said Oley Valley head coach Tiffany Cappellano. "We went into the game with a plan and the team followed that plan. Unfortunately, we did not have consistently good decision making in our attacking 25/circle.
"We struggled to earn corners and get shots off. In a tight game, like last night, that can really hurt you. Overall, I am very proud at the level of the way the girls played last night and maintained their composure and focus throughout the game. We just have to clean up our ability to create scoring opportunities and finish.'
The Lynx managed just two shots on goal in the game, while Twin Valley put 10 shots on the Oley goal, Shannon Yoder and Megan Kida shared time in goal for the locals.
It was a disappointing ending to the Berks season for the Lynx who was a perfect 8-0 in league play and the Division 3 champions. The loss in the title game doesn't mean it wasn't a good league season for the Lynx.
"The players have really been working hard this season,' said Cappellano. "I'm happy with the way we have progressed so far and with the way we are playing right now. We still have work to do, and each day we strive to become better.
The work they have yet to do will begin on Oct. 22, when they open play in the District 3-AA Tournament. The Lady Lynx will open at Governor Mifflin High School with a game against the winner of the Susquenita vs. Susquehanna Twp. that will take place Saturday night. If the Lynx win their first game, they will take on the winner of the Lancaster Catholic vs. Susquehannock game on Oct. 26 in the quarterfinals.
Coach Cappellano expects her team to come out ready to do as the district playoffs get underway. She has confidence in the team that they have what it takes to do very well in the districts and states.
"The players have high goals for this season,' said Cappellano. "They enjoyed the successes of last season and came in to this season knowing that they wanted even more success. That's what is driving them this season.
"In order to go far in the district and state playoffs, we need to continue to grow and not get satisfied. Once you begin to be satisfied with your play, you don't work as hard. There is always an area that you can improve upon. So we will continue to focus on getting better each opportunity we have to play together, whether it's a game or at practice.'
In the Berks League semifinals, the Lady Lynx took on a Wilson team that was undefeated in the regular season (10-0), and the Division 1 champion. The Bulldogs were also a team that defeated Oley Valley during the regular season, 3-2.
But things were different this time. The Lynx scored two second half goals and defeated Wilson, 3-1.
Carly Kauffman, Jamie Fries and Megan Kida were the goal scorers for Oley Valley, with Skyler Fretz earning an assist.
Oley Valley pretty much dominated the Bulldogs, outshooting them, 17-4. Shannon Yoder made three saves in goal for the locals.
In the quarterfinals, Oley Valley took on Conrad Weiser, the third place team in Division 2. The Lynx enjoyed another two-goal second half and shutout the Scouts, 3-0.
Fretz had a goal and one assist to lead the Oley Valley offense, while Fries and Kida also scored a goal. Thalie Williamson assisted on two Oley goals.
The Lady Lynx outshot Weiser, 6-4, as Yoder made all four saves in goal to preserve the shutout.