FIELD HOCKEY: Hempfield edges Manheim Township, 2-1
LANDISVILLE - Hempfield senior goalkeeper Hollyn Barr had been looking forward to senior night her whole career. She just never expected it to be so intense.
Holding a possession-minded Manheim Township squad to no goals on an incredible 23 penalty-corner opportunities, including three after time expired, Barr and her battle-tested teammates successfully defended their home turf with a thrilling 2-1 victory Monday night in Landisville.
"It feels pretty great," Barr said of the win in which she recorded 8 saves. "I feel like everyone waits for this in their high school senior night and to get announced and everything. To come out with a great win (with) my amazing team, that's all I could ask for."
The win allows Hempfield (7-1 L-L, 9-3 overall) to keep pace with unbeaten Section One front-runner Penn Manor (7-0, 10-0), an 8-0 winner over Cedar Crest on Monday. Meanwhile, Township (5-3, 8-4) falls two games back of Hempfield after the Lady Knights swept the season series from the Lady Blue Streaks.
Facing a variety of shots Monday, Barr and her defense remained stout as Township piled up an 8-0 advantage on corners in the first half. But the Blue Streaks came away empty on all four of their first-half shots.
"We play against so many good teams like Penn Manor and Township and CV, and they're such talented teams that we can only expect everything," said Barr, who will continue her playing career at Louisville University. "That's what I train in practice, I train everything. Anything to help my teammates and anything that I can get out, that's my goal."
With the Lady Knights taking advantage of a Township green card - seniors Taylor Nolan (Princeton) and Kyra Brakefield hooking up on the left side of the cage for a 1-0 lead in the 19th minute-Hempfield held a rather unlikely lead at intermission.
"Our defense stayed tough, our corner unit has been working hard all season long," said Hempfield head coach Julianne Bojanic-Collier. "We've been working with them to stay tough and stay strong, be big and block up the lanes in the circle during our defensive corners."
Case in point, even when the Blue Streaks were able to slip a ball behind Barr on their first corner of the second half, Knights' sophomore defender Brandy Troutman achieved the stick save and clear to help maintain the 1-0 lead.
After Hempfield's first corner coming 11 minutes into the second half, however, Township was able to regain possession and rush forward, Katie Yoder lifting a shot from the left elbow past Barr for the equalizer.
Withstanding the ensuing rush until a Township timeout with 8:50 remaining, Brakefield took possession down the far sideline, passing to Brooke Troutman in the circle.
Troutman split two Township defenders for the ball before burying it past goalkeeper Jordan Crispeno (1 save) for the game-winner with 8 minutes to play, leaving Hempfield with just a string of untimed corners between them and victory.
"All we can really do is go out there and try to get the ball out and hope for the best," Barr said of Township's final flurry of corners. "We have to do it together; we can't be nervous or get scared about it because that's only going to hurt us. I think we did a great job of that."
And while the end result was a senior night to remember for Barr and fellow seniors Brakefield, Nolan, Kylee Shaffer, and Kelsey Weinoldt, their intensity within each and every game is characteristic of every Knight to come.
Girls' High School Field Hockey
L-L Section One
Hempfield, Manheim Township
MT 0 1 - 0
HEM 1 1 - 2
Manheim Township scoring: K. Yoder (2nd, 12:30)
Manheim Township assists: NA
Hempfield scoring: K. Brakefield (1st, 18:53), Brooke Troutman (2nd, 21:59)
Hempfield assists: T. Nolan, K. Brakefield
Corners-Shots: MT 23-10, HEM 2-3
Saves: MT J. Crispeno 1, HEM H. Barr 8, Brandy Troutman def. save 1