Gettysburg field hockey can't solve East Pennsboro goalkeeper
Gettysburg hoped this was the year to get head field hockey coach Janelle Ebaugh past the first round of districts.
Instead, the third-seeded Warriors ran into a hot goalie and lost again in the first round of the District 3 Class AA tournament, dropping a 2-1 decision to 19th-seeded East Pennsboro.
"I'm not disappointed at all," Ebaugh said. "As the level of play from my athletes on the field points out, I have no reason to be disappointed."
Kaela Johnson stopped 12 shots for the Panthers, and her aggressive play in the crease cut down a number of Gettysburg opportunities.
"Any time you're playing an aggressive keeper, she's going to shut down any angle shots," Ebaugh said. "That's why we need to have a give-and-go option. Sometimes, we had a girl down the field, all alone by herself, and that goalkeeper picked it off easy."
East Pennsboro scored first during a dominant stretch of play.
Emma Boutcher dribbled the ball into the circle, then was forced away from goal by the defense.
With her back to the goal, she turned her hands over on her stick and flipped a pass cross-crease.
Justine McMullen tapped the ball into the goal for a 1-0 lead.
Gettysburg began to open things up after giving up the first goal and outshot the Panthers 13-1 the rest of the way.
With 8:50 left in the first half, Kailey Mixell tapped the ball away from an opponent and raced in on a breakaway against Johnson.
The goalie dove forward and knocked Mixell's shot away.
A minute later, Gettysburg won the ball in the midfield and sprung a 2-on-0 breakaway.
Faced with a difficult task, Johnson charged out and kicked the ball off Katelyn Gormley's stick.
Early in the second, Gettysburg tied things on a penalty corner.
Gormley injected the ball to Madi Hirneisen, who turned and swung the ball into the circle. Gormley chipped the ball across the crease away from the charging Johnson, and Elena Montenegro put the ball into the open cage.
Rachel Richards scored the winning goal on East Pennsboro's only shot of the second half.
Codi Spoonhour lined up for a free hit several yards above the Gettysburg circle, and drove the ball into the box with a mighty hit.
The ball ricocheted off a tangle of players from both teams high in the box and went in.
Players on both sides looked around for second before it was called a goal.
"One of my forwards got a tip on it," East Pennsboro head coach Tabi Kleese said. "We preach to just get a touch on it, you never know if it's going to go in."
First half — 1. EP, Justine McMullen (Emma Boutcher), 11:53.
Second half — 2. Get, Elena Montenegro (Katelyn Gormley), 5:53. 2. EP, Rachel Richards (Codi Spoonhour), 12:13.
Shots on goal — Get 13, EP 4
Corners — Get 10, EP 5
Goalies — EP, Kaela Johnson (12 saves). Get, Judy Neemeyer (2 saves).