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Twin Valley blanks Greencastle in field hockey playoffs

When the Greencastle-Antrim field hockey team earned a pairing with Twin Valley in the first round of the District 3 Class 2A tournament, the Blue Devils knew what to expect.

The Raiders boast a strong defense, which shut out nine opponents in the regular season, and have a handful of high-scoring threats on the forward line. Wednesday's District 3 matchup was no different, as Twin Valley claimed a 8-0 victory over Greencastle.

The Raiders will play No. 11 Lampeter-Strasburg in the 2A quarterfinals on Saturday.

But despite the mismatch between the No. 14 Blue Devils and third-ranked Twin Valley, Greencastle's defense limited the Raiders' explosive offense.

Greencastle (9-9) defended 12 penalty corners and 20 shots, while goalie MacKenzie Oberholzer had 12 stops.

"I think the biggest asset to our team is our goalie, MacKenzie," Greencastle coach Becca Rice said. "She is all over the cage and really the balls that she couldn't get were the ones that were two v. one. But I feel like all of those direct shots, all the times that they were really pushing and pressuring her, she did an excellent job."

Helping Oberholzer in goal was Jenna Carty, who had multiple blocks and clears, shifting the Raider momentum to the midfield.

"Jenna was also a really big supporter; she had her stick down there and got a lot of balls stopped for us and could advance the ball the other way," Rice said. "We can always rely on her. When she puts her stick down she is always coming up with the ball and I think we saw a lot tonight and that really helped us from preventing the score from being even higher than it was."

Twin Valley earned a penalty corner in the first 45 seconds of the game, setting the pace for game early, and ran with it from there. Erica Wolfgang was the first to capitalize, giving Twin Valley a 1-0 lead just three minutes into the game. Wolfgang eventually scored three more goals for the Raiders (16-6).

"They were a very fast-paced team; they had an awesome forward line, I'll give them that," Carty said. "I was just trying to keep my defense pumped up the whole time to stop the ball. They had some awesome shots on cage and we were working hard back there."

Twin Valley coach Kim Walsh said, "We had that corner in the first few seconds and we just never let down. That's what we've been asking form these girls all season, and they're finally getting there. It's great to start district play with that."

Greencastle registered just one shot on goal.

Twin Valley's Riley Knapp had two goals and an assist, while Grace Hiddeman and Kara McClure each had one goal.