BY JEFF FALK
Perhaps it was its demanding schedule. Or maybe it was just some plain old-fashioned growing pains.
But following an up-and-down regular season, the Palmyra field hockey team appears to be hitting its stride.
On Tuesday afternoon at Penn Manor’s Comet Field, the Cougars performed some of their best field hockey of the year in taking apart Biglerville 5-0 in the quarterfinals of the District Three Class AA playoffs. Senior Casey Hess’ early pair of goals not only got the Cougars off on the right paw, but they also proved to be decisive.
With the win, second-seeded Palmyra, now 14-6, barged into its fifth consecutive District Three semifinal, at 6 p.m. on Thursday at Hershey High School, opposite Donegal, which defeated Susquenita 4-0. It is the third-seeded Tribe who have ended Palmyra’s district run in the semifinals the past two seasons.
The triumph also qualified Palmyra for what seems like its annual trip to the PIAA Class AA tournament – actually just the Cougars’ fifth straight. The District Three championship tilt is scheduled for Saturday.
Biglerville fell to 16-4.
Despite netting just two goals in its last three outings, Palmyra opened up a 4-0 bulge by halftime. After Hess coverted a rebound to open the scoring six minutes in, the Miami of Ohio recruit accepted a feed from teammate Emily Spillar and beat Canner netminder Megan Stoermer to put the Cougars up 2-0.
With 16 minutes left before the break, Spillar took matters into her own hands and jammed home another rebound. Eleven minutes later, Megan Soucy got into the act for Palmyra, after taking a pass from Katie Dembrowski.
Palmyra out shot Biglerville by 20 and didn’t surrender a single penalty corner.
Palmyra’s final goal was the result of a collaboration between Kyle Huffman and Ellie Tomaszewski, midway through the second stanza.