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BY JEFF FALK

LITITZ – Like most, the Palmyra field hockey team’s memory is selective. While it filters out the unnecessary, it recalls both the good and the bad.

But make no mistake about the fact that everything retained by the Cougars is a learning experience.

On a rainy Wednesday night at Warwick High School’s Joseph Grosch Field, Palmyra’s memory served it well, during a 2-0 triumph over Twin Valley, in a semifinal contest of the District Three Class AA tournament. The Cougars netted late goals in each half, and played tight hockey in between.

With an 8-3 regular-season victory over Twin Valley on September 13th and last year’s 3-0 title loss to Donegal fresh on their minds, the top-seeded Cougars moved to 18-3 overall and into yet another District Three Class AA championship game – against East Pennsboro, Saturday at 3 p.m. at Milton Hershey School’s Henry Hershey Field. Palmyra is already the owner of 11 District Three titles, and had previously qualified for next week’s PIAA Class AA postseason.

Twin Valley, the number-five seed, slipped to 15-8 on the campaign.

“They’ve improved, plus it’s playoff hockey,” said Palmyra head coach Kent Harshman of Twin Valley. “You don’t expect games to be like they were in September. Our kids know what they have and what it’s going to take.

“We knew it was going to be a war,” continued Harshman. “We could see them again in two weeks (in the state playoffs). There were no surprises.”

“They knew how we played from the first time,” said Palmyra senior forward Mia Julian. “They knew what to expect. They were pushing us. But this was a really important game.

“This was to get us to the district championship game, and because last year we lost, we have some unfinished business,” added Julian. “We’re pushing towards that championship. This was a gateway to that game.”

Palmyra dominated the first half statistically, but couldn’t crack Twin Valley netminder Talayna Viscuso, until Julian took matters into her own hands.

A mere 2:05 before the break, Julian accepted a feed from teammate Anna Miller and dribbled along the right baseline towards the Twin Valley cage. Julian waited then deftly flipped a quick shot from a sharp angle that beat Viscuso to the far side.

“She’s had some big goals for us,” said Harshman of Julian. “She connected just right. It was one of those goals. It was just a huge pick-me-up. Before that, we had our opportunities. We were beating on them and beating on them.

“When you get one that close to the end of the half it just lifts you up,” Harshman continued. “They had a few opportunities in the first half, but we had a lot of opportunities. We had our shots. We got what we were looking for. But that’s a great boost going into halftime.”

“I didn’t have a lot of room,” said Julian. “She’s (Viscuso) a really good goalie, but I moved her and got a little opening.

“It raised our intensity a little bit,” Julian added. “It gave us a sense of security. It changed our game.”

In the second half, the Cougars did a good job of protecting their lead by controlling the flow of the action. Then with three minutes to go, they struck for an insurance tally.

It came off a corner insert from Julian, to senior Lauren Wadas at the top of the circle. Through traffic, Wadas’ blast beat Vicuso to the short side.

“I don’t really think we did,” said Harshman to the suggestion that his club played better in the first half than the second. “We had more shots and more opporunities, but if you’re talking about the entire field game, we played better in the second half.

“We weren’t doing the things we needed to do in the front of our unit in the first half,” added Harshman. “We made some adjustments at halftime and got that squared away. I thought it was much better in the second half.”

“We did well on our penalty corners,” said Julian. “We got good shots, we just didn’t finish. Their goalie is really strong.”

With ten in the first half and five in the second half, Palmyra outshot Twin Valley 15-4. The Cougars won the penalty-corners battle 10-4.

Palmyra goalie Katie Knol logged four saves to record the shutout.

“Katie Knol has improved tremendously,” said Harshman. “She made some big saves. She is confident right now.”

“It’s really important to us,” said Julian, returning to Saturday. “We were so close last year. We have unfinished business. We’re going to give it the best we have.’

To purchase images in this article email jkfalk2005@yahoo.com.

2019 Palmyra Field Hockey Results

2019-08-30AvsManheim Township(3)W6-1
2019-08-31HvsMilton Hershey(3)W10-0
2019-09-04AvsLower Dauphin(3)L2-1
2019-09-07AvsCentral Dauphin(3)W7-3
2019-09-09HvsSusquehanna Township(3)W8-0
2019-09-11AvsMechanicsburg Area Senior(3)W10-1
2019-09-13HvsTwin Valley(3)W8-3
2019-09-16AvsHershey(3)L5-3
2019-09-18HvsRed Land(3)W8-1
2019-09-21HvsState College Area(3)W9-0
2019-09-21HvsCumberland Valley(3)W8-1
2019-09-23HvsLower Dauphin(3)L1-0
2019-09-25AvsSusquehanna Township(3)W7-0
2019-09-26AvsRed Land(3)W5-0
2019-09-30HvsMechanicsburg Area Senior(3)W8-0
2019-10-02HvsBerks Catholic School(3)W10-0
2019-10-07HvsHershey(3)W3-1
2019-10-10HvsWilson(3)W2-0

PIAA Class AA

Final Power Rankings

AASchool W L T Rating TWP OWP TWPW OWPW TWPL OWPL
1Palmyra Area15-3-0 0.764649 0.868132 0.638170 15.8 202.3 2.4 114.7
2Northern York17-1-0 0.755735 0.942529 0.527431 16.4 169.2 1.0 151.6
3East Pennsboro Area15-3-0 0.716965 0.825581 0.584211 14.2 188.7 3.0 134.3
4South Western16-2-0 0.697664 0.890110 0.462452 16.2 144.1 2.0 167.5
5Twin Valley12-6-0 0.683050 0.728261 0.627792 13.4 202.4 5.0 120.0
6Manheim Central13-4-1 0.660868 0.755435 0.545287 13.9 177.0 4.5 147.6
7Berks Catholic School14-3-0 0.659057 0.789474 0.499658 12.0 146.0 3.2 146.2
8Lampeter Strasburg12-4-1 0.631003 0.741379 0.496099 12.9 152.6 4.5 155.0
9Donegal12-5-0 0.625516 0.697674 0.537323 12.0 167.0 5.2 143.8
10New Oxford11-7-0 0.575787 0.622222 0.519032 11.2 160.9 6.8 149.1
11Susquehannock10-7-0 0.559791 0.602410 0.507703 10.0 151.6 6.6 147.0
12Red Land9-9-0 0.552245 0.512195 0.601194 8.4 191.3 8.0 126.9
13Shippensburg9-5-3 0.546698 0.594444 0.488342 10.7 150.8 7.3 158.0
14West Perry11-6-1 0.542784 0.605263 0.466420 11.5 151.4 7.5 173.2
15Mechanicsburg Area Senior9-9-0 0.526155 0.523810 0.529022 8.8 167.7 8.0 149.3
16Cocalico10-8-0 0.525276 0.571429 0.468867 10.4 150.6 7.8 170.6
17West York Area10-6-2 0.517140 0.571429 0.450787 10.4 137.4 7.8 167.4
18Ephrata Area6-12-0 0.467529 0.388235 0.564443 6.6 174.3 10.4 134.5
19Garden Spot8-10-0 0.467187 0.445652 0.493506 8.2 159.6 10.2 163.8
20Elizabethtown Area7-11-0 0.455448 0.402174 0.520561 7.4 167.1 11.0 153.9
21Kennard Dale7-9-1 0.445316 0.398876 0.502075 7.1 145.2 10.7 144.0
22Conrad Weiser8-9-0 0.443999 0.414634 0.479889 6.8 138.4 9.6 150.0
23Greencastle Antrim8-10-0 0.438761 0.446809 0.428926 8.4 138.2 10.4 184.0
24Muhlenberg5-13-0 0.418830 0.290698 0.575436 5.0 184.6 12.2 136.2
25Gettysburg Area5-9-1 0.417208 0.308219 0.550417 4.5 145.2 10.1 118.6
26Daniel Boone7-10-0 0.388443 0.358025 0.425620 5.8 123.6 10.4 166.8
27York Suburban5-12-0 0.385745 0.305882 0.483356 5.2 142.3 11.8 152.1
28Solanco4-14-0 0.369700 0.239130 0.529285 4.4 171.7 14.0 152.7
29Milton Hershey3-14-1 0.367792 0.203125 0.569052 3.9 181.3 15.3 137.3
30Middletown Area5-12-1 0.367406 0.297980 0.452261 5.9 144.0 13.9 174.4
31Waynesboro Area3-13-2 0.314152 0.215054 0.435272 4.0 139.2 14.6 180.6
32Dover2-14-1 0.308429 0.156977 0.493537 2.7 145.1 14.5 148.9
33Northeastern1-16-1 0.285289 0.098837 0.513175 1.7 159.7 15.5 151.5
34Spring Grove Area1-15-2 0.274792 0.119048 0.465146 2.0 146.8 14.8 168.8

District Three

Class AA Past Champions

2018: Donegal 2017: Donegal 2016: Donegal 2015: Donegal 2014: Donegal 2013: Palmyra 2012: Oley Valley 2011: Palmyra 2010: Conrad Weiser 2009: Donegal 2008: Oley Valley 2007: Palmyra 2006: Conrad Weiser 2005: Palmyra 2004: Palmyra 2003: Oley Valley 2002: Palmyra 2001: Palmyra 2000: Oley Valley 1999: LancasterMennonite 1998: Oley Valley 1997: Oley Valley 1996: LancasterMennonite 1995: Oley Valley 1994: ELCO 1993: LancasterMennonite 1992: ELCO 1991: Palmyra 1990: Donegal 1989: Newport 1988: LancasterMennonite 1987: Garden Spot 1986: Daniel Boone 1985: Warwick 1984: Palmyra 1983: Kutztown 1982: Littlestown 1981: Conrad Weiser

District Three

Class AAA Past Champions

2018: Lower Dauphin 2017: Penn Manor 2016: Palmyra 2015: Palmyra 2014: Lower Dauphin 2013: Lower Dauphin 2012: Penn Manor 2011: Lower Dauphin 2010: Hershey 2009: Penn Manor 2008: Lower Dauphin 2007: Lower Dauphin 2006: Lower Dauphin 2005: Warwick 2004: Warwick 2003: Lower Dauphin 2002: Lower Dauphin 2001: Warwick 2000: Warwick 1999: Governor Mifflin 1998: Warwick 1997: Lower Dauphin 1996: Chambersburg 1995: Boyertown 1994: Boyertown 1993: Lower Dauphin 1992: Boyertown 1991: Garden Spot 1990: Solanco 1989: Ephrata 1988: Hempfield 1987: Hempfield 1986: Penn Manor 1985: Hempfield 1984: Lower Dauphin 1983: Elizabethtown 1982: Lower Dauphin 1981: Elizabethtown 1980: Ephrata 1979: BrandywineHeights 1978: Cedar Crest 1977: Cedar Crest 1976: Manheim Central 1975: Pequea Valley 1974: Elizabethtown 1973: Elizabethtown 1972: Donegal

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