NEPA Sports Nation

EXPANDED: WA falls in state final

By Tom Robinson,

MECHANICSBURG – Wyoming Area’s pursuit of its first field hockey state championship fell one step short Saturday.

Boiling Springs, the unbeaten District 3 champion, limited the Lady Warriors to four penalty corners and two shots and used a late goal to pull out a 1-0 victory in the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association Class A championship game at Cumberland Valley High School.

The game was part of the first Fall Festival – the combination of PIAA state soccer, volleyball and field hockey championships – at the sprawling Cumberland Valley athletic complex.

“A few things didn’t go our way,” Wyoming Area coach Bree Bednarski said. “But, I’m super proud.

“It was a huge accomplishment for our team to get here.”

Scoring opportunities were limited in the physical, defensive struggle, but Boiling Springs began to pick up momentum after Wyoming Area’s last two penalty corners and last shot in the first three minutes of the second half.

Wyoming Area received a scare with 5:05 remaining when Reagan Eickhoff’s shot on a penalty corner was originally signaled as a goal before being wiped out when the umpires conferred.

Eickhoff struck again 2:03 later on another penalty corner and this time it counted as the game-winner.

Alex Bandura inserted the ball from the left side to Eickhoff at the top of the circle. The Ohio State commit moved in and to her right before ripping a quick, hard shot inside the right post for the game’s only goal.

“We just picked up the urgency,” Eickhoff said. “We played our game and went out and got it.”

Boiling Springs had 10 shots and 10 penalty corners.

Riley Muniz had two saves in goal and Addy Dragwa had a defensive save for Wyoming Area.

Wyoming Area finished 22-3 with three one-goal losses, two to then-defending state champion Wyoming Seminary and the other to the unbeaten, state champion Boilers. The Lady Warriors tied for first place in Wyoming Valley Conference Division 1 only to lose in a championship playoff against Wyoming Seminary, but avenged that loss while claiming their first District 2 championship.

In the last three full state tournaments – the 2020 tournament was truncated because of COVID – Wyoming Area has finished second and twice tied for third as a semifinal loser.

Wyoming Area made its first state championship game appearance with a roster that featured just two seniors.

“I’m really excited,” Bednarski said. “We have a lot of underclassmen. Obviously our seniors are both fantastic players; both going to D-I.

“They will be missed, but we have a lot to build on for next year.”

Bianca Pizano, one team captain, is headed to Michigan State. Alexys Moore is headed to the University of Massachusetts.

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