Wyoming Seminary and Wyoming Area have been widely regarded as the top two teams in the state in Class A field hockey for much of the past two seasons.
In Tuesday’s opening round of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association Class A tournament, they took the first of the three steps necessary to prove that point.
Both teams advanced to Saturday’s quarterfinal victories while Hazleton Area, in Class 3A, and Crestwood, in Class 2A, were being eliminated.
Three-time defending state champion Wyoming Seminary ran away from visiting Susquehanna Township late for a 7-1 romp that included three fourth-quarter goals.
Wyoming Area, a 2019 state semifinalist, went on the road to defeat District 4 champion Bloomsburg for the second time this season, 3-1.
The teams would need two more wins to meet in an all-Wyoming Valley Conference state final, something that last happened in 2013 when Wyoming Seminary defeated Crestwood, 2-1, in the Class 2A final.
“It would be nice if we could play against each other in the state championship game, but we’ve got a lot of work to do,” Wyoming Seminary coach Karen Klassner said after a 4-1 win over Wyoming Area in last week’s district final. “To me, it’s harder to get out of the area. Our league is really strong, so it helps us when we go on.”
That was certainly the case a year ago when two overtime wins over Wyoming Area to win Wyoming Valley Conference and District 2 titles were significantly tougher tests for the Blue Knights than the three state tournament games.
Wyoming Area, which has suffered its only four losses in the past two seasons in games against Wyoming Seminary, never got to appear in the 2020 state tournament because the PIAA restricted it to district champions as one of many COVID-related adjustments.
The Lady Warriors used that shot in 2019 to make their first state semifinal appearance.
Ella Barbacci had a hat trick and an assist for Wyoming Seminary in its Tuesday win.
Emma Watchilla scored the first two goals, including the penalty stroke to break a tie and create a 2-1 halftime lead.
Maddie Olshemski also scored twice and had two assists.
Marta Maristany also had an assist.
The Blue Knights face Boiling Springs, a 3-0 winner over New Hope-Solebury, Saturday at Selinsgrove at 2.
Wyoming Area got goals from Nina Angeli, Bianca Pizano and Morgan Janeski to beat Bloomsburg.
Angeli and Pizano scored unassisted goals in the first and second quarters for a 2-0 halftime lead.
Bloomsburg closed within 2-1 in the third quarter before Janeski scored in the fourth off an assist from Addyson Dragwa.
Wyoming Area had advantages of 12-5 in shots and 12-7 in penalty corners.
Carly Saranchuk made four saves in the win.
The Lady Warriors play Saturday against Christopher Dock Mennonite, a 2-0 winner over Archbishop Wood at Whitehall at noon.
Lindsey Roberts scored two goals as Villa Maria Academy defeated host Crestwood, 4-0, in a rematch of the 2012 and 2014 state finals that the teams split.
Villa Maria held Crestwood to two shots and two penalty corners.
Isabella Caporuscio made 16 saves for the Lady Comets.
Visiting Methacton defeated Hazleton Area, 3-0, at night.
Methacton limited the Lady Cougars to five shots and one penalty corner in their state debut.