By Tom Robinson, NEPASportsNation.com
EXETER – Wyoming Area extended its shutout streak to 12 games Monday to land a spot in the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association Class A field hockey tournament and its fourth straight District 2 Class A title shot.
The Lady Warriors limited Lackawanna Trail to a single shot in a 2-0 semifinal victory to earn the latest rematch with Wyoming Seminary.
Wyoming Area will have a chance to avenge its only loss of the season in Wednesday’s 6:30 p.m. district championship game at Wyoming Valley West’s Spartan Stadium. The Lady Warriors began their shutout streak immediately after a 4-0 loss at Wyoming Seminary.
The game is also a rematch of the last three district finals all won by Wyoming Seminary, which went on to win the state championship each time. The three games have been decided by a total of four goals, including last year’s 1-0, overtime decision.
Alexys Moore and Toni Minichello scored the goals for Wyoming Area, which broke a scoreless tie late in the first half and went most of the rest of the way protecting a 1-0 lead.
“Our defense all has years of experience so that’s very helpful and we work very hard with communication, including communication with our goalkeeper, so that’s also huge,” Wyoming Area coach Erin McGinley said.
Through that communication and the success that has followed, the Wyoming Area defense has built trust.
“Especially our defensive line, if one person gets beat, we know somebody’s going to be stepping in for us and we just have to fill in for them,” center back Morgan Janeski said. “I’m never getting beat and being scared that the ball’s going to go in, because I know that somebody’s going to be coming and also our mids and forwards will drop back.
“And, I have a lot of trust in Carly (Saranchuk), our goaltender, as well.”
The defense has created time for the offense to break through in a winning streak that includes three 1-0 and five 2-0 games.
Wyoming Area had seven first-quarter corners, including four in a three-minute stretch, without scoring Monday.
Moore broke the shutout by cutting from the middle, as she entered the circle, to the right side where she ripped a hard shot for the game’s first goal.
“You just have to keep composure and wait for the correct timing,” Moore said. “ … I was mostly looking to just get a shot in for one of our forwards to get a touch, not necessarily to get the goal, but it all worked out in the end.”
The Lady Warriors put the game away with 8:51 left when Minichello ran on to a long lead pass from Bianca Pizano, taking control in the circle and finishing with a pull to the left before shooting.
Wyoming Area, which went to the state semifinals in 2019, will be seeking its first district title in Wednesday’s game.