Wirth, Lesh lead Wildcats to dominant playoff win

HUMMELSTOWN — Greenwood was too much for Tulpehocken to handle as Paityn Wirth and Grace Lesh led the charge for the Wildcats in their 5-0 victory over the Trojans in the District 3 Class A third place field hockey game at Lower Dauphin middle school Saturday.

Greenwood will play District 1 champion Gwynedd Mercy Tuesday at Council Rock North High School. Game is set to start at 6 p.m.

“I didn’t think we started very well then I thought we made some adjustments and picked things up,” Wildcats Kent Houser said. “We were just not sharp enough passing and receiving early and we did a much, much better job of that as the game went on. I think we wore them out a little bit.”

Wirth scored two goals in the game and added an assist while Lesh scored two goals as well.

“They’re our main scorers and they didn’t disappoint us today,” Houser said.

Greenwood brought a ton of pressure toward Tulpehocken goalie Lydia Bednarczyk for much of the first half, but Bednarczyk was up to the challenge.

Right off the bat Wirth looked to drive in a goal but was stopped by Bednarczyk. The Wildcats created many more chances on corners but each time they were again thwarted by Bednarczyk.

“I thought she took some really hard point blank shots,” Houser said of Bednarczyk. “She moved pretty well but again I thought we got quality shots and that’s what we were wanting to see but she did a good job.”

But eventually Greenwood managed to break through with 8:26 remaining in the half on another corner opportunity where the shot was again cut off by Bednarczyk but the ball rebounded back to Leah Bryner who found an open Corissa Wagner before zipping the ball to the back of the net giving the Wildcats a 1-0 lead.

The Wildcats kept it going with 6:08 left in the half as Wirth got on the scoreboard after another rebound off of Bednarczyk giving them a 2-0 lead at the break.

“I thought that was really important cause we pretty much had control of the game,” Houser said. “We couldn’t get the ball in. We were getting shots and finally break through and get some in you know that takes some pressure off and you can relax and play.”

Greenwood carried that momentum over to the second half, and much like in the first half, the Wildcats brought a ton of pressure at the Trojan net but this time they were able to find space.

At 23:26 Lesh scored her first goal of the game with an assist from Wirth extending the lead to 3-0. A little while later Bryner found Wirth in the circle and Wirth proceeded to hammer her second goal.

Then with 9:45 left in the game Lesh scored her second goal as the ball slipped right past Bednarczyk for the fifth and final goal for Greenwood.

The Wildcats were to keep the pressure on the Trojans defensively as well. While Greenwood had 21 shots on goal, Tulpehocken was held to one.

“We really played way better in the second half,” Houser said. “Our movement was way better, our passing was much sharper and we were getting good shots and I thought we had a good corner game although we didn’t score directly off it we got some really good shots off it so all and all it was a real good day for us.”

Greenwood 5, Tulpehocken 0

First half

G – Corissa Wagner (Leah Bryner), 8:26; G – Paityn Wirth, 6:08

Second half

G – Grace Lesh (Wirth), 23:26; G – Wirth (Bryner), 19:47; G – Lesh, 9:45

Shots: G 21-1. Corners: G 12-2. Saves: G-1 (Kelsey Sheaffer), T-16 (Lydia Bednarczyk)