Five area soccer, one field hockey team begin state play today
LEWISTOWN — Five area teams begin their quest for the ultimate prize when the PIAA championships start first-round play in soccer and field hockey today.
East Juniata advanced both its boys and girls soccer teams in Class A while Midd-West and Juniata have boys soccer in Class 2A. Greenwood is in the field in Class A with field hockey.
Juniata boys soccer
The Indians are heading into states on a high note after capturing their first District 6 title in school history, beating Huntingdon 2-1 for the Class 2A crown.
Standing in their way is District 7 runner-up Deer Lakes. The Lancers (16-5) dropped a 4-3 heartbreaker to Quaker Valley in double overtime of the WPIAL title match. Deer Lakes has outscored the opposition 81-18 on the season with Michael Sullivan, Devin Murray and freshman keeper Nick Braun leading the way.
Juniata (15-7) has Tad Shellenberger, the all-time leading goal scorer in school history, pacing the attack. The senior has 27 goals and nine assists on the season. Teammates Stuart Dare (11 goals, eight assists) and Jelvin Cardenas (nine goals, 10 assists) provide scoring depth.
Goalie Johnny Dessin (81.9 save percentage) is solid in the net.
The Indians have outscored opponents 95-25 this year.
Game time is 6 p.m. at Bald Eagle Area High School in Wingate.
East Juniata girls soccer
The Tigers, a final four participant the last two seasons, look to go farther in 2019. Standing in their way in the first round is Mountain View, the District 2 champion.
The Eagles took out Montrose 3-0 in the district, but have to make the long trek to Middleburg for the match at Midd-West High School. Game time is 5 p.m.
East Juniata (21-1) defeated Bloomsburg 1-0 for the District 4 crown and have outscored opponents by a gaudy 156-11 margin this year.
Kierstyn Fogle (30 goals), Thea Niemond (25 goals, 19 assists) and Leah Sankey (13 goals) lead the offense. Keeper Briana Henry (92 save percentage) gave up only four goals all season.
East Juniata boys soccer
The Tigers meet a familiar face in the first round in Tri-Valley League rival Halifax. The Wildcats are 3-0 against East Juniata this season.
Halifax (21-1) handed York Catholic a 2-1 loss to win the District 3 Class A championship. The Wildcats own a 106-18 advantage over the opposition in scoring with Nathan Tanner (21 goals, eight assists), Nathan Berger (14 goals) and Preston Lebo (10 goals, 16 assists) providing most of the points.
East Juniata (10-11) had a remarkable run to the District 4 final before dropping a 4-1 decision to Millville. Xavier Clement leads the Tigers with 16 goals. Andrew Hunter finished as the top goalie in the TVL with 111 saves and an 86 save percentage.
Game time is 5 p.m. at Eagle View Middle School in Mechanicsburg.
Midd-West boys soccer
The Mustangs must travel all the way to Bethlehem’s Liberty High School where they will take on the Crusaders of Notre Dame-Green Pond. Game time is 7 p.m.
Notre Dame (12-4-1) beat Pen Argyl 4-1 for the District 11 championship behind the scoring of Andrew Valentim and Kendrick Gallego. Keeper James Macchia owns six shutouts on the season.
Midd-West (18-3) fell by a 3-1 count to Lewisburg in the District 4 final as all three of its losses on the year were to the Green Dragons.
The Mustangs dominated the opposition this season, scoring 104 goals and surrendering only 15. Midd-West, final four participants a year ago, have Carter Knepp (30 goals, 27 assists), Chase Strohecker (13 goals, 10 assists), Connor Erdley (11 goals) and Nick Eppley (11 goals, 11 assists) leading the way on offense. Chase Roush is tough in goal.
Greenwood field hockey
The Wildcats (17-1-2) defeated previously unbeaten Oley Valley in the District 3 title game and face Bloomsburg in the opening round at West Perry High School. Action gets underway at 7 p.m.
The Panthers (16-3-1) lost in the District 4 final to Lewisburg by a 2-1 score. Bloomsburg features veteran scorers Morgan Millard and Aydan McFarland. Keeper Madison Trivelpiece has five shutouts on the season.
Grace Lesh, Leah Bryner and Hailey Woomer lead the Greenwood offense and Kelsey Sheaffer put together a solid season in goal. The Wildcats have out-scored opponents 94-15 this season.
Greenwood, no strangers to the post-season under coach Kent Houser, won a PIAA championship in 2017 and was a semifinalist a year ago.