Northampton Press

Sunday, September 23, 2018
Young K-Kids look to make push to playoffs Young K-Kids look to make push to playoffs

Young K-Kids look to make push to playoffs

Thursday, September 13, 2018 by tom wenborg Special to the Press in Sports

The Northampton Konkrete Kids field hockey team enters the 2018 season with high hopes after a District XI Class 3A quarterfinal appearance and narrowly missing out on an EPC playoff bid last season.

While last year’s team featured seven seniors, sophomores fill seven of the 15 varsity roster spots this season.

“I do have a younger team this year,” said head coach Carrie Saul. “I’m definitely looking forward to having those core group of girls get a lot of experience this year.”

“We’re all really close,” said senior Paige Sommers. “We try not to be too overpowering toward the younger girls, but I definitely feel like they look up to us (the seniors). We’re in a good spot for Districts and Leagues.”

The season started out with a tight 3-2 loss to 2017 EPC runner-up Liberty. The Kids earned two penalty corners with no time left on the clock but were unable score the equalizer to gain the tie.

Northampton evened their record at 1-1 with a dominating performance against East Stroudsburg North. Eight different players scored goals during the 12-0 thumping.

Senior captain Abby Piotrowski opened the scoring with her two goals within the first five minutes of the game. Senior Jenna Rogers, junior Lauren Shaller, and sophomore Olivia Lorah also tallied twice. Defensively, the Kids were just as impressive by not allowing ESN a single shot on goal.

After the game, Saul highlighted several EPC teams that she felt would be the toughest competition besides Emmaus, which is riding a 28-year District XI Championship streak.

“Pocono Mountain East is going to be tough,” Saul said. “Easton is always right in there. Stroudsburg is speedy. They will be a true test to see where we stand.”

Unfortunately, the Kids returned from a trip to Stroudsburg on Saturday on the wrong end of a 4-0 score. However, there is a sense of optimism around the program that this young team will continue to improve and be a factor when it comes to the postseason.

Coach Saul affirmed that making the playoffs was not only a goal, but a realistic expectation.

The upcoming schedule presents an opportunity for Saul’s team to justify their coach’s confidence in them. Home matches against Allen and Lehighton are followed by a trip to Freedom before returning to Joan Kremus Field for Dieruff and Pleasant Valley.

When asked which would be her dream outcome during her senior season, winning the conference championship or beating Emmaus, Sommers didn’t hesitate, “Beat Emmaus.”

Northampton will get its shot at the Green Hornets when they travel to Emmaus on Wednesday, Sept. 26 at 6:30 pm.