Northampton Press

Saturday, April 4, 2020
Press photo by Linda RothrockMeredith McGraw and the Kids fell to Easton in the opening round of the EPC playoffs. Press photo by Linda RothrockMeredith McGraw and the Kids fell to Easton in the opening round of the EPC playoffs.

Easton knocks out NHS field hockey

Friday, October 18, 2019 by tom wenborg Special to the Press in Sports

The Northampton field hockey team was knocked out of the EPC tournament by a familiar nemesis.

Easton beat the Konkrete Kids 3-0 on Saturday to advance to the EPC semifinal. The Rovers have eliminated Northampton from the conference playoffs in the quarterfinals the last three times the Kids have qualified for the league tournament.

Easton had won the regular season matchup 3-1 on Sept. 21.

Northampton had a few scoring chances early in the game as it earned three penalty corners in the first 14 minutes. However, the Rovers tallied the opening goal at the 14:22 mark.

Head coach Carrie Saul noted, “Once that first goal happened it kind of deflated our sails a little bit. So unfortunately there wasn’t enough momentum to sustain drives.”

Bri Sell created a good scoring chance following a corner at 6:22, but the Easton keeper was equal to the task.

The Rovers added to their lead with a goal on a penalty corner with 4:03 left in the half and took the 2-0 advantage into the break. They scored their final goal with seven minutes left in the game.

Easton drew three green cards in the second half, each one requiring them to go shorthanded for two minutes. Despite that time being a player up and 9 total penalty corners for the game, Northampton was only able to generate four total shots on goal.

Saul explained the difficulties on the corners.

“A few times we bobbled the reception, which allows them to have more time to come out,” she said. “Once that happens, our play is kind of broken. So we need Plan B, Plan C, and feel comfortable in switching up the corners on the fly. And I think that’s where we lacked today.”

The team’s next game will be a District XI quarterfinal contest on Tuesday, Oct. 22. Barring some unexpected shuffling of the power ratings, Northampton’s opponent will be Easton again in a 3 vs. 6 seed matchup. The semifinals next Monday would pit the winner against the victor in the Parkland vs. Stroudsburg 2 vs. 7 contest.

Saul feels that although her team will be the underdog, they are good enough to spring the upset.

“We have a tough time with Easton,” she said. “We played them twice last season, but I don’t feel that I had the caliber of team that I have this year. Hopefully, we can bounce back, and districts is where it really counts.”

The EPC announced their field hockey all-star teams on Tuesday. Junior forward Bri Sell made the first team. Junior midfielder Morgan McIntire and sophomore defender Taylor Kranzley were named to the second team.