2021 Oley Valley vs. Lancaster Mennonite PIAA 1A Quarterfinal

Ellie Lefever (24) of Lancaster Mennonite dribbles the ball up the pitch against Mia Woodard (4) of Oley Valley during PIAA Class 1A quarterfinal action at Cocalico High School's Talon Field in Denver on Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021.

Saturday’s cold, wind, driving rain and even sleet could not stop the Lancaster Mennonite field hockey team during its PIAA Class 1A quarterfinal against Oley Valley.

However, the District Three champion Lynx proved to be too much for the Blazers in downright awful conditions at Cocalico.

Behind a patient, deliberate attack, Oley Valley scored three times in the first half and went on to a 5-0 win.

“They were terrible,” Mennonite senior Maya Habacivch said of the conditions. “It was windy, it was cold and the rain physically hurt when it was coming down. My hands are frozen. Towards the end you could see we were playing one-touch hockey.”

“I know the score was rough, but the girls played hard and Oley Valley is a great program,” Blazers coach Karisten Buckwalter said. “We knew that coming in.

“I think we came out and played hard. We had our moments, but at the end of day, they are a great team. They are so patient with the ball. It’s fun hockey to watch.”

Morgan Snyder’s beautiful reverse stick shot found the back of the Blazers’ cage to open the scoring with 3:21 to play in the first quarter.

While Mennonite held its own in the midfield early in the second, offensive opportunities were hard to come by.

Eventually, Oley Valley took control and Olivia Scatamacchia, who assisted on Oley’s first goal, scored with 4:49 left in the second. Less than three minutes later, Mia Woodard sent the teams to halftime with the Lynx leading 3-0.

Molly Rothenberger and Taylor Vaccaro added second-half goals, both of which were assisted by Snyder.

The Blazers’ best chance came early as a shot on goal led to a corner six minutes in. Junior Ellie Lefever got off a great strike from the top of the circle, but her blast went just wide.

Despite the loss, both Habacivch and Buckwalter reflected on the 2021 season with smiles after finishing 16-4.

“This team is really special and we had a great season,” said co-captain Habanivch. “I said a few weeks ago that I wanted to go farther than we did last year and that’s exactly what we did.”

“We set big goals. I am nothing but proud of my girls,” Buckwalter added. “We have a lot of injuries that we are nursing right now and the girls still came out and wanted to play through it.”

Buckwalter saluted her five seniors, Rebecca Lane, Heidi Stoltzfus, Sophia Gingrich, Heidi Gbotoe and Habanivch.

“These girls are a gift. They are something special. They are going to go out and touch the world in some huge ways, whether it is hockey or not,” she said. “These seniors have been leaders since their freshman year. I love them dearly and I want nothing but the best for them in their life.”

The Lynx (24-2) move on to face Wyoming Area in Tuesday’s semifinals.

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