They say one is the loneliest number.
Not so for Lampeter-Strasburg, because one — as in one goal — was all the Pioneers needed to secure a berth in the Lancaster-Lebanon League field hockey championship game.
That goal, scored by Chloe Blantz, on an assist from Elizabeth Horner at the buzzer in the first quarter, made the difference Thursday night at Spooky Nook Sports, as the Pioneers claimed a 1-0 semifinal win over Garden Spot.
The score came on a penalty corner, and Blantz realized the Spartans were all coming from her left side and was able to get past Bryna Kelly.
"I saw she wasn't in there, so I thought I would have a good amount of time to get it in there," Blantz said. "I think this is good for us to see different types of teams, and seeing we can win a game 1-0. I am very excited for us to be playing Penn Manor. "
The Pioneers will meet the Comets, 5-1 winners over Lancaster Mennonite in Thursday’s first semifinal, at 1 p.m. Saturday for the L-L League crown.
There was a little bit of controversy in Thursday's game as it entered halftime. Blantz appeared to have netted a second goal with some sweet stick play as the buzzer sounded. However, after a short conference in the middle of the field, the referees waived it off.
Their reason was simple: The ball did not cross the goal line, they said.
Although Pioneers' coach Katrina Swarr had to be a little frustrated with the decision, she returned to the bench, and her only words were, "Girls, you deserved that goal."
In the end, though, it didn't matter.
The Pioneers’ defense and back-line play continued to stymie the Spartans, holding them to just three shots on goal in the entire game.
"The outcome is what we wanted tonight," Swarr said. "I would be remiss to say we are not excited."
And why not? The Pioneers, who graduated seven seniors from last year's team, now have the opportunity to defend their league championship.
Meanwhile, although the Spartans couldn’t crack the scoreboard, Garden Spot coach Katy Eby remained proud of her athletes.
"My girls did extremely well defensively, and I think L-S was shocked by how well held our ground," Eby said. “I wish we would have possessed the ball a little more, but I am very proud of our girls and the eight seniors on the team. They really showed their grit and worked really hard."
Garden Spot must now wait to see if it will continue on to district action, as it currently sits on the bubble.