It was quite the Lancaster-Lebanon League field hockey tournament debut for Penn Manor's Tristan Groff.
Notching two goals and an assist against Lancaster Mennonite on Thursday, the freshman’s performance helped the Comets to a 5-1 victory in the first of two semifinals played at Spooky Nook on Thursday.
While Groff said she "just likes to rely on her teammates," Penn Manor coach Matt Soto knows the rookie came up huge in a big spot.
"I didn't realize she had that. That's terrific for her," he said. "She was in the right spot over and over again. She had a great game."
Maeve Montgomery recorded a goal and two assists and Riley Robinson had one of each for the Comets, who move on to Saturday's 1 p.m. championship game at Conestoga Valley. Penn Manor will face Lampeter-Strasburg, which knocked off Garden Spot in other league semifinal.
The youthful Blazers played aggressive defense, keeping Penn Manor at bay. And when Rachel Lane swept home a pass from Rebecca Lane, Lancaster Mennonite trailed by only one with 12:37 to play.
However, the Comets answered four minutes later, when Robinson scored from Groff for a 3-1 edge.
"They're a very good team," Soto said of the Blazers. "Give them full credit. They played us tough, especially in the circle. They made it a great game, played us well and got one in on us. We needed to score quickly after and I think (the players) were a little bit motivated."
Less than a minute later, Groff tallied her second goal of the game, a blast from just inside the circle, assisted by fellow frosh Grace Gerner.
Montgomery added her marker with 82 seconds left to play for the final margin.
With the games moved inside the dome at Spooky Nook because of the weather, Groff knew her team could adjust.
"We were really happy that we got to go inside. We knew our pace of play was going to have to improve," she said. "I knew our team was capable of getting more shots but also that we needed to keep playing well to get more shots."
The Comets held an 11-2 shots advantage and the Blazers’ lone senior, Marissa High, made six saves in goal. Penn Manor held a 17-3 edge in corners, seven during a second-quarter run in which freshman Isabelle Thatcher slid home a nice feed from Montgomery from in close to open the scoring.