ROBESONIA — At nearly 5-foot-10, Ashley Yoh is the tallest player on her team and has the wingspan to go with her height.
The senior used that long reach to score the only goal the Raiders would need in a 1-0 victory over Conestoga Valley in the first round of the District Three Class 2A field hockey playoffs Wednesday afternoon at Conrad Weiser.
“Amanda (Smith) passed a through ball to me at the corner of the cage,” Yoh said, “and I just put my stick out there, hoping it would touch the ball.”
Yoh redirected the ball for her ninth goal this season, sending it from the right side to the left, just past CV goalie Brooke Eberly (one save) with 10:53 remaining in the game. It was Elco’s first shot of the second half and Smith’s seventh assist this season.
“We talked to (Smith) a lot about moving the ball forward and that forward mentality to get the ball to goal, get the ball to pads and that’s what she did,” Elco coach Kelsey Thorley said. “The ball went over the end line a couple of times when she did that and we just connected on that one.”
Next up, the Raiders will face Palmyra on Saturday at a time and site to be announced. Palmyra, the top seed, ended Garden Spot’s season 5-0 behind a hat trick from Alexa Derr.
Fifth-seeded CV (9-5) and fourth-seeded Elco (11-2) faced off for the first time since last year’s Lancaster-Lebanon League playoffs. Both teams entered the contest undermanned. The Raiders were missing two players, including a starter being quarantined for COVID-19.
The Buckskins, missing six players, including four starters who were being quarantined for COVID-19, dominated the first half. With four junior varsity players starting in a varsity game for the first time, CV played most of the first half in Elco’s end, registering nine corners — six in the first quarter — and six shots. The Bucks’ offense was missing two starting midfielders and a center midfielder.
The Raiders managed two corners and one shot in the first half.
Thorley, whose squad normally plays on grass, said her team practiced for three days on a parking lot to adjust to the speed of playing on turf.
CV started with two quick corners and two shots in first three minutes of the game. The Bucks’ best scoring opportunity came with a minute left in the half when, off a corner, Jamie Handwerger sent a pass to Lillian Buckwalter, whose shot from the top of the circle was kicked away by Elco keeper Anissa Machamer (one save).
CV had good ball movement, but just couldn’t find the back of the cage. Bucks' coach Kelly Dearolf said another one of her forwards went down with an injured finger, so most of her forwards never played a varsity minute before this game.
“They played with their hearts,” Dearolf said. “They hustled to the ball and ignored everything else, but when it comes down to it, experience wins these games and we didn’t have experienced players out there.”
Elsewhere in Class 2A action Wednesday:
Twin Valley 9, Lampeter-Strasburg 0: At Elverson, Makayla Carahaly had two goals and an assist and teammate Hadley Munn also picked up a pair of scores as third-seeded Twin Valley ended No. 6 Lampeter-Strasburg’s season. Brooke Zuber made 20 stops in goal for the Pioneers.
Wilson 3, Penn Manor 0: At West Lawn, Erika Culp and Emma Staron scored in the first six minutes, sending the fourth-seeded Bulldogs (13-3) past the fifth-seeded Comets (11-3). Kaitlyn Bailey scored on a penalty stroke in the second quarter for Wilson, which advanced to a semifinal Saturday at top-seeded Lower Dauphin.
Oley Valley 5, Annville-Cleona 0: Tetje Williamson scored two goals and Taylor Vaccaro had a goal and two assists as the top-seeded Lynx advanced.
Newport 3, Lancaster Mennonite 1: The third-seeded Blazers scored late in the game, but were upset by No. 6 Newport to close their season.