Central Bucks South gets new shot at Hershey

Posted: November 17, 2009

District 1 champion Central Bucks South should not have to look far for motivation when it takes on Hershey at 4 this afternoon in the semifinals of the PIAA Class AAA field hockey playoffs at Governor Mifflin High in Shillington.

Last season, in their first foray into the state playoffs, the Titans (19-3-1) were ousted in the semifinals by the Bears, 4-1.

Central Bucks South, which is ranked No. 1 in The Inquirer's weekly top 10, is one of two area teams still in the PIAA playoffs. Villa Maria Academy, ranked No. 2 by The Inquirer, is the other. The Hurricanes will play unbeaten Lehighton at 6 tonight at Emmaus in Class AA.

"Yes, it's a rematch," said C.B. South coach Christina Ford, who was an assistant to Meg Hutchinson, the head coach last season.

"They're a very good team out of District 3. They play a short-passing, ball-control game. We'll just have to defend that passing game well."

The Bears (19-6), who lost to Penn Manor in the 2008 championship game, are the second-place finisher from District 3. They knocked off perennial power and District 11 champion Emmaus, 1-0, to reach the semis.

The Bears are led by seniors Lesley Smith and Elizabeth Hanks. Smith is headed to Michigan next season, and Hanks will play for Virginia. Sonya Torres, a sophomore, is their goalie.

Hershey coach Tami Scola says she expects a close game.

"We know South has a strong goalie [Liz Lewellan], and the [Maddie] Harding girl is a very good player," Scola said.

Villa Maria's opponent, the District 11 champion, is 24-0 this season. Lehighton beat Crestwood and Palmyra, two strong AA programs, to reach the semifinals. The Indians also knocked District 4 champion Selinsgrove from the ranks of the unbeaten. (Selinsgrove ousted Archbishop Carroll, 2-1, in a state quarterfinal.)

Lehighton is led by Corrie McConnville, the Mountain Valley Conference MVP, and Abby Frey. They get plenty of support from Vanessa Rimbey and Jordyn Homyak.

District 1 champion Villa will take a 22-1 record into the game. Among the Hurricanes' top players are Molly Murphy, Marie Elena Bolles, and goalie Anna Zarkoski.

"Lehighton has some very good players, but we have some very good ones, too," said Villa coach Maurene Polley, who directed her team to two state titles in the early 1990s. "I think we match up pretty well."

Both state championship games are set for Saturday at the Zephy Sports Complex in Whitehall.

Contact staff writer Don Beideman at 267-815-0733 or dbeideman@phillynews.com.

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