District 1 field hockey preview

Posted: October 22, 2012

The PIAA District 1 field hockey playoffs begin this week with Class AAA games on Monday and Class AA contests on Tuesday. Six teams from Class AAA and three from Class AA will move on to the PIAA state tournament.

Here is a preview of the first-round games, with each team's seeding.

Class AAA

No. 17 Conestoga at No. 16 Downingtown West: The Pioneers (14-2-2) and the Whippets (10-4-1) have a common loss this season to Haverford High, as both fell by one goal. Two of Downingtown West's losses came to teams that Conestoga beat - Downingtown East and Unionville.

No. 18 Avon Grove at No. 15 Council Rock South: Avon Grove (7-6-5) has a tall task in taking on Council Rock South, but the Red Devils have an ability to keep games within reach. Four of Avon Grove's six losses this season were by just one goal. Council Rock South could be another team to eke out a close win over the Red Devils; it has shown an ability to win important games.

No. 19 Owen J. Roberts at No. 14 Downingtown East: Although all of Owen J. Roberts' wins this season came in the Pioneer Athletic Conference, when the Wildcats (10-6-3) are on their game, they can be a force. Emma Christman and Lauren Schweppe are capable of multi-goal games. Downingtown East (4-4-3) had a slow start but went 4-0-1 in its last five games.

No. 20 Hatboro-Horsham at No. 13 Perkiomen Valley: Fresh off a 1-0 loss to Downingtown West, Hatboro-Horsham will struggle to overtake Perkiomen Valley. The Vikings have scoring power in senior Sarah Roos, and keeper Audree Bonavita is headed to Syracuse.

No. 21 William Tennent at No. 12 Garnet Valley: Garnet Valley (15-3) has been nearly unstoppable this season, and that probably will continue on Monday. Dana Davis, Katie Keyser, and Julia Scnoonover will be on the attack for the Jaguars.

No. 22 Council Rock North at No. 11 West Chester East: This game has potential for an upset. Council Rock North will certainly make a game of it but will have to shut down East's potent scorer Maddy Lewis and senior mid Lizzie Cassidy.

No. 23 Souderton at No. 10 Strath Haven: Strath Haven suffered a bad late-season loss to Cardinal O'Hara, but that will only make the Panthers hungrier. Led by Jessica Borbee and Kristen Baschoff, Strath Haven has a handful of players that can score.

No. 24 Methacton at No. 9 Central Bucks West: Methacton has nine losses this season, many against top-seeded teams. And after a loss to Souderton, C.B. West is a beatable team. If Alexa Hoover has another big game, Methacton could get the upset.

No. 25 Radnor at No. 8 Neshaminy: Radnor is one of the better visiting teams in the tournament, and has solid wins over Conestoga and Harriton. Neshaminy, however, is battle-tested and has Brittany Sheenan (29 goals).

No. 26 North Penn at No. 7 Haverford: After a slow start, Haverford has proved itself time and again this year. Monday should be no different.

No. 27 Interboro at No. 6 Henderson: West Chester Henderson is favored in this matchup, as Katie O'Donnell looks to build on a solid regular season.

No. 28 Upper Merion at No. 5 Mount St. Joseph: The Magic ride a six-game wining streak coming in and have not allowed a goal since an Oct. 1 loss to Villa Maria. Christina Black has nine shutouts.

Class AA

No. 9 Upper Moreland at No. 8 Christopher Dock: Upper Moreland has struggled to score while Marissa Souder has anchored a solid Christopher Dock defense from the net.

No. 10 Plumstead Christian at No. 7 New Hope Solebury: Despite two losses to end the regular season, the host Lions have firepower with Marissa Mazza and Kailey McCrorey.

No. 11 Sacred Heart at No. 6 Merion Mercy: The Golden Bears earned a 6-1 victory over Sacred Heart in the regular season.

No. 12 Pope John Paul at No. 5 Gwynedd-Mercy: Gwynedd-Mercy has newfound confidence since its 3-1 win over Mount St. Joseph and can carry that into the playoffs. The Monarchs have scoring weapons in Corinne Persichetti and Nicole Catalino.

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