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File the 2023 PIAA Class 3A high school field hockey game under “emotional.”
Emmaus, the winningest high school field hockey program in the nation, met up with Manheim Twp. at Cumberland Valley for the finale Saturday. Both teams had a deeper purpose in their quest to be crowned winner.
In the end, it was a tight contest amongst very well coached squads that favored Emmaus 1-0. The Green Hornets ended the 2023 season as the Class 3A state high school field hockey champions.
The Hornets, while seemingly always the Class 3A team to beat, gathered for a post-game picture. They were sure to have with them an unworn jersey. It belonged to Hailey Cook. Cook wore No. 32 and during the 2023 season, no one else claimed it.
Cook passed away of cancer this summer. And, the state championship game was all for her memory.
The game itself was physical, due to the emotional aspect. Manheim Township, which had never been to the state championship round, also had a tug on its heart strings, as they fought for victory in the memory of one of their most beloved teachers James Michaud. Michaud also passed away this summer of cancer.
During the 60 minutes, the game could have gone either way. But, what’s most notable about it, there were so many cards. At one point, the Green Hornets were playing without their strongest leader, Melea Weber, who is University of North Carolina bound. Weber was yellow carded and along the sideline for 5 minutes.
While it was uncomfortable for Emmaus to not have her on the field, no points were scored during that time.
The lone goal was scored by sophomore Addison Povilaitis, who found the cage for her first and only goal of the season. Her teammate powered the ball in just before the 25 yard line. It landed on pads and Manheim Township’s goalie scurried to find it. As the ball became a bit loose, Povilaitis was waiting with her stick on the ground. She found the ball and pushed it into the cage.