Hershey’s ‘Just keep pushing for what we want’ double overtime mentality punched the Trojans ticket to the District 3 Class 2A championship

It took two overtimes to settle the score between Hershey and Twin Valley.

The second-ranked Trojans and sixth-ranked Raiders were evenly matched in Wednesday’s semifinal contest. Hershey, though, emerged victorious in a dramatic 2-1 ending that punched the team’s ticket to the District 3 Class 2A championship game on Saturday.

Senior Roma Orris smashed the game-winner for Hershey with four minutes left in the second overtime period, but it wasn’t easy.

“It was chaos,” Orris said of the circle play leading up to her goal. “I just knew that this is a time we needed to put the ball in the cage, that we can be done with this. So, I put my stick down, and it went in. It all happened so fast.”

The assist for Orris’ goal was credited to Anne Gardner, who had been pummeling Twin Valley’s keeper Maddie Stevens with hard shots all game.

“We knew the goalie was quick,” said Orris. “She’s probably the best goalie that we’ve seen yet this season, and we prepared for that.”

But despite Hershey’s dominant attacking game and eventual electric finale, it was Twin Valley who struck first on a stroke.

With 1:08 remaining in the first quarter, Hannah Schmittinger sent a hard shot to the bottom lefthand corner. Hershey’s Kylie Mullen couldn’t reach it. Twin Valley took the 1-0 lead.

After time expired, Hershey had three back-to-back corners but was unable to find the cage. Twin Valley maintained its slim lead headed into the quarter break.

“We came in knowing that they were going to be rough,” said Twin Valley’s head coach Kim Walsh. “They play hard. They work really hard. They’re fast. And we came in just doing our own thing. We don’t really adapt to teams, we just focus on ourselves.”

And for the Trojans, it was “a new feeling.”

“I think there haven’t been too many games this season where we’ve been down by a goal or that we haven’t scored first, so I think that’s a new feeling, especially when you get scored on off a stroke,” said Hershey head coach Savanna Lenker. “So, I think just checking ourselves mentally and knowing that field hockey is a 60-minute game and that we had so much more time.”

It took Hershey until the third quarter to get the much-needed equalizer.

The second of two back-to-back corners provided the perfect opportunity for midfielder Grace Allery.

Allery received the insert from Lauren Schulz, who was credited with the assist, and took a hard shot from the top. The slightly lifted ball found the cage. Hershey levelled the scoreboard 1-1.

However, less than a minute from when she scored, Allery was green carded for not being five yards from a Raider free hit.

The penalty, only two minutes, didn’t seem to last very long. The Trojans still played like they had 11 players on the field, although their guard was up.

“We have to work that much harder on both sides of the ball,” said Lenker, when Hershey is carded. “We had to play a little more defensively.”

The highlight of the fourth quarter was a potential Twin Valley scoring opportunity. The Raiders had the chance to take control of the game with a one-on-one breakaway, but nothing came of it.

As time wound down and overtime seemed inevitable, two more back-to-back Hershey corners within three minutes stood to settle the score. But, the Trojans were unable to convert.

“We had a lot of corners and couldn’t execute on them,” Lenker said. “So that’s going to be a focus going forward because our corners have overall been a strength for us throughout our season.”

Corner play comes down to “being able to execute (in) high pressure situations” and being “hungrier inside the circle,” she said.

And according to Orris, it’s about “mindset to keep going.”

“Just keep pushing for what we want,” the senior said. “Our team has so much chemistry, so it was just like ‘we beat this team, and then we’re going to be in the district final.’ I feel like it was going on all game. We got shot after shot but just keep being gritty in the circle.”

Time ran out before either team could gain an edge, and Twin Valley had possession to start the overtime.

But Hershey immediately came out swinging.


“It takes a lot of heart to win in overtime, especially when a lot of those girls played the entire game and didn’t get a break,” Lenker said. “(It’s about) making sure you give it a hundred percent for the time that you’re on the field and you don’t walk off thinking you left something out there.”

By the second overtime, pressure had mounted to a breaking point. With a trip to the 2A finals and states bracket placement on the line, the tension was palpable.

The physicality of the game had been escalating since the first whistle, and with six-and-a-half minutes remaining in overtime, Hershey’s Riley Welsch received a green card for pushing.

“We have a lot of fans too,” said Lenker. “That kind of fuels the high intensity, which can bubble over and get out of control.”

While Welsch was sitting, Hershey was able to earn a corner and had two more shots, but Stevens was impenetrable.

And that was when Orris managed to secure the win for the Trojans.

“I thought it was a fast-paced game,” said Walsh. “I thought both teams did really some good things. Both teams were playing hard. It was some fast and high-level hockey.”

Hershey was district champs in 2010, when the Trojans played in Class 3A. That’s the only time they’ve won districts.

Palmyra’s last championship was in 2020, where they beat Hershey in the finals. For Orris, it’s “unfinished business.”

“We beat Twin Valley in overtime in semifinals and then played Palmyra in the district finals, and unfortunately, we lost,” she said. “We want this so much because this is a perfect opportunity. This is the best our team has looked in years.”

Hershey is “nervous” and “excited,” said Orris.

“Playing a big game against a team that is one of our rivals, I feel like it just means so much more,” she said. “And we have so much opportunity to meet our goal (of winning Districts).”

As for Lenker, in her second season with the Trojans, her postseason expectations are high.

“I think as we get deeper into our season, we just know that we have to play an even higher level of hockey every time we show up on the field,” she said.

Twin Valley is also facing a slightly similar situation looking forward.

“We played (Mechanicsburg) last year in the district final,” said Walsh. “They are a well-coached team who will be disciplined and skilled. We are looking to compete the way we have in the last few games and have some fun and enjoy the postseason play.”

Trojans: 2

  • Goals – Allery (1), Orris (1)
  • Assists – Schulz (1)
  • Shots – 30
  • Penalty corners – 17
  • Saves – Kylie Mullen (2)

Raiders: 1

  • Goals – Schmittinger (1)
  • Assists – 0
  • Shots – 4
  • Penalty corners – 3
  • Saves – Stevens (15)
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