‘I think we’re not in total belief of it yet,’ Boiling Springs’ Reagan Eickhoff on winning the school’s first District 3 1A field hockey title

The verdict is in: the 2022 Boiling Springs field hockey team doesn’t just look good on paper.

They are 22-0. They have scored 149 goals to date and have only allowed four teams to score one goal against them each. They finished first in the Capital Division. And they beat Oley Valley in the District 3 Class 1A finale.

It’s pretty clear that the Bubblers are legitimate champions.

“I think we’re not in total belief of it yet because we did just make history, but I think the great part about it was that we all did it together,” senior captain Reagan Eickhoff said. “There wasn’t one person that took charge or one person that took the ball down the field and did everything. We all had our specific parts that led us to this win, and I don’t think we could’ve done it without each other.”

The Bubblers struck first and last. The final score was 3-1 Boiling Springs.

Reese Hays, a junior, put the Bubblers on the board 22 seconds into the game. It started with Lexi Hanlin nabbing the ball at the 50. She passed to Alex Bandura, who sent the ball to Eickhoff down the right side. A bouncy ball inside the Bubblers attack circle was available in front of Oley Valley’s goalie. Hays got her stick on it and shot the ball behind her for the goal.

“One thing we said before the game was score early and often and keep that intensity up,” Hays said. “So, I think once we got that first goal, we were in it and ready to score another. We always say, ‘Next five, next five. We’re going to get down there. We’re going to take more shots.’”

Oley Valley started on its heels. But their nerves and trepidation quickly faded in the second.

The Lynx picked up the pace, owned the ball, dictated the play, and evened the score. Taylor Vaccaro, who had a standout game for Oley Valley, worked the sidelines. Poised under pressure, weaving in and out of Boiling Springs’ powerful defense, she was able to help her team earn a corner.

She also converted on it to make the game 1-1 after 7 minutes and 30 seconds.

“We knew that we wanted to get on top first definitely to kind of throw them off their groove,” Eickhoff said. “They’re not a team that’s used to being down, so scoring first kind of got us and got our momentum going. Once they scored, we were like, ‘It’s fine. It’s 0-0. This is every game.’ We just have to come out on top and continue to play the way that we’re playing, not go down to their level and get frantic and stuff. Just continue to play our game.”

Zoe Collins, Kylie Rife, and Tess Naylor held it down in the back for the Bubblers. Collins with a game-changing defensive save in the second.

The third quarter was up for grabs between the two competitive teams. Both were more organized and had shaken off the atmosphere’s intimidation.

Aside from the Greenwood game, and playing against Bishop McDevitt and Susquehanna Twp., the Bubblers’ goalie Eva Hancock hasn’t been a key factor in the game. She was against Oley Valley.

“It is so surreal,” Hancock said. “I still have not even had time to process it yet. I’ve never felt something like this before. I love this team so much. We have never had the opportunity to really shine like this, and I’m so happy we had that opportunity today because everybody says we’ve only made it to districts because we play easy teams, and that’s just not the case. I’m so glad that we finally have the opportunity and the time to shine and tell everybody that we’re here to win.”

Practices have set her up for the rapid fire she was under. Oley Valley hurled shots at her on the ground and in the air. The fierce pace was something the Bubblers practiced preparing Hancock, she said.


The game’s pace continued to increase as it grew closer to the end. Vaccaro was able to split the Bubblers backfield a few times to find the through ball. As a result, Boiling Springs began to play frantic hockey.

Fans were screaming, the Oley Valley coach was carded, and emotions were flying high in the third.

“We love our student section,” Hancock said. “They are always here to support us. And we were very, very excited to see some when we walked in.”

Boiling Springs was able to find a way to manage its emotions late in the third, which helped the Bubblers in the fourth. A Bubbler ball broke through a clumped crowd in the middle of the field near the 50. The speed was fast enough to hit Oley Valley’s goalie. The ball stalled under her bootie.

Genna Bush got her stick on the ball, pulled it out from under her kicker, and slammed it into the goal to make it 2-1.  

“I was just ready,” Bush said. “(The ball) kind of got stuck under her pads, and I was like, ‘I am getting there. I am getting that ball.’ And it went in, so it was really amazing.”

Her goal seemingly sparked a resurgence of offensive pressure. As she was barreling toward the Bubblers attack circle just under four minutes later, Alexandra Lopez tripped Bush with her stick. Lopez was given a five-minute yellow card at 6:21 on the clock.

The Bubblers weren’t slowing down as reality started to sink in that they were close to winning their first District 3 1A championship. Boiling Springs earned a corner with 1:30 remaining.

Bandura took a shot, grabbed the rebound, and set the ball up on her strong side. Hanlin was there to finish it off.

“I just saw the ball and hit it,” Hanlin said. “I didn’t know which way it was going. I went down with the ball too. I’m just happy it went in.”

The next step for the undefeated 2022 Bubblers – states.

“We have no doubt that we can win states,” Eickhoff said. “There’s no doubt in any of our minds that we can be state champions this year.”

As with most championship games, there were moments of confusion and frustration. Players and coaches weren’t getting the calls that they wanted. Fans and spectators wanted their favorite team to win. And, a lot was on the line for both teams who wanted the gold.

“They’ve been working so hard on that mental part,” Boiling Springs head coach Kortney Showers said. “And they knew the reason it was so frantic was because our minds were frantic and we weren’t composed. And I think at one point, we were yelling, (Oley Valley’s) coaches were yelling, and I was like, ‘This has to stop.’ At this point, it’s out of our hands, and we were almost shouting over them, and we were making our defense frantic. And it was like, you know what, the girls have been leaders this whole season, this is not how we always coach the whole time. So we really let them just take over, and at least myself, I don’t know if the whole field felt it too, but we just became composed that last end of the third, going into the fourth, and just knew they had control of it.”

Cards are a part of the game, Oley Valley head coach Tiffany Cappellano said.

“But I think a lot of times, the energy that we bring is often misunderstood as a negative thing, like our passion is misunderstood as a negative thing or that we’re dramatic because we’re women and we’re loud. I think today, it was just a matter of a bunch of different things that all kind of erupted into this volcano that we felt like we weren’t being heard. That can be frustrating, so you know, I see it from both sides. I’m never going to stop fighting for my girls because I don’t want them to be the ones questioning the calls. I’ll take the heat on that. However, at the same time, you know I maybe need to handle it with just a little bit more grace.”

Cappellano said she couldn’t be any prouder of her players. They were last year’s champions.

“I’m definitely proud of the girls to be here two years in a row, back-to-back,” she said. “But obviously the disappointment is going to linger there. But there’s still a whole big state tournament left to play, and it’s how you finish that you often remember the most. So, our eyes just have to stay focused forward, and we have to keep them mentally in it as well as physically in it, and we just have to regroup now.”

One last thing she said about her team, “If there’s anything that I feel very strongly about, it’s that this game affords them the opportunity to develop into strong, independent women with voices, and I can’t thank the game enough for what it has given me. And if I can give that back and lead them in that direction, to have that confidence and strength from inside of themselves, that to me is bigger and better than any championship.”

*Cam Eveler contributed to this story.

Bubblers: 3

  • Goals – Hays (1), Bush (1), Hanlin (1)
  • Assists – Eickhoff (1)
  • Shots – 10
  • Penalty corners – 3
  • Saves – Hancock (7)

Lynx: 1

  • Goals – Vaccaro (1)
  • Assists – Abby Thompson (1)
  • Shots – 9
  • Penalty corners – 9
  • Saves – Cenora Grim (9)

Have a tip or story you want to share? Reach us at femaleathletenews@gmail.com

*FAN is headquartered in District 3. We are also following district games statewide. Check back for November postseason coverage.

Share the Post:

Related Posts