The stage is set for all the thrills and drama to unfold at Cumberland Valley High School, where three field hockey programs will be crowned 2022 state champions.
Here’s what we know about Class 3A:
Lower Dauphin and Wilson rubbed elbows just a few weeks ago in the District 3 Class 3A championship. The game, settled in overtime, favored the Falcons. The Bulldogs are ready for the rematch. Both programs, two of the strongest in Pennsylvania, have previously been crowned state champs.
Date: November 19
Time: 3 p.m.
Location: Cumberland Valley High School
Tickets: All tickets must be purchased online.
*Rankings do not include Pennsylvania postseason playoff game.
Ranking: No. 4 in Pennsylvania, No. 11 nationally, MAX Field Hockey
Head Coach: Linda Kreiser
Team: Brynn Shaffer, Emmy McCulley, Katelyn Strawser, Dani Murphy, Avery Pollock, Maddy Weaver, Victoria Kutz, Morgan Sparks, Alexa Lehmna, Bridget Lawn, Payton Killian, Ellie DeHart, Katelyn Miller, Taylor Korczynski, Lizzy Day, Hannah McConnell, Lexy Hengst, Ava Masorti, Vivian Merry, Laney Johns, Grace Peterson, Cali Mease, Kai Killian, Emily Baum, Ella Weaver, Emma McConnell, Morgan Craig
How they got here: Lower Dauphin can be divided into two teams on the season. The first half was the growing and rebuilding squad. And the second is the fully rebuilt, ready to go team that ultimately strives to define itself as LD hockey. As of late, the Falcons are as who everyone expects them to be – offensive shooters. Once they get inside the circle, they’ll rapid fire from every angle. The Falcons defeated Conestoga 2-1 in overtime to earn its chance to clash with Wilson.
Player to watch: Payton Killian
It would be a shock if goalie Killian weren’t ambidextrous. She denies shots taken in the air, on the ground, flung at her with zip, and she still regains her balance within seconds to handle another barrage.
“Our 2022 LDFH team has evolved into the team they are today – talented – United – a team that enjoys playing together. The are ready for the challenges of the great opponents we face and they will battle to the end. The coaching staff enjoys the opportunity to coach these girls and we are thrilled to be in the state final.” Coach Linda Kreiser
“I am beyond proud of our team and how far we have come this season. We are incredibly excited for the state championship Saturday and are determined to come home with a gold medal.” Brynn Shaffer, captain
“We have come so far this season and I am so proud of everyone. I believe that this team has the heart, talent, and passion to step up to this challenge and show what LDFH is capable of.” Emmy McCulley, captain
“This has been an amazing season so far and we’re all super excited for the state championship game Saturday. We’ve worked really hard to get to this point and are ready for one more opportunity to show what LDFH can do.” Morgan Sparks, captain
“I’m so proud of the resilience, determination, and hard work the team has put in this year. We stayed hungry throughout the year and will play this states game for each other and with LDFH pride.” Maddy Weaver, captain
Ranking: No. 13 in Pennsylvania, MAX Field Hockey
Head Coach: Kim Underwood
Team: Ashlyn Rowe, Aliah Torres, Aileen Batista, Catherine Arentz, Emily Brown, Caroline Long, Caroline Horace, Gracie Arner, Grace Chisolm, Alexa Fassnacht, Mia Riccitelli, Caitlyn Moseman, Giovanna Bonargo, Natalie Riccitelli, Mallory Sauppee, Hannah Sauppee, Jenna Facciolli, Emma Staron, Bryn Williams, Alexis Hoffman, Audrey Miller, Erika Culp, Morgan Kostick, Evelyn Melograna, Ella Duffy, Isabella Samolewicz, Jennaya Vega, Ava Connor, Soleil Garcia-Reyes, Cameron Huyett, Sophie Wilchek, Amanda Pennington, Madeline Slabik, Ava Sensenig, Laura Crocona, Olivia Reinhart, Macy Adams, Katie Fallon, Kaelyn Rowe, Natalie Motz, Lily Griffin, Keira Hartman, Catherine Wolf, Stella Wise, Sydney Stuhl
How they got here: Wilson had its most important game of the season on Wednesday when the Bulldogs upset Emmaus 2-1. The reigning state champions, up until the semifinals were unbeaten. Wilson finished as runners up in the District 3 Class 3A championship losing to Lower Dauphin in overtime. When they walk into a room, it takes a minute. They have over 40 players. The Bulldog seniors have been showing off their field hockey experience, and Saturday, spectators will see what that means.
Player to watch: Erika Culp
Culp is a playmaker. Without her assistance all over the field, the Bulldogs wouldn’t have as strong of an attack as they have. She is versatile both offensively and defensively. If she’s not standing out in the moment, it’s because she’s about to do something fancy.
“The 2022 Wilson Field Hockey team is a result of the many teams before them that put in the time and the effort to create a culture that exists today. A team that brings out its full potential through work rate and smart play. They create community on and off the field. This team loves to play together and they love to compete. We are thrilled for another opportunity to play at this level.” Coach Kim Underwood
“This means so much to us and our team, we set this goal in January and are so excited to see it finally happen. We’re going to go out and play how we know we can.” Emma Staron, captain
*This story has been updated to reflect the addition of Coach Kim Underwood’s comments. Additionally, Mia Riccitelli’s name was corrected in the photo above. It was published as Erika Culp.
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