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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 2A:
Palmyra and Mechanicsburg know each other very well. Not only do they both play in District 3, Mid-Penn Conference Keystone Division, but they’ve had a heated back-and-forth for the past two fall seasons. During the regular season, Palmyra won 1-0 and then they tied 1-1 in the second meeting. Palmyra defeated Mechanicsburg 2-1 in the District 3 semifinals. Palmyra has previously won a state championship, while Mechanicsburg has never made it to the championship.
Date: November 19
Time: 1 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: Tonya Brown
Team: Gabi Broscius, Kate Engle, Madi Dollman, Sydney Aylward, Cam Standish, Tessa Flemming, Emma Fissel, Gracyn Catalano, Joy Lippert, Brielle Garman, Casey Tyrrell, Avery Rutter, Reese Brunk, Anne Manning, Natalie Wilson, Alana Shimp, Gabby Shute, Maddie Fissel, Kylie Conley, Lauren Mark, Drew Hartman, Courtney Reeder, Alexandra Brady
How they got here: The Wildcats play hockey from endline to endline. Each line of their formation includes very strong, skillful players, who can handle high-level competition. The score won’t matter to them until it’s all zeros on the clock. They will fight for every ball against Palmyra. While the Cougars have a deep, deep bench, Mechanicsburg will have studied them as well to overcome its Districts loss. The ‘Cats seem to be peaking at just the right time for their last game of the 2022 season. Cam Standish scored the lone goal against Villa Maria late in the fourth of the semis to send her and her teammates to their first state championship appearance.
Player to watch: Cam Standish
Standish is laser-focused under pressure. She knows she can’t win every ball, but that’s not going to stop her from trying. She’s extremely reliable in the middle, so when she does get beat, her recovery is faster than most. Her hustle is going to play a big part in the game’s outcome.
“I told them before the last game. In the grand scheme of life, this 60-minutes is a blink of an eye, but you will never forget the person that plays on your right and left, so play for them. Play for the name on the front of your uniforms, and believe in years to come, you will have many fond memories with your teammates on and off the field. I love our team. I love every player as my own. We are family. I will do anything for them now, and in the future. The player is much more important than this game, and I hope they know that.” Coach Tonya Brown
“As a team we have accomplished so much together, and it is surreal how far we have made it this season. We have all come so far since the beginning of the season and we are ready to take on what Saturday’s game brings us.” Lauren Mark, captain
“Little did this team know that we have been training for this moment our whole lives and we are much more ready than we could’ve ever thought.” Gracyn Catalano, captain
Ranking: No. 6 in Pennsylvania, No. 13 nationally, MAX Field Hockey
Head Coach: Kent Harshman
Team: Alicia Battistelli, Liv Kirkpatrick, Haleigh Lambert, Rileigh Lambert, Katie Lintz, Avery Russell, Piper Taylor, Keely Bowers, Addie Sholly, Liv Gain, Hadley Hoffsmith, Aliana Bryan, Peyton Bean, Mallory Hudson, Jovie Weaver, Bri Eckenroth, Alaina Bryan, Avery Mettle, Payton Kane, Madi Gingrich, Kate Bixler, Maddy Witt, Alyssa Dugan, Bree Aughenbaugh, AJ Walker, Morgan Lantz, Rachel Dilger, Ella Longanecker, Maddie Blauch, Laura Glasmire, Jadyn Wagers, Shay Carl, Piper Taylor, Abbey Bennett
How they got here: The Cougars had an exemplary year. It’s no surprise considering the team has a super deep bench and highly infectious positivity. The players expect the best out of everything, including attitude. They are sharp on the field, creative in execution. They have a number of different corners, which even if the play doesn’t go as planned, the next move is often a smart rebound and finish. Palmyra’s corners have been one of the team’s strongest attributes all season having created 305 overall. The Cougars ousted Twin Valley, the reigning state champions, and then Gwynedd Mercy in the semifinals.
Player to watch: Kirkpatrick
Kirkpatrick is slick and sly. She’s generally one or two passes away from her attack players. One of her greatest strengths is scanning the field before she decides where she’s going to pass the ball. But, in recent months, she’s also perfected the no-look pass. Her unpredictability is what makes her a threat.
Comments: FAN was unable to reach Palmyra prior to publication.