Palmyra’s fast-paced passing trumps Hershey’s overall speed; Cougars win 3-1 in Class 2A state high school semifinal

Hershey field hockey struck first in the 2023 PIAA Class 2A high school field hockey semifinal contest, but Palmyra blasted last.


It wouldn’t have mattered anyway who scored first between the two teams. They both have high-quality, talented players on them. They both play in District 3 and the Mid-Penn Conference Keystone Division. They both love to win and would battle back no matter what the score.


In the end, Palmyra’s passing game synced at just the right time to outpace even some of the fastest forwards in the nation. The Class 2A semifinal battle broke 3-1 for the Cougars.


The score may make it sound like Palmyra had the edge. But, it wasn’t like that.


Hershey’s organized defense would barely budge in the first half. The Trojans packed the circle and protected any open real estate that would have been a prime spot for rapid fire.


They scored on their first corner of the game, injecting confidence in the team’s first quarter performance.



Palmyra piled on consecutive corners after the Trojan’s goal, but Hershey’s Kylie Mullen was laser-focused on denying shots.


With just over two minutes remaining in the first half, Hadley Hoffsmith dropped the hammer and ran away on a breakaway. She lured Mullen out of her cage to outside the circle, where Mullen played the ball with her kickers.


Mullen is only allowed to play the ball with her stick outside the circle.


Palmyra was awarded a penalty corner. The ball was inserted. It was passed, hit and deflected off the flyer’s stick. Keely Bowers collected the bouncy ball and shot. It was saved by Hershey’s Avery Weaber at post, but Bowers was positioned to rebound.


She lifted it above the backboard into the net to find the equalizer.


The third remained scoreless for both teams. It was the fourth quarter when Palmyra’s passing began to quickly improve the team’s overall performance.


The next goal for the Cougars was a passing sequence that went from Jovie Weaver to Bowers to Mallory Hudson. Hudson saw Hoffsmith at post and passed. Hoffsmith finished the score.


And, then again, it was Palmyra with 4 minutes remaining on a corner play, which Addie Sholly took one step to her right and punched it in for the final point of the game.


Palmyra will play Villa Maria this Saturday in the 2023 PIAA Class 2A state championship game. The Cougars finished as finalists in 2022. They fell to Mechanicsburg in overtime.

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