‘We know what our abilities are, and we respect our opponent,’ Palmyra’s Katie Lintz on defeating Twin Valley 5-0 in the PIAA Class 2A quarterfinal

Twin Valley’s goalie is one of the best you’ll see in Pennsylvania high school field hockey.

That’s why Palmyra prepped for her.

But Maddie Stevens’ superpower wasn’t enough to stave off an aggressive Palmyra high press. Twin Valley’s season ended after dropping the contest 5-0 in the 2022 PIAA Class 2A quarterfinal.

Palmyra will play Gwynedd Mercy Tuesday in the semifinal game. The Monarchs knocked Palmyra out of the running for the 2021 championship last year.

“I thought we looked really strong on the attack and on defense,” senior Katie Lintz said. “We made some really good passing sequences. I think we just played together really well. We made some good adjustments in the second half.”

Liv Kirkpatrick was the only player to score in the first quarter. With under 7 minutes to play, she stepped up to the stroke mark and made it look effortless. She said she had already determined where to shoot her stroke shot.

She tapped into the homework that Palmyra had done on Stevens. 

“I have three go-to places where I’m like, if I see what the goalie is doing, or I like, know what she’s going to do, I just react to that,” the Liberty University commit said.

Avery Russell was next to score at the top of the third quarter. Her goal happened so quick after the starting whistle; Twin Valley barely had a chance to evaluate what happened. As Lintz said, the Cougars used quick, effective passes into the circle, and Russell finished it.

Lintz’s goal was just over a minute later, which was another version of Russell’s point.

It was clear that Palmyra had powered up at halftime. They were leading 3-0 with 11 minutes remaining in the third and an entire fourth yet to play.

The only block Cougar goalie Haleigh Lambert made in the game was just after they had scored their third. The Raiders were finding a few gaps in Palmyra’s formation. From its powerful backfield, Twin Valley’s Hannah Schmittinger sent through balls to Hadley Munn. Munn ran the ball down the left and into the circle, where she popped it back out to the circle line to Isabella Massafra.

Massafra ripped the shot. Lambert blocked it and sent the ball out of the Cougar’s defensive circle.


Palmyra’s transition was quick, leaving Twin Valley players behind them as they powered toward the Cougar’s attack circle.

“I think we were confident but not cocky,” Lintz said. “We know what our abilities are, and we respect our opponent. We just have to play together and all play strong but have fun at the same time.”

She later added: “We’ve just grown a lot this season. Focusing on our connectedness as a team, fine-tuning those skills that we already have and finishing every opportunity.”

An observer could easily check off all of those attributes: the Cougars look like they’re having fun, they support one another, and they are intense.

Palmyra had five corners in the first half and nine in the second. They only allowed Twin Valley two.

The Cougars took 17 shots and allowed the Raiders one.

Winning another shutout in the quarterfinals is, of course, a confidence builder.

Kirkpatrick, who widened the gap further in the fourth, laughed at her anticipation of her second goal.

Keely Bowers had ripped a shot from the top on a corner. Once the ball was in motion, Alicia Battistelli was positioned to tip it.

Her tip lifted the ball into the air, but not into the net. Kirkpatrick added her stick to it for the airdrop into the cage.

“I was a little worried that it wasn’t going to go in,” she said. “I felt like it was in the air for like 10 seconds. But yeah, we were all so excited.”

Finishing off strong this far into the postseason is a testament to all the hard work the Cougars have committed to, Battistelli said.

“We were controlling a lot of the play during the game, but we were, like, not valuing possession as much in the first half,” she said. “So, I think that got better throughout the game and then we were able to finish later.”

Twin Valley’s head coach Kim Walsh said her squad entered the game “defensively-minded.”

“We’re really young,” Walsh said. “We’re a lit bit slower and we’re not quite at the level where they are. That kind of stopped us from getting our offense going. We were unable to transition because we were so defensive minded.”

During the off-season, the Raiders are going to work on getting faster and being stronger, she said.

“So, we can make those runs,” she said. “Go together as a team.”

Progress is showing, she added.

“We played Palmyra at the beginning of the season in a scrimmage,” she said. “In the first 25 minutes, it was like 6 or 7 nothing. From there to here, (Coach Kent Harshman) said there was a difference. We had no idea we would go this far. To progress to this point was just awesome for us.”

Harshman was again proud of his players for staying true to their style. He said their “fitness level” always starts to shine in the second half.

He gave extra kudos to Stevens.

“They have a great goalkeeper,” he said. “That kid stands on her head. She is really good. The game they had against Hershey in the District semifinal, she was tremendous. She kept (Twin Valley) in that game. I know they lost 2-1 in overtime. She was tremendous.”

But the Cougars were able to “wear them down,” meaning the defense and Stevens, in the second half, he added.

“Kids kept working,” Harshman said. “They didn’t get frustrated. We figured it would be a good defensive game.”

He continued: “We have our goals set and we’re moving on. (Gwynedd Mercy) eliminated us last year, so I’m sure we’ll be ready to go Tuesday.”

Cougars: 5

  • Goals – Kirkpatrick (2), Lintz (1), Russell (1), Battistelli (1)
  • Assists – Russell (1), Kirkpatrick (1)
  • Shots – 17
  • Penalty corners – 14
  • Saves – Lambert (1)

Raiders: 0

  • Goals – 0
  • Assists – 0
  • Shots – 1
  • Penalty corners – 2
  • Saves – Stevens (13)
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