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Field hockey wins opening round contest

On Monday night, the Whitehall field hockey team knocked off Nazareth 4-2 in their opening round District XI playoff game.

To win in the playoffs, teams need their best players to come through. Senior Maddie Trocki showed she was worthy of her EPC 1st Team All-Star nod by scoring the team’s first and last goals.

The first goal came on Whitehall’s first corner of the night when the play gave her an open opportunity that she did not miss.

Head coach Jennifer Bodnar explained that the corners were the key to the win.

“We always like executing on corners,” she said. “My assistant coaches do a phenomenal job of looking at what the other team is doing and figuring out what’s open.”

Joyce Lu scored the Zephyrs’ second goal off a penalty corner at the 13:07 mark in the first half and Whitehall took the 2-0 lead into halftime.

Nazareth scored two minutes into the second half to put some drama back into the game.

Brielle Schrey gave the Zephyrs an insurance goal when she converted yet another corner with 20:25 left in the game.

The Blue Eagles trimmed the lead to 3-2 with 6 minutes remaining in the contest on Zoey Mendonis’ second goal of the night.

After demonstrating her stick skills in the close quarters of a penalty corner for her first goal, Trocki showed off her athleticism by taking a loose ball coast-to-coast to put the game on ice with just under two minutes remaining.

“When I saw I had two defenders to beat, I knew I needed to just keep dribbling and I had a one-on-one with the goalie,” Trocki said.

Trocki added her thoughts on the team’s accomplishments this year. “I’m really proud of the team,” she said. “We came out as the underdogs and everyone thought with our season last year that we were going to lose every game. I think we really proved people wrong.”

Bodnar expressed her happiness in getting the big win.

“I’m super excited for our seniors,” she said. “We haven’t had a district win in a couple of years, so it’s nice to get that under our belts.”

Whitehall’s win earned them a quarterfinal contest against the EPC and defending District XI champion, Emmaus, on Wednesday. The Hornets were undefeated on the season and outscored their competition 22-1 in aggregate to win the EPC tournament.

Press photos by Linda RothrockMaddie Trocki had two goals as the Zephs knocked off Nazareth in the opening round of districts.