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Field hockey team continues to roll

The Northwestern Lehigh field hockey team just continues to roll right along this season. The Tigers recently downed Salisbury by a 7-3 score and then rolled to shutout wins over Catasauqua and Northern Lehigh, upping their Colonial League record to 8-3-0 and their overall record to 13-4-0.

In the win over Salisbury (2-7 Colonial League, 3-7 overall), Tess Ledeboer picked up three assists in the game as the Tigers spread the opportunities around and saw six different players score goals in the win. Lauren Schellhamer was the one handing out opportunities to her teammates in a 4-0 win over Catasauqua (0-10, 0-10) as she equaled Ledeboer’s task of dishing off three assists in one game. In those two wins, Brooke Page tallied three goals for Northwestern.

“All of us really work on anticipating things and we work on interchanging and helping each other out,” Ledeboer said. “That worked especially well today with the end-line and other players were really helping out today.”

While the offense has had minor hiccups here and there, overall, it has been getting the job done with different players finding ways to score. The Lady Tigers have scored 28 goals in their last six games, which also includes a 1-0 loss to Southern Lehigh (9-0, 9-0) in the mix. The output is an improvement over how the team started the season offensively when it lost two of their first three goals and averaged just two goals per game over the stretch.

The loss to Southern Lehigh was disappointing in that the Spartans have been the best team in the Colonial League this season and are generally the team to beat. Earlier in the season, Northwestern lost a 2-1 game to Bangor (9-3-0, 11-3-0), giving the Slaters the advantage over the Tigers in the standings.

Those tough losses notwithstanding, Northwestern has been playing well and looks to have some momentum going into the postseason, which begins next week with the Colonial League playoffs.

“We’re playing really well right now,” said Ledeboer. “We just had a tough loss against Southern Lehigh, but so far we’ve been getting a lot of wins and we’ve been playing well together.”

Coming down the stretch, Northwestern knows that both Bangor and Southern Lehigh will be looming in the Colonial League playoffs.

While the Tigers are seeded third in the league, they’re at the top of the District 11 Class A standings, with Moravian Academy (6-4-0, 6-4-0), Saucon Valley 6-3-0, 6-3-1) and Palisades (7-4-0, 8-5-0) looming well behind them.

Come playoff time, anything can happen, but the Northwestern players are working to close any gaps that they may have and are happy with how things are coming together for them.

“I think there’s always stuff to work on and areas where we can improve but we are playing pretty well,” said Ledeboer. “Right now, we’re warming up for leagues and districts, so it’s important that we keep playing well.”

The regular season schedule wraps up today at home against Palmerton (7-4-0, 7-5-0).

PRESS PHOTO BY NANCY SCHOLZ The Tigers' Charlotte Horn makes a pass during Tuesday's win over Northern Lehigh.