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Girls lax season ends in semis

The Emmaus High School girls lacrosse team had one of its best seasons in recent memory in 2021, and even taking away all of the wins and playing for a conference and district championship, head coach Roxann Betz and her program look at the season as a positive just because they were able to join together on the field again.

“Being able to play this season was a win in itself,” said Betz. “Losing last season was heartbreaking and the girls started back up last summer playing together in the offseason and they worked hard and bonded well to prepare for their next opportunity to represent Emmaus girls lacrosse.

“We are grateful to EHS athletic director, Becky George, and the rest of the staff at Emmaus to help us get the opportunity to play a ‘normal’ season. We were one of few schools that were given the chance to play nonleague games and we were so blessed to have this opportunity. We made the best of every opportunity we were given.”

The Green Hornets (18-3 overall) were one win shy of winning an Eastern Pennsylvania Conference title and also advanced to the District 11 Class 3A semifinals, while falling just once during the regular season.

“Our goal coming into the season was to improve our record from 2019 and contend for a championship,” Betz said. “We accomplished both of those goals. We were extremely proud of the effort the girls gave each and every night and the overall 18-3 record proves that hard work pays off. Having such a successful season also inspired many younger girls in the community to enjoy the game of lacrosse and this is a big step to develop our program as lacrosse is growing throughout the country and we want nothing more than for the sport to continue to grow in our local community.”

There were many positives to take away from the season, and Betz highlighted the games that made her team work hard.

“The close games will probably stand out the most,” said Betz. “Our first game against Central Catholic playing down for more than eight minutes was extremely intense but the girls held strong and came out with a close victory that day. The EPC championship was another special moment this season. The end result was not what we wanted, but the opportunity to play for that championship meant so much to our team. By far the win against Parkland was very special to our team, as this was the first time any of the girls won against Parkland in their careers.”

Emmaus defeated Freedom once during the regular season and then again in the EPC semifinals, but the Patriots got the better of the Green Hornets the third time around, claiming a golden goal and 9-8 victory in overtime of the district semifinals.

“You will hear many people say it’s very hard to beat the same team three times in any given season,” Betz said. “Unfortunately, this held true for our season. We came out on fire in that game but give Freedom credit. They came back and fought hard for that win. Honestly that game could have gone either way. This time it was not in our favor.”

Emmaus will graduate five seniors, including Ally Shaffer, Ellison Ervin, Victoria Brown, Rebekah Brosky and Nesiah Bertram.

“The senior class this season was one of my favorites,” said Betz. “Four of the five girls have committed to playing lacrosse in college. We are so very proud of them. The competitive drive they had from day one until the very last day was something we admired in them. No doubt they inspired our team to work hard and play each and every day like it’s their last. The seniors will be missed dearly and we wish them nothing but the best in their future.”

With a large core of the 2021 team returning next season, Betz looks forward to being back in the postseason competing for championships.

“Next season we’ll have tremendous talent returning,” Betz said. “We had many young players this year. Our top-two scorers will be back. Our entire midfield is returning, and we have a great goalie stepping in that saw a lot of time on the varsity field as a freshman. The junior class is big and we have many great athletes looking to fill in those starting spots lost to the seniors.

“The offseason is always important and we are so excited to see so many of our players playing for elite lacrosse clubs around the area which will help them gain more experience before the next season arrives.”