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The Battle of Cedar Crest Boulevard continued last week when Parkland and Emmaus met in the regular season finale at Emmaus’ Memorial Field. While both teams had locked up playoff spots, the two teams battled through 80 minutes of soccer with the Lady Trojans grabbing a 1-0 win to give them a 13-2-1 overall record and 12-1-1 record in the EPC on the season. Emmaus finished at 10-6-0 and 10-4-0.

Parkland was the aggressor and got an early corner looking to strike first, but Emmaus was able to defend the play and then deny Parkland any more corners for the rest of the first half. Parkland combined aggressiveness with crisp passing to continue pressure, but could not crack the scoreboard, leaving them looking slightly frustrated heading into halftime.

Meanwhile, Emmaus struggled to connect on passes as the Hornets drew closer to the goal. Just as the Lady Trojans were the aggressor on offense, they carried that over to defense and kept the Lady Hornets from getting much pressure on goalkeeper Kayla McNevin.

Parkland again picked up an early corner to open the second half with Madison Bowman sending the kick near the mouth of the goal where Catherine Crampton found it and headed it past goalie Molly Lineberger to break the scoreless tie. The goal was the fourth of the season that Crampton scored with a header off a corner kick.

“I definitely love being able to be a target player on the corners,” said Crampton. “Not many people love heading the ball, but I’ve trained to do it from a young age, and it doesn’t bother me.”

Emmaus continued to struggle with passing and was unable to generate offense but continued to play well defensively. The Hornets did get some opportunities, including late in the game when Paige Inman headed a shot toward the goal off a corner, but was unable to get it past Sophie Frank, who took over in goal for the Lady Trojans in the second half.

Minutes later, Parkland had a direct kick that went just over the crossbar and fell harmlessly behind the net.

“I think that we played great team defense,” said coach Al Haddad. “It wasn’t just the backs and our defensive mid, our attacking mids and forwards all shepherded play in the right direction to make them play balls that we knew were going to come. We didn’t want to let them get balls in the air or get corners, because that’s their mojo. We knew we had to prevent that tonight and we were able to do that.”

The two teams meet again in the semifinals of the EPC tournament. Their last postseason meeting came two years ago in the EPC finals, where Parkland won 2-1. Since Emmaus snapped the Trojans’ 70 game District 11 winning streak in September of 2018, Parkland is 8-0-1 against the Hornets, with five of those games decided by just one goal.

Parkland advanced to the semifinals with a 9-0 first round win over Stroudsburg on Monday. The Lady Trojans have won the last six and eight of the last nine EPC tournaments that have been played. Last season, the EPC did not hold a postseason tournament because of COVID.

PRESS PHOTO BY DON HERB Parkland's Hailey Sammarco takes a shot during the Trojans' win over Stroudsburg in the East Penn Conference quarterfinals.
PRESS PHOTO BY DON HERB Parkland's Aristea Gougoustamos controls the ball while a Stroudsburg player pursues during the East Penn Conference playoffs.