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Field hockey falls to Bombers

Northwestern faced off with Palmerton in the first round of the Colonial League playoffs on Monday night, hoping to advance and earn a matchup with Moravian Academy on Wednesday.

The two battled in a tightly contested game that saw the Tigers fall 2-1 due to a goal in the final minutes that gave the Bombers the edge.

“They’re a young team and inexperienced when it comes to playoffs, so I think they handled themselves really well and kept themselves in the game the whole time,” said coach Lissa Opolsky

The first quarter saw no goals put up on the board, but saw a lot of offense from the Blue Bombers. Palmerton managed to stay on the attack for most of the opening quarter but was unable to find the back of the net.

Scoring finally opened up in the second quarter as Northwestern struck first with a goal from senior Brynn Balliet.

Palmerton answered back quickly with a goal from sophomore Skylar Kohler, tying the game at 1-1.

The Bombers again stayed on the attack for most of the quarter and would earn multiple corners, but would not manage to find another goal, sending the game into halftime tied up at one.

The third quarter saw a lot of the same from Palmerton with a heavy offensive attack and a lot of goal scoring opportunities that came up empty.

Northwestern also started to push back with some offensive runs of its own, but the game headed to the fourth quarter with both sides still at one.

“Our opportunities on offense came out of our counter attack and we could have sustained our offense a little bit better,” said Opolsky. “I think we had our fair share of opportunities but we weren’t able to capitalize.”

The fourth quarter saw Palmerton with more goal scoring opportunities than it had in any of the previous three quarters, as the Bombers earned loads of corners and even had a penalty stroke with 4:04 left in the quarter, which was incredibly saved by Tiger’s junior goalkeeper Gabrielle Gober.

Although the saved penalty slightly deflated Palmerton, it stayed on the attack and after a number of close calls the Bombers finally found the goal they had been so close to all night as freshman Mackenzie Long found the back of the net to give her team the lead with just 2:12 left to go.

Palmerton’s defense held on for the remaining time and the Bombers, who appeared in control most of the night, grabbed the win.

Northwestern will now be turning its sights toward districts.

“We have about a week and a half of practice,” said Opolsky. “So we’ll be looking to do some of the things we didn’t do so well here and just kind of get people as much experience as possible and then we’ll give it a try again and it’s a whole new season all over again.”

PRESS PHOTO BY CHUCK HIXSON Brynn Balliet, seen here during a game against Northern Lehigh, scored the Tigers' only goal in Monday's 2-1 playoff loss to Palmerton.