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Early deficit dooms Emmaus in girls lacrosse state playoffs

Playing in its first PIAA state playoff game since 2011, the Emmaus High School girls lacrosse team fell behind by a large margin and could not regroup in enough time. The Green Hornets were defeated by District 1’s fourth-place team, Radnor, 11-6 in the first round of states last Tuesday evening at Emmaus High School’s Memorial Field.

Hornet head coach Roxann Betz, even after defeat, looked back on what has been one of the best seasons to date for the entire program.

“This year was the most enjoyable year of my coaching career,” said Betz. “The girls were absolutely phenomenal with their work ethic, positive attitudes and team camaraderie. The team put in a lot of hard work in the offseason and preseason to prepare for this 2022 lacrosse season. Ultimately these attributes led to the district championship we set as a goal in the beginning of the season.”

Emmaus earned a spot in states by beating Pleasant Valley in the District 11 Class 3A championship game back on May 25. It was a special win for the program and first district title in 11 years.

“It meant the world to the girls to win the district championship,” Betz said. “As a team our goal this year was to win the district championship and throughout the season, we continued to remind ourselves of that particular goal and the hard work that was needed to earn that championship win.

“That night we felt so many emotions ­– excitement, pride, grace and love for one another. We accomplished our goal. That is such an amazing life lesson for everyone involved. Work hard and strive to be the best version of ourselves and good things can happen.”

The victory over the Bears was a bit of revenge for the Green Hornets (19-4 overall) after they lost to Pleasant Valley in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference final two weeks before their meeting in districts.

“We played with confidence and determination from the first whistle,” said Betz. “We also focused on playing disciplined lacrosse. Our attack players did a good job mixing up their shots and had very good placement. Our defense remained disciplined and came up with some big turnovers. Our draw players fought hard to close the gap on draw controls.”

There are 11 seniors that will graduate from the program this year including Mikayla Viola, Sophia Candy, Alyssa Brader, Meredith Shields, Marybeth Smith, Kam Watkins, Madeline Conway, Julia Cote, Paige Peterson, Emily Steinert and Maya D’Alessandr.

“This senior class was the largest senior class I have coached during my career as an assistant and head coach,” Betz said. “They did such a phenomenal job with their leadership qualities. Each and every girl accepted their role on the team and showed up every day with one goal in mind-work hard to win a championship.”

Still, there will be plenty of underclassmen back next season with a winning mindset of winning a district title and playing in states.

“We are excited to see the program continue to develop and strive to be the best team we can be each year,” said Betz. “We lose a large group of seniors and there are a number of positions that need to be filled but we have a great group of young athletes that have the positive hardworking attitudes we need to fill those spots.”

PRESS PHOTO BY NANCY SCHOLZ The Hornet's Mikayla Viola is one of 11 seniors that helped this year's Emmaus girls lacrosse team win its first district title in 11 years.
PRESS PHOTO BY NANCY SCHOLZ Olivia Schmidt looks up field while being harrassed by a Pleasant Valley defender during the district title game.