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Falcons win three of first four

Each season, the Lady Falcons take a couple more steps forward in local field hockey.

After picking up four wins last season, the team is already off to a 3-1-0 overall start this season with their only loss coming against perennially tough Northwestern Lehigh.

In the Colonial League, Salisbury is off to a 2-1-0 start. While the Lady Tigers downed Salisbury 7-1, the Falcons quickly rebounded to pick up shutout wins over Northern Lehigh (0-2-0, 0-2-0) and Bethlehem Catholic (0-3-0, 0-2-0 EPC).

One of the highlights of the season has been that the scoring has been spread around.

Salisbury has scored 12 goals this season with seven different players contributing. There is also a good mix of scoring from different classes with freshman Kendra Morgan leading the way with four goals, while seniors Ella DeFazio (2) and Chandler Straub (2) have also picked up multiple goals in the early going. Goals have also come from senior Kendall Schaffer, junior Elise Palazzo, sophomore Maya Afif, and freshman Gwyn DeFazio.

The latest win was a 6-0 shutout of Bethlehem Catholic that saw the DeFazio sisters notch their first goals of the season. Ella DeFazio scored twice in the win, as did Morgan, while Gwyn DeFazio picked up her first varsity goal. Straub added her second goal of the season in the win.

“The fact that we are getting contributions from a number of different girls is important,” said Salisbury head coach Jane Brennan. “It’s tough to be really successful if you have just one big scorer and we stress getting other players involved so teams can’t just focus on one or two players.”

Even in their loss to the Lady Tigers, the Falcons had 12 shots on goal in the game but could sneak just one past goalie Gabrielle Gober. They were also competitive in getting corners with Northwestern being awarded 10 and Salisbury nine.

Now comes the fun of building on the early success as other teams start to take notice that Salisbury is ready to compete. Over the next week, the Falcons have games against Palmerton (2-0-0, 3-0-0) and Southern Lehigh (2-0-0, 2-0-0). They also have games against Palisades (2-2-1, 1-1-1) and Catasauqua (0-3-0, 0-3-0). Moravian Academy and Wilson are also undefeated in the Colonial League but are not on the Salisbury schedule until late in the season.

Salisbury is also playing well defensively. Despite giving up seven goals to Northwester, the Falcons have allowed just one goal in their three other games this year. Senior Olivia Ringholm has locked down the cage for Salisbury this season while the defenders in front of her have made access to goals difficult for opponents to come by.

“Our defense has played really well this season,” said Brennan. “As much as we are getting different players contributing offensively, we have several girls who are stepping up to play well defensively for us and that has made a significant difference in games this season. When you go into games knowing you are not likely to give up a lot of goals, it takes a lot of pressure off the offense, and they can just stay patient and focused.”

PRESS PHOTO BY NANCY SCHOLZ Salisbury senior Ella DeFazio is one of seven Falcons to score a goal during the first four games of the 2022 season.