Yesterday, for the first time since….FOREVER, Saucon Valley defeated rival Southern Lehigh in girls lacrosse. The Panthers fell behind early but battled for the entire fifty minutes of regulation play. Saucon Valley, demonstrating gritty resolve, fought to the very end and were rewarded with a 7-6 victory for their sustained efforts.
The Spartan hosts weren’t very hospitable as they spent little time jumping out to a 2-0 lead. At the 12:59 mark of the first half however, Saucon sophomore Brooke Riefenstahl broke the rare Panther scoring drought with a goal scored off a crafty Katherine Naiburg feed.
The Panthers hung tough for the next seven minutes, but the momentum shifted back when Southern Lehigh found net with 6:10 remaining in the first half. The Spartans doubled down and followed their score with another goal a little over a minute later. With 4:38 to play before the break, the Panthers found themselves in a 4-1 hole.
Sometimes, against great competition, a young team is quick to read between the lines and submit to what is evident and seemingly inevitable. Instead of giving in to the Spartan attempt to control the game, however, the Panthers struck right back with a goal by junior Helen Kreschollek at 3:54. Kreschollek accepted a nifty pass from senior Maddie Stump and willed the ball into the net. Then, with under a minute remaining in the first half, “Mad-Dog” Stump somehow surfaced from a desperate scramble in front of the Spartan net with possession and scored an unassisted goal with :26 seconds left on the clock. At halftime, the Panthers were still hanging around with a 4-3 deficit.
The Panthers pounced to start the second half knotting the game at 4-4. With precision passing, Saucon skillfully navigated the length of the field and emphatically finished with a Siobhan Coakley strike.
Southern Lehigh, however, countered with a little slick stick-work of their own. In fact, the Spartans would tally consecutive goals in a three minute span to seemingly take control of the game. With 13:54 left to play the Panthers were down by a score of 6-4.
When your down by two, you need to score three. And, that is exactly what the Saucon Valley Panthers did to finish the game. Junior Maddie Zyck struck first with her goal at 12:18 off a sharp pass by freshman Camryn Zavacky. Kreschollek tallied her second goal of the game at 9:23 to tie the game 6-6.
Both teams punched, defended and punched back. Finally, with :17 seconds remaining in regulation time, “Battle-Kat” Naiburg fed Cam Zavacky the ball who buried it in the back of the Spartan net. It was a thrilling 7-6 victory for the Panthers. It was a gutsy victory over another quality team. A team they have never beaten before.
Lady Panther Goal Scorers v. Southern Lehigh Spartans
- Jr. Helen Kreschollek (2)
- So. Siobhan Coakley (1)
- So. Brooke Riefenstahl (1)
- Sr. Maddie Stump (1)
- Fr. Camryn Zavacky (1)
- Jr. Maddie Zyck (1)
UP NEXT: Saucon Valley is back in action today with a home contest against Suburban One League powerhouse Pennridge at 4:30 p.m. Pennridge beat Southern Lehigh 12-2 on March 30. If you have ever watched these girls play, you will likely agree that it is obvious that these Panthers will welcome the challenge.
Good Luck Panthers, the Source is with you!
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