Lady Panthers Battle Red Rovers In Lax Classic

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Saucon Valley's Kat Naiburg looking for the back of the net against the Easton Red Rovers

Saucon Valley’s Kat Naiburg (12) looking for the back of the net against the Easton Red Rovers

Friday evening the Lady Panther Laxers had a much anticipated showdown against the battle-tested Easton Red Rovers.  Easton entered Hellertown with a 9-2 record.  The Rovers only losses were to Boyertown (District I) and by the slimmest of margins to the powerful Parkland Trojans.  Easton is the 2017 District XI “AAA” runner-up.  The surging Saucon Valley program, with a current 9-1 record, are the reigning District XI “AA” champions.  With rosters spilling over with talent on both sides, local sports fans were in for a treat.  A savory treat that went the distance into a sudden-victory, overtime period.

The Panthers celebrate Megan Kane’s goal that put the Panthers up 4-2.

Both teams traded scores early but the Panthers were the first to extend a lead in the first half of play.  Saucon Valley received three consecutive goals from Katherine Naiburg, Helen Kreschollek and Megan Kane to turn a 2-1 deficit into a 4-2 lead.  Easton returned the favor by rattling off three straight goals with 13:39 remaining and took back the lead 5-4.

Panther junior Siobhan Coakley will win this one on one battle with the Easton goalie.

The teams alternated back-to-back goals which created a 7-6 advantage for Easton with 10:18 left to play in the half.   Just as it seemed that both the Panther and Rover defenses were settling in, Saucon’s “Battle-Kat” Naiburg was assisted by classmate Sioban Coakley on a shot that struck the back of the net for the final tally of the first half.  Naiburg’s goal at the 3:24 mark knotted the score at 7-7 and held until the halftime break.

Saucon sophomore Camryn Zavacky on her way to a three-goal night.

Saucon sophomore Camryn Zavacky lit the lamp to get the scoring started in the second half with a goal at 21:21.  Both teams see-sawed the scoreboard until 11:58 when freshman Maria Donahue stepped-up to start a Panther four-goal barrage.  Donahue was joined by Megan Kane, Helen Kreschollek and Camryn Zavacky in building the four goal cushion for the Panthers and forced Easton to call a timeout.  With a little over six minutes remaining, Saucon Valley led Easton 14-10.

Audrey Great Wall of Holland looked great between the pipes for the Panthers.

Following the Easton timeout, Saucon Valley goalie, Audrey Holland, stood tall between the pipes and masterfully turned away a couple of quality Red Rover chances.  However, at 2:39 Easton was finally able to break through the Panther defense to make the score 14-11.  The Rovers sustained their pressure and were able to register two more goals that closed the gap to a single score.  At 1:29, the Panther lead evaporated when Easton clawed their way back to tie the score 14-14.

The Panthers played with great effort, but could not hold onto their four goal advantage.

It was a wild three minute sudden-victory overtime period.  Easton gained possession and quickly pushed the ball up field only to be stone-walled by Holland.  Saucon countered but the Easton goalie turned the Panthers away.  With warrior-like determination and an intense sense of desperation, both teams challenged one another for the victory.  However, with 1:59 left to play in overtime it was Easton who came out on top 15-14 with the “golden-goal”.

It was a hard-fought performance that should not disappoint.

Lady Panther Goal Scorers v. Easton 

  • Sr. Helen Kreschollek (3)
  • Jr. Katherine Naiburg (3)
  • So. Camryn Zavacky (3)
  • Jr. Siobhan Coakley (2)
  • Fr. Megan Kane (2)
  • Fr. Maria Donahue (1)

UP NEXT:  The Saucon Valley girls’ lacrosse team will travel to Bethlehem for a faceoff with the Freedom Patriots on Monday (4 p.m.).  Then, the Southern Lehigh Spartans come to Hellertown on Thursday (4:30 p.m.) for another crosstown rivalry.

Good Luck Panthers, the Source is with you!

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