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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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!