On Monday, at the neutral turf field at Emmaus High School, the #1 seeded Lady Panthers battled #4 Moravian Academy in a 2019 District XI championship semifinal. The winner would advance to take on the Southern Lehigh Spartans who defeated Allentown Central Catholic 15-10 in the first semifinal. With a loss, the season comes to a close. In their regular season matchup about three weeks ago, Saucon Valley defeated the Lions 16-6. Any thoughts of a post-season surprise were quickly put to rest.
Saucon Valley wasted little time to get on the scoreboard first. A little over a minute into the game Panther senior Siobhan Coakley fed classmate Kiele Riefenstahl who fired a quick bouncer through the “5-hole” of the Moravian Academy goalie. The Panthers went on to win the next possession and about twenty seconds later Coakley assisted Katherine Naiburg who went high on the Lion keeper with fastball to the back of the net.
Saucon Valley’s Camryn Zavacky continued to win the draw and her Panther-Pals continued to score. At 21:08 Maria Donahue accepted a pass from Kiele Riefenstahl and went top-shelf for another Panther score. Twenty-five seconds later Brooke Riefenstahl, from behind the goal, found Katie Marker cutting through the middle of the crease. It was a “bang-bang” play that finished with Marker quickly depositing the ball into the back of the net. A few minutes later Marker dialed in on a cutting Camryn Zavacky who scored another Panther goal. Only nine minutes into the game, Saucon Valley led 5-0.
Moravian Academy called time out to try and stop the bleeding, but the Panthers were quick to get back to their scoring ways. With a crisp pass, Maria Donahue found Megan Kane camped out in front of the Lion goal. Kane gathered Donahue’s offering and swept a low roller past the Moravian Academy keeper. With 14:59 remaining in the 1st half Saucon Valley shared the wealth and used six different scorers to build a 6-0 lead.
Riding the momentum, the Panthers earned six more 1st half scores from Kiele Riefenstahl, Megan Kane (2), Maria Donahue, Camryn Zavacky and Emerson Shauger. At the break, Saucon Valley was firmly in control 12-0. Zavacky’s score at 7:38 made the score 10-0 and activated the mercy-rule.
To start the 2nd half, the Panthers picked up where they left off by rattling off four straight goals. Maria Donahue (2), Brooke Riefenstahl and Katherine Naiburg all converted scores to extend Saucon Valley’s lead to 16-0 with about fifteen minutes left to play.
With nine minutes remaining, the Lions finally got on the scoreboard with back to back goals off free starts. But, the Panthers Emerson Shauger, Siobhan Coakley and Megan Kane closed out all scoring to give Saucon Valley a lopsided 19-2 District XI semifinal victory. Saucon Valley advanced to the 2019 District XI championship game where they will try to defeat a tough Southern Lehigh Spartan program for the third time this season.
Panther Net-Flicks: Maria Donahue and Megan Kane led all scorers with four goals each. Katherine Naiburg, Kiele Riefenstahl, Emerson Shauger and Camryn Zavacky each had two scores. Siobhan Coakley, Katie Marker and Brooke Riefenstahl all added a point for the Panthers. The “Great Wall of Aud” ( goalkeeper, Audrey Holland) was credited with eight saves in net for Saucon Valley.
UP NEXT: #1 Saucon Valley (16-1) will play #2 Southern Lehigh (12-4) in the 2019 District XI championship game at DeSales University on Wednesday, May 22. The Saucon Valley Panthers look to win their third consecutive District XI title.
Good luck Panthers, the Source is with you!
(Photos by Chris Christian)
About This Series: Andrew & Sonya Hughes of Hellertown are sponsoring girls sports coverage on Saucon Source to help recognize the achievements of female high school athletes in Saucon Valley, and in tribute to their own daughters, who were both stand-out student-athletes at their high school, where they played softball, soccer, basketball and field hockey. Between the two of them they earned 14 high school varsity letters. “Female athletics was a big part of our family life for many years, but that journey ended at the high school level six years ago,” Andrew Hughes says. “Through those amazing experiences we also noticed that females don’t seem to have the same level of exposure and support as their male counterparts. So we are very sensitive to situations where we perceive an imbalance of exposure of female student athlete participation in competitive high school sports. We also like to encourage greater involvement of young people in athletics. We would like to help the girls gain more exposure at your news source by adopting some girls high school teams.” Saucon Source thanks Andrew & Sonya Hughes for their generous support of local girls high school athletics.