Delaware Valley girls add another line to an already dazzling resume
Once again, the Lady Warriors lacrosse team claimed the District Two Class AAA title.
With just Delaware Valley and Hazleton Area being the lone AAA teams in the disttict, the two squads squared off again on May 14 just as they did 363 days before.
Last year, the Warrior ladies put a 16-4 shellacking on the Lady Cougars, this go around, they widened the walloping to 15-1.
Although the road to the title was sweet and easy, the regular season was no cake walk for the DV gals.
They finished with a 10-1 Wyoming Valley Conference record, identical to both Wyoming Seminary and Lake-Lehman and ahead of nine other teams.
In spite of losing they to Sem twice this season, once was a pre-season match. Sem’s lone loss came to Lehman and Lehman’s only defeat was to DV.
Funny how that stuff works out, right? Sem ended up winning the conference crown by way of a playoff.
Oddly enough, not only did the post-season end with a win over Hazleton, the regular season began with a victory over the Lady Cougars as well.
Following pre-season hits from Seminary and Vernon, DV opened the schedule with a 17-1 win against the girls from the Mountain City.
Subsequent victories against Danville, Crestwood, and Wyoming Area followed before the Warriors were halted during a non-conference match against Minisink.
A win versus Dallas got them headed back in the right track but then they were derailed by two-in-a-row losses to Liberty and Sem.
The Warrior ladies then chalked up a victory against Scranton Prep but then fell to Pleasant Valley.
From there on out, DV would post six wins in a row, defeating Pittston Area, Abington Heights, Coughlin, Burke Catholic, Lake-Lehman, and finally Tunkhannock on May 10 to close out the regular season.
Who would play whom for the WVC title was decided by a coin toss and it ended up that it would be DV against Lehman with the winner taking on Sem.
The Lady Black Knights posted a 6-4 lead following the first half but in spite of their best efforts the Warrior ladies were only able to put five more into their opponent’s net while giving up five as well in the second half, suffering an 11-9 loss.
Sophomore Mia VanWie led the Warriors charge that day with two goals and two assists. Also shaking the net twice each were seniors Kirsten Dunn and Faith Fucetola.
Seniors Vanessa VanDuzer and Emily Covert along with junior Lauren Matarazzo each tallied one goal while senior Mandy Xu posted nine saves.
No longer in contention for the conference crown, the Warriors looked toward laurels at the district level.
They got out to a giant 11-0 lead by halftime against Hazleton and then took it easy on the Cougars scoring just four more while giving up one to take the AAA title 15-1.
Freshman Madison Fedun claimed a hat trick while Matarazzo netted one goal and had a trio of assists.
Chiming in with two goals each were Fucetola as well as freshman Julia Weinrub and sophomore Skyler Padgett. Dunn and VanWie both had one goal, as did freshman Miranda Murray, sophomore Emma Schlegel, and senior Julia Steele.
Adding assists were Fucetola and VanWie as well as junior Victoria Blaut. Xu shared the net with sophomore Emily Ocasio. Each faced four shots with Xu making four saves and Ocasio letting just one slip past.
If the Warriors wished to move into the state tournament though, they’d have to make their way through the District II/XI AAA subregional bracket.
Seeded third, they were pitted against the sixth seed, Emmaus (10-8), who pulled off a 19-5 upset on May 17.
Fucetola and Padgett each netted a pair of goals while Steele picked up one. Fedun and Matarazzo each had one assist. Xu made nine saves.
By the Numbers
Nine seniors graced the Warriors roll this year.
Julia Steele, Morgan Gifford, Eileen Nikles, Vanessa VanDuzer, Ariana Gordon, Faith Fucetola, keeper Mandy Xu and captains Kirsten Dunn and Emily Covert.
Among the seniors, Fucetola, with 23, and Dunn, with 21, were among DV’s top goal-getters.
However, sophomore Skylar Padgett sent the ball through the pipes the most, 40 times, with Matarazzo coming in second with 29.
Baily Fedun, a junior and the third captain, also ranked among the top shooters with 21, only seeing action in seven games due to an injury.
Lauren Matarazzo and Mia VanWie rolled in with 17 and 10 assists, respectively, while Mandy Xu, tending the net for 992 minutes had 186 saves while yielding 142 goals.
“This was the first group of seniors that came up through the program since junior high,” said Head Coach Bernadine Salak.
“They’ve been great to coach and it’s nice to see them succeed. I know they’ll go on to better things.”
Salak lauded the entire squad citing the team’s effort through the season, especially during some rough patches.
In particular she noted how well the freshmen meshed with the upperclassmen and was delighted with how the older players on the team fostered the rookies.
“The sophomores really stepped up this year on the field and the older kids did a lot to help build the kind of lacrosse culture we want to have by being big sisters to the freshmen,” Salak said.
“We’re going to lose a lot of experienced players next year but they did a lot to help the newer players along and prepare them to take over next season.”