Eagles blank Moravian

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WHITEHALL - It's been 12 years since Line Mountain was in the state playoffs in field hockey.

They're there again, but on a cold day in Whitehall a fire of sorts needed to be lit under the Eagles' players in order to get there.

A halftime speech by head coach Jill Martz-Yisrael urging the players to show more urgency sank in and the Eagles were headed to the first round to face Tri-Valley League archnemesis Greenwood in Hershey, on Tuesday, Nov. 6, after defeating District 11 runner-up Moravian Academy 1-0 on a goal by Sarah Lahr in a play-in game November 4. (Details of Tuesday's game were unavailable prior to print production.)

"To have an opportunity like this - to move on to states - the program hasn't been to states in 12 years," Martz-Yisrael said. "It was one of our goals and we talked about that today. It's so exciting to be here, but we need more urgency. We need to see the hunger out there to want to make it happen. I do think we picked up the intensity in the second half."

The Eagles had five shots in the first half, but allowed Moravian Academy to take three shots and two corners.

Moravian's offensive push was nearly nil in the second half.

Line Mountain's offensive output was a few seconds of ball and stick handling well worth the price of admission.

After Lahr was knocked to the ground near the Lions' goal in the beginning of the second half, the Eagles' resulting penalty corner play was so good it drew "Oohs" from the Emmaus High School players waiting to play the next game.

Olivia Kleman hit it in to Madison Lagerman, who passed it between her legs - as though she was playing croquet - to Ciera Lahr, who did the same thing to Annie Klinger, who then sent the ball forward for a shot by Chloe Poltonavage.

That shot was saved by Moravian's goalkeeper, but Sarah Lahr then scored on the rebound.

It was finesse and misdirection and new.

"That was a new corner we just practiced yesterday. It's similar to corners we've done before," Martz-Yisrael said, but gave all the credit to her players.

"They executed it. You can have great plans, but the players have to execute it."

The Eagles may need to pull one or two similar tricks out their bags against a very familiar foe.

Line Mountain has lost twice this season to Greenwood, 3-0 the first time, but by a score of just 2-1 the last time they met.

"Greenwood is a very good team but it's tough to beat a team three times in a row. From here on out every team is going to be tough competition," Martz-Yisrael said.

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