HAZLETON It was a great night for hockey at a high school in the Wyoming Valley Conference on Wednesday at the cold Harman-Geist Stadium.
Unfortunately for Hazleton Area, it turned out better to visit Wyoming Area than it was for the Lady Cougars in their home opener.
Hazleton Area had woken up earlier in the morning with a 1-2 record, with ambitions to get to .500 with a potential win against a fast and agile Wyoming Area team, beating the Lady Cougars in a non-league match just four days earlier.
As playtime approached, Hazleton Area senior Haylee Petroski beautifully sang the national anthem, then grabbed her cane and got to work. However, she and the rest of the Lady Cougars got off to a slow start as they struggled to keep possession of the ball as they attempted to drive off the field.
Wyoming defenders Megan Beppler, Morgan Janeski and Alyvia Yatsko acted like a wall and did not allow members of Lady Cougar’s attack to enter their formation.
Offensively, the Wyoming Area team’s Kayla Kiwak, Nina Angeli and Antonia Minichello combined four goals in the first half, giving the Warriors a 4-0 lead over the Cougars after the first 30 minutes of action.
Mary Kelly, the Hazleton Area head coach, discovered flaws in her team’s game plan and made appropriate adjustments during half-time as the Lady Cougars were more successful in retaining possession and pooling shots.
This second wind gave the Cougars opportunities to push the ball deep into Warrior territory, but Kelly Casterline, the Warrior goalkeeper, showed off her abilities while blocking every shot that came her way.
The last 30 minutes were great, but as time went on the Warriors had increased their lead to 7-0.
State restrictions due to COVID-19 denied parents and fans access to the stadium, leaving them with no choice but to watch the action from behind the tall black fence along the turf. This was a strange sight, as Harman-Geist may have, and often does, fans scattered around the old stadium.
Despite the drop to 1-3, Kelly and the Lady Cougars remained optimistic.
They travel to Wilkes Barre Area on Monday, with the intention of taking their second win of the season.
Wyoming Seminary 3 Crestwood 0
Ella Barbacci scored two goals and Anna Mozeleski added a goal for the Blue Knights.
Mia Magnotta threw in a shutout. Crestwood’s Isabella Caporuscio made 17 saves.
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