Varsity field hockey team continues its late season playoff push
Local field hockey fans were treated to an outstanding display of skill and hustle Thursday at the Daniel J. O’Neill Sports Complex.
Honesdale put out the proverbial welcome mat for Wilkes Barre Coughlin in a Wyoming Valley Conference match with serious playoff implications.
It was also Senior Day and the Lady Hornets celebrated in the best possible way, battling their way to a thrilling 1-0 victory.
“Hey, we still have three more matches to go and I think we have a chance to make a run,” Coach Carly Propst. “These girls have come a long way from Day One until now. They’re working hard every day and getting better all the time.”
With this win, the Red & Black improved their league record to 5-7-0. They are now 6-8-0 overall and currently ranked third among Class AAA teams in the power ratings.
Weather permitting, the local lasses will be back in the field Saturday at home versus Pittston Area. Action gets underway at 9 a.m.
Players, coaches, family members and fans turned out in force to honor three hard-working young ladies at an emotional ceremony prior to Thursday’s match.
Nicole Longman, Brooke Gardas and Megan O’Neill have meant a great deal to this program over the course of the past few years.
“They’re a great group and we’re really going to miss them,” Coach Propst said. “All three of these girls been good leaders. They set a really good example for our younger kids on and off the field.”
Longman has been a four-year member of the varsity squad. She’s been a fixture at right forward throughout her career and is serving as a co-captain this fall.
“Nicole has been a spitfire right from the start,” Coach Propst said. “She’s very fast and athletic and always seems to be right in the middle of the action.”
Nicole is the daughter of Michael & Amy Longman. Her future plans include continuing her field hockey career at the collegiate level while pursuing studies in health sciences and psychology.
Gardas is another a four-year member of the varsity squad. Brooke plays center-mid and also serves as a team captain.
“I wish we could have Brooke for four more years,” Coach Propst said. “She’s one of the most improved players around. Brooke is strong and tough and she has a great mentality.”
Brooke is the daughter of John & Jeanne-Marie Gardas. Her future plans include attending college and studying to be a nurse.
O’Neill is playing her first year of organized field hockey. Megan is a multi-sport standout who also excels in track and gymnastics.
“Because it’s only her first year, Megan has predominantly played JV,” said Coach Propst. “I wish Megan had come to us earlier because she’s really shown a lot of promise.”
Megan is the daughter of Bill & Kelly O’Neill. Her future plans include attending college and pursuing a degree in physical therapy.
Honesdale turned in a stellar all-round effort Thursday afternoon against Coughlin.
The Lady Hornets stifled a high-octane Crusader offense all match long, holding them to just five shots on goal.
Meanwhile, the local lasses were busy peppering the visitors’ cage with 12.
Longman carded the lone goal of the match, hammering the ball home at the 24:48 mark. Fellow senior O’Neill was credited with the assist.
As it turned out, Longman’s tally was all the support Nicole Miszler would need. The talented freshman goalie turned away every attack she faced, notching five saves en route to the shutout.
The win is particularly significant in that Coughlin’s record stands at 12-6 and the Crusaders are ranked second among District Two AA schools.