2013 SEASON: NEWS: Hempfield Victory Ends Lady Comets' Stellar Season

Wednesday, June 2
Hempfield Victory Ends Lady Comets' Stellar Season

Abington Heights' outstanding spring season ended tonight when, in the first round of the PIAA state tournament, an excellent Hempfield team posted a 4-1 victory over a battling Lady Comets' side. Abington finished the season in elite company, as one of only 16 AAA teams involved in the quest for the state title. The team acquitted itself well in tonight's match against one of Pennsylvannia's powerhouse programs.

This Hempfield team, which houses an All-American player among its personnel, certainly has the components of a team that could challenge for the state championship. They moved the ball especially well, played with an out-of-this-world level of poise, and were never hesitant to fire a shot when they found an opportunity to do so. They were well conditioned, well coached, and individually talented. While Abington has shown itself to be a very good team this year, Hempfield is better. Indeed, it would surprise no one if Hempfield went all the way. 

Hempfield jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first half. They added a fourth goal in the early second half, before Alex Chapman would snake her way inside the six-yard box to finish a deflected ball, enabling the Lady Comets to avoid the shutout.

Mariah Deibert performed admirably in goal and picked up 6 quality saves.

Starters Sarah Holmes, Christine Colman, Meredith Salmon, Emma Black, Alex Chapman, Sarah Sopinski, Emily Sullivan, and Maggie Scanlon all played with tremendous heart and hustle. Beth Dine and Justine Leininger, the other two starters, combined to produce the most shots for Abington, although the Lady Comets had only 9 shots on the evening. Kat Fox, Katie Hock--and later, Katrina Helcoski--would provide the minutes off of the bench. 

Trying a little trickery, the Lady Comets opened the game in an unusual 4-2-2-2 formation that held the flank players back, waiting patiently for counterattack chances where serves could be played quickly ahead to its widely-spaced forwards. Later, in the second half, the team returned to one of its more normal systems of play and used a 5-3-2 formation which rotated the flank midfielders forward on designated overlapping runs; but whatever the Lady Comets tried was thwarted by a strong and well-organized Hempfield defense.

Looking back on the season, nothing but smiles should pervade the faces of the Abington faithful. A terrific 14-5-1 record, a district championship, and a competitive run at the WVC title all symbolize the excellence of the team. This year's team scored 18 more goals than last year's team, and it should be noted that last year's team played one game more than this year's squad.

Tonight's match marked the final high school game in the distinguished coaching careers of Chris Davis and John Diven. As they move on to coach the BBC women's team in the fall, the Lady Comets extend their thanks to these two gentleman for their extraordinary dedication as coaches and for taking time to provide an inspirational model of moral character.

The Lady Comets will now celebrate their landmark season at their annual team banquet which will be held Sunday night at Glen Oaks Country Club. This lively affair is always a highlight and is not an event to be missed!

Amid the joy and laughter of Sunday evening, a measure of sadness will also fill the room, as the team will say goodbye to its six remarkable seniors. In fact, the Lady Comets will also being saying goodbye to a couple of underclassmen who are either moving away or moving on to another sport in the fall. However, for much of the rest of the team, the "call to arms" can be heard in the distance--next season starts sooner than one might think!