Saturday, October 13, 2012

HWS: Miller nears assists mark as Streaks, Vikes roll

As expected, top-seeded Warren Hills and No. 2 seed Hunterdon Central posted victories in Saturday's quarterfinal round of the fourth annual Hunterdon-Warren-Sussex tournament.

Warren Hills, the 2011 champion, rolled to an 8-0 win over No. 4 seed Pope John in Washington.

Senior forward Niki Miller paced the offense with two goals and two assists, and is two assists shy of becoming the Blue Streaks' career assists leader. Lindsey Schott holds the record of 46 from 2008. The UMass recruit leads the team in scoring with 17 goals and 17 assists for a total of 51 points and is one shy of Lauren Cuff's single-season assists record (18 in 2002). Miller, now with 53 goals, ranks third on the school's all-time list, passing Lori Toole (48 from 1977-79) this week. She needs one to match Megan Springmeyer (54 from 2004-07) for second place. Schott holds the single-season and career goals records, (27 in 2011) and (72 from 2008-11).

Miller also is within striking distance of Schott's single-season points total of 70 in 2011.

Sophomore forward Nikki Profita continued her offensive surge with one goal and one assist -- raising her season totals to 12 and 9. She's had at least one goal and one assist in six straight games. Defensively, goalie Katie Wintersteen stopped three shots for her third straight shutout and eighth of the season.

Goalie Sam Scalabrini made 15 saves for the Lions (7-5-2).

Warren Hills (14-1) will host No. 3 Voorhees in one semifinal next Saturday, while Hunterdon Central travels to High Point, the top seed in the Sussex bracket. The winners will meet on Saturday, Oct. 27 for the championship.

Warren Hills, which has defeated Voorhees twice this season, has never beaten the Hunterdon County school three times in one year since the series began in 1975.

Here's a capsule look at the other quarterfinal games:

High Point 2, South Hunterdon 1 -- The Wildcats (12-1-1), last year's runners-up, overcame a 1-0 halftime deficit to beat the Eagles (9-4-1). Senior Darby Smith scored both goals, her team-leading 20th and 21st of the season. The go-ahead goal came with 11:43 left to play. Junior forward Carly Satter and sophomore Rachel Orr had the assists, while goalie Erin Williams made 11 saves. Kaycee Zelkovsky scored her team-leading 17th goal for South.

Hunterdon Central 2, Phillipsburg 1 -- Sophomore forward Kendall Nickel and junior Sarah Pulkowski knocked in goals while goalie Fran Orella stopped three shots as Central (9-6) advanced with its second win over P'burg (8-8) this season. Junior midfielder Ally Baligian, who scored in Central's 2-0 win over the 'Liners on Sept. 24, assisted on one goal. Freshman Kylie Marhold scored for P'burg.

Voorhees 3, Wallkill Valley 0 -- Freshman Kathryn Roncoroni scored a pair of goals and senior Sara Diacik recorded two assists as the Vikings (9-3-1), the only road winners in the quarters, set up a third meeting this season with Warren Hills in next weekend's semifinals. Goalie Lauren Pianucci made three saves to help the defense post its eighth shutout. The win also avenged a 1-0 loss at Wallkill Valley in last year's quarters. Goalie Emily Stukenborg made 10 saves for the Rangers (7-5-2).

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