Friday, October 3, 2014

Field hockey: Red Devils, Cougars advance in HWS

The sixth annual Hunterdon-Warren-Sussex Tournament is in full swing and we're down to the Elite 8 following Friday's first-round matchups.

There were two "upsets" according to the seeds, as No. 5 Hackettstown scored a 4-2 win over No. 4 Sparta, while No. 6 High Point scored a 1-0 win in overtime against No. 3 South Hunterdon.

The tournament continues next Saturday with the quarterfinal round. Semifinals are scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 18 and the championship game is set for Saturday. Oct. 25.

Here is a recap of all first-round games:

Lenape Valley 3, North Warren 1 -- Senior forward Kassidy Forik scored a pair of goals, while senior Alyssa Falleni also scored to lead No. 1 seed Lenape Valley (8-2). Elena Benson scored off a feed from Megan Stevens, while goalie Jenna Sagan made 20 saves for No. 8 seed North Warren (4-6-1).

Hunterdon Central 5, Pope John 1 -- Senior forward Kendall Nickel scored a pair of goals, while junior forward Maddie Freeman added four assists to lead the No. 4 seed Red Devils (8-2), now 5-2 over the last three tri-county tournaments. Senior midfielder Carleen O'Connell scored her Sussex County-leading 14th goal for the No. 5 Lions (5-4), who have won just one HWS game over the last five years since reaching the semifinals in '09.

Newton 2, Delaware Valley 1 -- Junior forward Emily Weiss and sophomore midfielder Natalie Rivas both scored goals to lead the No. 3 seed Braves (5-3-3) to the quarterfinals for the first time since 2011. Goalie Jenna Zawislak made two saves in the win. Sophomore forward Ann Bill scored -- her team-leading fifth -- off a feed from senior back Brianna Skripko for the No. 6 Terriers (5-5-1), who lost a first-round game for the fourth straight year.

Voorhees 5, North Hunterdon 0 -- Junior forward Kathryn Roncoroni scored a pair of goals and added two assists to lead the No. 2 seed Vikings (10-0-2), now 14-3 all-time in HWS games. Roncoroni, with a tri-county best 26 goals on the season, is eight shy of setting the school's single-season mark. Isabelle Houser had a goal and an assist. Goalie Liz Rotolo made 10 saves for the No. 10 seed Lions (2-9), who dropped a 4-0 decision to Voorhees on Sept. 13 in a Skyland Conference clash.

Warren Hills 6, Wallkill Valley 0 -- Senior midfielder Nikki Profita scored a goal and added two assists, while junior forward Megan Thompson connected for a pair of goals to lead the No. 1 seed Blue Streaks (9-2). Senior forward Sydney Muntone's team-leading 16th goal moved her within eight of tying the school's career mark of 72, while her ninth assist moved her into a tie for second place on the all-time list with 46. Senior back Amanda Crampton chipped in with two assists for the defending champs. Goalie Merinda Gruszecki made 14 saves for the No. 8 Rangers (4-5-1).

Hackettstown 4, Sparta 2 -- Senior forward Kelly Healy scored a pair of goals to lead the No. 4 seed Tigers (7-2), who have won five in a row, into the quarterfinal round and a rematch with No. 1 Warren Hills, which beat Hackettstown, 3-0, on Sept. 9, and 1-0 in last year's final. Sophomore forward Molly Gorczyca also had a goal and an assist in the win. Junior forward Rhett Curran notched her team-leading 11th goal for the No. 5 seed Spartans (5-5-1), who have reached the quarters just once with last year's appearance.

High Point 1, South Hunterdon 0 -- Sophomore Missy Way connected off a feed from Kayla Halloran with 7:04 left in sudden-victory overtime to help the No. 6 seed Wildcats (2-4-4) upset the No. 3 Eagles (6-5). Becca Morrison had 10 saves for the shutout as High Point reached the quarters for the sixth straight year. South goalie Giovanna Rubino made 11 saves.

Kittatinny 4, Phillipsburg 0 -- Senior forward Alexis Ambrosino reached the 100 points mark for her career with a goal, while junior forward Christina Chernati scored a pair of goals to lead the No. 2 seed Cougars (6-3-1) to their first quarterfinal appearance and first HWS victory since 2009, while also avenging a 5-0 loss to P'burg in the 2010 tournament. Ambrosino, a transfer from High Point, now has 41 career goals. The No. 7 Stateliners dropped to 3-7-1 with a second straight first-round exit.

Quarterfinal matchups

4B-Hunterdon Central at 1A-Lenape Valley

3A-Newton at 2B-Voorhees

5B-Hackettstown at 1B-Warren Hills

6A-High Point at 2A-Kittatinny

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