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Three in quarters

Posted Saturday, November 11, 2006 by Rippey

Three in quarters
Conrad Weiser and Brandywine Heights will take on unbeatens in today's AA state field hockey tournament. Hamburg faces western foe Indian Valley.

By Brian Rippey
Reading Eagle

There are few guarantees in life. Death and taxes are two that come to mind.
Add to the list a win by the opponent fortunate enough to play the western field hockey team in the PIAA Tournament Class AA quarterfinals. Western teams are winless in nine state quarterfinal games and have been shut out in the last six.

Don't tell that to Hamburg coach Becky Seidel. She isn't about to take anything for granted when the District 3 runners-up Hawks (19-6) face District 6 champion Indian Valley (14-6-2) tonight at 8 p.m. at Central Dauphin's Landis Field.

"You can't take anybody lightly," Seidel said. "It's the state playoffs, and they're there for a reason. We'll prepare for Saturday the way we've prepared for every other game this season."

Overconfidence won't be a problem for District 3 champion Conrad Weiser or District 3 No. 3 seed Brandywine Heights. Both take on undefeated teams in their quests to advance to Tuesday's semifinals.

Conrad Weiser (20-5-1) will play District 4 champ Selinsgrove (24-0) at 6 p.m. in the first game of the doubleheader at Central Dauphin.

Brandywine Heights (23-2-1) will face District 2 champion Wyoming Seminary (21-0) at noon at Emmaus.

The survivors of the District 6-7 first-round games have struggled mightily. Last year, Oley Valley defeated Shady Side Academy 5-0 after downing Belleville Mennonite by the same score in 2004.

Ironically, the last time a western team scored in a state quarterfinal game was when Hamburg defeated Shady Side Academy 2-1 in 1999.

That was the last state playoff game the Hawks won until Tuesday's 1-0 victory over Midd-West. Rayell Heistand, who was in fourth grade when Hamburg last won a state playoff game, scored the game's only goal with just under four minutes left.

"None of these girls have ever been in a state playoff game," Seidel said. "It's been exciting."

Selinsgrove has been to the state playoffs nearly every year. But the Seals also have struggled in the state quarterfinals, going winless in nine trips since 1986.

Conrad Weiser hopes to extend that streak and continue its longest season since reaching the 1982 Class AA state title game. The Scouts got two goals from Darrah Rachman Tuesday in a 3-2 win over Moravian Academy.

Corinne Koiro and Amy Hordendorf each scored two goals to help Brandywine overcome a three-goal deficit in a 4-3 win over Villa Maria to reach the quarterfinals for the second time in three years.

The Bullets will face a Wyoming Seminary team that eliminated Oley Valley for the third time in six years with a 2-1 victory Tuesday.

Brandywine was 2-0-1 against the Lynx this season, including a 1-0 win in the 3-AA quarterfinals. The Bullets have suffered both their losses this season in tournament semifinals.

"We were not able to win counties and we were not able to win districts so we're going to do the best we can in states," Brandywine coach Donna Hordendorf said.

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