Pocono-1 field hockey team suffers first Keystone Games loss



KINGSTON — Essentially, Hannah Maxwell is treating the shot she took to the face Saturday like the first loss her Pocono-1 field hockey team absorbed in the Keystone State Games.

“It’s just a little bump,” Maxwell said,

Lehigh Valley 1 goalie Emma Valinote shut down Maxwell and Pocono-1’s high-powered offense in a 2-0 victory at Klassner Field that all-but assured unbeaten Lehigh Valley a spot in Sunday’s 4:15 p.m. gold medal game and left Pocono-1 scrambling to get there for a rematch.

At 4-0, Lehigh Valley-1 would have to lose its final game of round-robin play by nine points against Nittany to surrender its top seeding. That’s not likely, since Valinote, of Stroudsburg, and Lehigh Valley haven’t surrendered a single goal while outscoring four opponents 26-0.

Lehigh Valley-1 could fall into a three-way tie with current 3-1 teams Nittany and Pocono-1 by losing Sunday morning and with a Pocono 1 win over Blue Mountain. But in that case, since all three teams would be tied with 12 points (three per win) and the second tiebreaker, head-to-head results, would be a wash, it would come down to point differential — the third tiebreaker in the Keystone Games handbook.In that case, Lehigh Valley-1 would have to lose to Nittany by 16 points to be bypassed for the gold medal game.

“Honestly, I’m happy it happened now,” Maxwell said of the loss to Lehigh Valley-1. “Hopefully, we’ll take the first game (Sunday), come out strong and hopefully we’ll see them again in the championship.”

Maxwell was stung when a rebound of a Pocono 1 shot kicked high off the leg of Valinote, the goalie on Maxwell’s club team, before hitting a Lehigh Valley-1 stick, then smacking off Maxwell’s chin and eye area.

She pleaded to stay in the game, but had to briefly come out to be checked by trainers, as Keystone Games rules err on the side of caution.

“Nothing ice won’t fix,” Maxwell shrugged.

Pocono-1 began the day by fending off Pocono-2, 3-0, as Maxwell scored two goals.

“Even though they’re technically our second team, they can put up a fight,” said Maxwell, entering her junior season for state runner-up Wyoming Seminary.

Maxwell also scored twice in a later 5-0 victory over Nittany, and the loss to Lehigh Valley-1 marked the first time she didn’t score at least twice in this year’s Keystone Games.

“Tough game today,” Maxwell said.

TRACK AND FIELD

Looks like the Dallas High School track team will stay strong for years to come.

Kaitlyn Conrad, who will enter her freshman year at the school next month, took a bronze medal in the girls 15-16 long jump at Hazleton Area High School.

“It was very competitive,” said Conrad,who also competed in the triple jump. “I was kind of nervous. It kind of gets me ready for soccer season and just keeps me concentrated.”

And Kira Pomrinke, an eighth-grader in the Dallas system, earned silver in the girls 13-14 3,000 meter run.

“It’s a good experience,” Pomrinke said. “It’s great to have a big event here.”

SWIMMING

For the second straight day, Lydia Gonzales picked up a gold medal.

Make that two of them.

Gonzales won the girls 11-12 200 freestyle and the 50 breaststroke Saturday, to go with her triple gold day on Friday, when she captured the 50 sprint, 100 IM and 100 backstroke at the Wyoming Valley CYC.

Her haul of five gold medals in the competition matched Skylar Roerig, who paired her gold medal in the girls 15-16 100 backstroke with the four she won Friday, for the most among swimmers from the Kingston River Otters, and came as a big surprise to Gonzales.

“Very much,” said the 11-year-old Gonzales, who is in the Dallas school system. “I go to big events, I don’t come in first a lot. So I’m really happy placing first. I have a medal rack I’m going to put them on.”

Fellow Otters swimmer Jake Baur also won two golds Saturday, in the boys 13-14 100 backstroke and 200 freestyle.

Meanwhile, Madi Federici captured the girls 17-18 100 breaststroke and took bronze in the 100 backstroke; Sami Roerig earned a silver in the girls 11-12 50 backstroke and bronze in the girls 11-12 50 breaststroke; Nathan Tindell placed second in the boys 17-18 200 free and third in the 100 backstroke; Kylee Kolbicka took bronze in the girls 15-16 200 freestyle; and Jackson Kuhar finished third in the boys 11-12 200 freestyle.

TENNIS

Phil Stevens of Dalton and Darlis Simonton of Carlisle captured the 80-and-over division of mixed doubles, extending a long-standing friendship between the pair at Newberry Estates Country Club.

Or maybe not.

“We met in grade school,” Stevens cracked, before admitting that before Saturday, the two had “never met.”

Simonton also won the 80-and-over women’s singles gold medal, while Simonton finished second but picked up the Pennsylvania gold medal Friday in pickleball.

“Because the guy who beat me was from Maryland,” Stevens said. “Oh, we had a lot of fun.”

BOCCE

It may have been a twist of fate, but certainly not luck, that took Charlie DiMarco to the gold medal for the 74-79 age group.

With an unconventional backhand release, the 77-year-old DiMarco spun his way to the title at Newberry Estates to add to his collection of Keystone State gold medals that are getting too numerous for him to carry.

“Most people shoot with the front hand. I’ve always shot with the backhand,” DiMarco said, after tossing his bocce ball tantalizingly close to the centered golf ball with amazing consistency. “I don’t know why, but I’ve always done it that way.”

DiMarco, from West Chester, said he plays regularly in a league in southern Pennsylvania and marked his 22nd year competing in the Keystone Games — boasting he wins at bocce about every other year.

He said he picked up the sport at an early age, and it’s brought him a lifetime of good times.

“I’m Italian,” DiMarco said. “My father who was from the old country. When I was a kid, we had to play bocce in the backyard.

“So I got interested.”

Reach Paul Sokoloski at 570-991-6392 or on Twitter @TLPaulSokoloski


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