WHITEHALL — The Wyoming Space gamers turned to the sideline and coach Bree Bednarski for affirmation of what they instinctively already knew.
The PIAA discipline hockey semifinal and a berth in Saturday’s state Class A championship recreation was about to relaxation on the succesful stick of senior captain and Michigan State recruit Bianca Pizano.
Pizano’s profitable penalty stroke with no time on the clock Wednesday lifted Wyoming Space over Oley Valley 3-2 and into the championship recreation Saturday at 11 am towards unbeaten District 3 champion Boiling Springs at Cumberland Valley Excessive Faculty in Mechanicsburg.
The penalty stroke was Pizano’s second of the sport and third within the final two rounds of the state event. The results of an infraction on the Oley Valley goalie on a penalty nook that was already being performed out after time expired, Pizano’s successful shot made her 4-for-5 on the season on penalty stroke makes an attempt.
“They nonetheless look over and I nonetheless yell out to them,” Bednarski mentioned. “However we’ve got loads of belief and perception in Bianca.”
That Pizano even had the prospect to win the sport that manner was the results of clutch performs by defender Alyvia Yatsko and season scoring chief Lyla Rehill starting with 14 seconds left in regulation.
The groups had been tied at 2-2 since 9:43 remained within the first half and Wyoming Space held a definite benefit in possession from 4 minutes left within the third quarter till the sport’s ultimate three minutes.
In these three minutes, nonetheless, Oley Valley, which by no means did handle a shot or penalty nook over the ultimate 19:16, utilized stress, preserving the ball contained in the 25-yard line more often than not.
When the Wyoming Space got here up with a cease for a 16-yard free hit out of its personal defensive finish with the clocking ticking at towards 15 seconds, a sigh of aid and a cautious method to attending to extra time may need been comprehensible.
Not one of the Warriors, nonetheless, have been pondering that manner.
“I wished simply to finish the sport proper right here,” mentioned Yatsko, a junior defender. “… I need to end this recreation in the course of the precise recreation; I did not need it to enter extra time.
“I noticed an ideal hole to Lyla so I simply shot it up as onerous as I might. She simply labored her magic, acquired a nook and we fortunately acquired a stroke, which was superb that Bianca completed it with an ideal shot.”
Yatsko ripped a tough drive from the center to Rehill on the left facet.
From there, the sophomore went to work.
“I hoped we might nonetheless get it down there once more, get a nook out of it and make one thing occur,” Bednarski mentioned. “I used to be simply so glad to see that occur.”
Rehill dribbled up the sideline almost 60 yards, angling into the circle the place she drew a foul with one second left. Defensive infractions within the circle lead to penalty corners, which, by rule, have to be performed to completion when time expires.
“I regarded up on the clock and noticed Lyla dribbling down,” Pizano mentioned. “There was about eight seconds left and I knew that gave her sufficient time to get that nook to get it in.”
Whereas six Oley Valley defenders retreated to the midfield, Wyoming Space lined up for the penalty nook content material that it might solely lead to a win or extra time. They might not lose as they aggressively attacked on the following play.
Pizano despatched one shot in the direction of the aim and when Wyoming Space’s Ella McKernan, Juliana Gonzales and Rehill all feverishly labored to free the rebound close to the appropriate submit, goalie Cenora Grim was known as for laying on prime of the ball, illegally masking it from opponents.
The umpire signaled the stroke. Pizano obtained affirmation from the bench and was standing close to the stroke line lengthy earlier than Oley Valley’s captains misplaced their plea with officers.
Once they stepped apart, Pizano waited for the whistle and fired a shot contained in the submit on the left facet, simply above shoulder top for the goalie, ending the sport.
The shot lifted Wyoming Space previous the crew that had ended its two earlier deepest journeys into the postseason with 2-0 shutouts within the 2019 and 2021 state semifinals.
Earlier than the successful sequence, Wyoming Space had twice led by a aim within the first half.
Pizano opened the scoring with a penalty stroke and Alexys Moore created a 2-1 lead with a shot from the appropriate wing on a penalty nook.
The second penalty stroke of the night time secured the primary championship recreation berth in program historical past.
“Lastly,” Pizano mentioned. “It is insane. We have by no means achieved it earlier than. This has been our aim because the starting.
“Lastly, we get to go to the tip. Now, we simply need to go and get the job achieved.”
PIAA CLASS A FIELD HOCKEY SEMI-FINAL
Wyoming Space 3, Oley Valley 2
Oley Valley`1`1`0`0 — 2
First — 1. WA, Bianca Pizano (penalty stroke) 11:47; 2.OV, Lauren Habakus 5:29; 3. WA, Alexys Moore (Nina Angeli), 3:04. second – 4. Taylor Vaccaro (Morgan Snyder) 9:43. Fourth – 5. Pizano (penalty stroke).
Photographs on aim — OV 6, WA 9. goalie saves — OV 5 (Cenora Grim), WA 2 (Rylee Muniz). Penalty corners — OV 2, WA 8.