Mont Alto matchup ends in 1-1 stalemate

Katie Oldziejewski traps a 50/50 ball in the midfield.
Katie Oldziejewski traps a 50/50 ball in the midfield.

Hazleton, Pa. - With playoff seeding at stake, the Lady Lions were forced to settle for a tie game when they hosted Mont Alto in the final game of the regular season on Saturday afternoon. Sophomore Emma Wyllie (Benton, Pa.) gave Hazleton a brief 1-0 cushion late in the first half until Mont Alto responded to swiftly erase the deficit. Two scoreless overtime periods ensued and in the end, both squads would depart with a 1-1 stalemate. 

Saturday's match proved to be a very even contest, resulting in Mont Alto with a slight edge in shots on goals (15-14) although Hazleton held a firm grip on total shot attempts (32-21). It took nearly the entire first half, but in 44th minute of play, Hazleton took the lead when senior Katie Oldziejewski (Wilkes-Barre, Pa.) snuck a through ball past several defenders to find Wyllie on a run up the middle of the field. Wyllie accelerated through the box, tucking the ball passed the diving keeper for her 19th goal of the season and a 1-0 advantage over Mont Alto. 

With just one minute and change remaining in the first half, it looked as though Hazleton would carry that lead into the halftime break, but Mont Alto had different plans in mind. As the clock wound down, Sarah Mackey broke down the Hazleton defense and with 13 seconds remaining, fired off a shot from the left side of the 18, besting the Hazleton netminder for a game-tying goal just before the break. 

Hazleton would earn several one on one opportunities in the second half and the first overtime period, coming up empty on all accounts with winding up wide of the net or in the arms of the keeper. Both goaltenders turned in solid performances over the course of the next 65 minutes with Mont Alto's Jesmine Freet and Hazleton freshman Roxxy Dacosta (Bronx, Ny.) making seven saves each in the final period and overtime, resulting in the game ending at one goal a piece. 

Next up: Hazleton needed a win in Saturday's game to earn a home game in the Penn State University Athletic Conference postseason and Hazleton's tie results in the Lions garnering the number three seed in the PSUAC playoffs. Hazleton will now travel to Penn State Mont Alto for a 3:00 p.m. semifinal match on Saturday, October 26 at 3:00 p.m.