BARRE — By Shawn Wood
For The Daily Item
WILKES-It felt like the early stages of a heavyweight fight for the first seven minutes of Wednesday's PIAA Class AA first-round playoff game.
Both goalies made big saves, the defenses' were in lock-down mode, and neither Lewisburg or Wyoming Seminary was getting the upper hand in the game.
Then Seminary's Amanda Schwartz took over.
The senior from Burlington, Vt., scored the first of her four goals — beating Lewisburg goalie Claire Paulsen just inside the far post on a left-handed shot — as Seminary scored eight first-half goals en route to a 13-3 win at Ralston Athletic Complex on the campus of Wilkes University.
Senior Emily Granger scored 14 seconds after Schwartz to give the Blue Knights (14-6) a 2-0 lead. It was the first of three goals on the day for Granger. Kristen Mericle also added three goals for the Blue Knights.
The loss ends the Green Dragons' season at 13-6.
"We played as a team and that showed in the fact the we never gave up," Lewisburg coach Janelle Groff said. "The defense did a good job. It was Seminary's ability to bottle up our clearing passes that caused us some trouble."
Paulsen made 15 saves in her final game between the pipes for Lewisburg, but as the Green Dragons goalie looked for clearing options, Seminary was closely guarding every player.
"It seemed liked wherever the ball was, Seminary had two or three girls there," Groff added.
The two teams have not played each other in the regular season over the past couple of years.
"Lewisburg is a much better team and their skill levels have really improved since we last played them," Seminary coach Catie Kersey said. "That's exciting to see for the game of lacrosse."
Hannah Gotoff broke the shutout four minutes into the second half as she rocketed a shot just under the cross and over the stick of Seminary goalie Kellyn Gavin.
Ashley Bilger scored the other two goals for the Green Dragons.
"Those goals in the second half showed that we played together as a team and that we never quit," Groff said.
If it wasn't Schwartz scoring goals, it was the overall speed and quick sticks of Seminary that had Lewisburg off its game.
"We kept a couple of players back on defense because of that," Groff added.
This was the first year that a District 4 team had made it to the main draw of the state playoffs, as Seminary beat Midd-West last year in a play-in game.
This year, both District 4 and District 2 (Seminary) had a bid into the main draw.
The Dragons also said goodbye to 14 seniors on Wednesday with the loss.
"This was a great experience for the few underclassmen we have," Groff noted. "And by getting this far and seeing what Lewisburg girls lacrosse can do, it will hopefully make those kids who are coming into the middle school and high school want to take up the game of lacrosse."