Cocalico uses big run to top Dragons

Lewisburg’s Ella Reish carries the ball up field while trying to get by Cocalico’s Adeline Landis during a game in 2019.

There are some lofty expectations for Valley teams in the 2021 girls lacrosse season.

Lewisburg has a new coach in Jennifer Reish, but returns three starters from the 2019 district title team.

Reish said the Green Dragons were excited to get back on the field after the coronavirus pandemic forced the cancellation of the 2020 season. Lewisburg's main goal is simple.

"Our goal this year is to defend our district title," Reish said.

The goals are always high for Danville under longtime coach Carlene Klena, and Klena said the Ironmen are aiming for success not just in the Valley, but at the state level.

"We have played in every PIAA District 4 championship we have competed for," Klena said. "We have won five championships over the last seven years. I would like to see the team stay on top, of course, but we need to be competitive at the next level. That is what we are working toward."

Selinsgrove and Midd-West both have new coaches, and rosters peppered with athletic players, but many who are new to lacrosse.

The Green Dragons will be led by seniors Ella Reish, Tonya Omlor and Roz Noone, who all helped Lewisburg to the 2019 district title.

"(They) are some of the best players in the league," coach Reish said. "Tonya leads our defense with fellow senior Lauren Gross. Roz will be on attack with seniors Theresa Zeh and Talulah Rice. Ella leads our midfield with incredible speed, and is equally valuable on defense and attack."

Ella Reish scored 40 goals and had 14 assists as a sophomore in 2019. Noone scored 31 goals that season.

Coach Reish said she was also excited about sophomore goalie Keeley Baker, who made five saves in a season-opening win Thursday.

There are some concerns with Lewisburg, as with other teams, about younger players who have not competed at the high school level before this season.

"We have a great group of underclassmen athletes who didn’t get to play games last year," coach Reish said.

Danville had a large group of seniors, led by three-time Daily Item Player of the Year Hannah Kipple, who did not get to compete in their final lacrosse season last spring.

Along with Kipple, Erin Donahoe, Kylee Cush and Joanna Hilkert graduated last spring, and all are playing college lacrosse currently.

That doesn't mean the cupboard is bare for Klena and the Ironmen.

"We are very young, but this is the most experienced freshman class we have ever had," Klena said. "Most of them have played competitively for years, and sophomore goalie Kaitlyn Gabel will be exciting to watch."

With a young, talented team, Klena said the leadership of her senior captains — Riley Outt, Olivia Outt and Laura Hilkert — would be important for Danville to continue its dominance in the district.

Danville's youth hasn't slowed it down so far, as the Ironmen won their first two games by a combined score of 42-1.

Selinsgrove coach Erin Newcomer said her team has a lot of athletes who are new to the sport this season.

The coach said that "has caused us to spend more time on the basics and to have the players adjust to the game."

The players have been learning quickly, according to the coach.

"The team has five seniors — some of whom are playing for the first team — but are all extremely fast," Newcomer said. 

The Seals have 16 freshmen and sophomores on the roster.

"Having a lot of new players who are freshman will be one of biggest strengths going forward in the years to come," Newcomer said. "Our goal is to have everyone become comfortable with the sport, and understand their positions on the field. This is a major goal that will influence how we play the entire season, and will set the tone for next year."

Midd-West turned to a former play to take over as coach in Kailey Wagner. Wagner, who played on the Mustangs' district title team in 2011, also takes over an inexperienced team.

"We have a relatively new team as only five players had ever played before," Wagner said. "I want us to have a lot of teamwork. We're working on defense and being stronger because a lot of it is adjusting to roles. Once we do that, I'll get better.

"I like where our offense and sportsmanship are."

Midd-West opened the seasons with losses to Lewisburg and Danville, two of the top teams in the area. Wagner said once her teams get more time on the field, the results will get better.

"We've only been practicing for about three weeks," she said. "Once we get a month or in, things will start to click. It's definitely a learning and building year."

Wagner said one of her biggest goals was to get new people into the program, and to have athletes start playing lacrosse before reaching high school.



(Valley capsules)


Coach: Carlene Klena

Classification: District 4 Class 2A

Roster: Lucy Pickle, M, fr.,; Olivia Outt, M, sr.; Addison Reidle, A/M, fr.; Vivian Weaver, A, jr.; Lilly Pitcavage, A, fr.; Bella Gonzalez Jenkins, D, fr.; Gianna Feldmann, A/M, fr.; Natalie Hampton, A, sr.; Addy Palm, M/D, fr.; Riley Poticher, A, soph.; Kara Baylor, D/A, fr.; Jera Strony, A/M, fr.; Leah Auman, D, fr.; Lauren Weader, D, fr.; Maddie Rider, A, so.; Kyra Welliver, A, jr.; Alivia Hosterman, A, fr.; Sarah Thompson, D, so.; Laura Hilkert, D, sr.; Clare Charlton, D, fr.; Caitlin Archer, D, jr.; Kaitlyn Gable, G, so.; Taylor Haas, G, fr.; Riley Outt, D, sr.; Bella Moore, A, jr.


Coach: Jennifer Reish

Classification: District 4 Class 2A

Roster: Keeley Baker, G, so.; Olivia Bartlett, A/M, so.; Emily Boyles, D, so.; Claire Castle, D, fr.; Anaya Davis, A, so.; Serena DeCosmo, A, so.; Lauren Gross, D, sr.; Callie Hoffman, A, so.; Kenzie Johnson, A, fr.; Sophie Kilbride, M, so.; Ella Koontz, D/M, fr.; Erin Lowthert, D, fr.; Roz Noone, A/M, sr.; Tonya Omlor, D, sr.; Ella Reish, M, sr.; Talulah Rice, A, sr.; Lillian Smith, D, fr.; Tori Vonderheid, A, so.; Reagan Wible, D, jr; Theresa Zeh, A, sr.


Coach: Kailey Wagner

Classification: District 4 Class 2A

Roster: Ella Benner, so.; Macy Cook, fr.; Bella Fave, sr.; Adisson Friel, fr.; Taylor Hestor, sr.; Katrina Hunsberger, jr.; Julianna Jordan, so.; Allie Keister, sr.; Emily Kline, fr.; Mecca Larosa, jr.; Sophia Maneval, so.; Carley Nevel, so.; Mackenzie Noble, jr.; Sage Phillips, jr.; Rylee Shawver, sr.; Hannah Shriver, jr.; Liliana Shutt, jr.; Keiley Smith, so.; Marissa White, sr.


Coach: Erin Newcomer

Classification: District 4 Class 2A

Roster: Paige Shatzer, D, fr.; Bella Kadryna, D, fr.; Alivia Gamble, D, jr.; Maddie Kracker, D, so.; Katie Boyer, D, fr.; Emme Hawn, D, so.; Deambra Babb, D, so.; Izzy Snyder, D, sr.; Sara Walter, D, so.; Erin Mullen, M, jr.; Roxy Cruz-Estrada, M, sr.; Alyssa Latsha, M, so,; Lily Bauchman, M, fr.; Ally Bucher, M, fr.; Ella McGlaughlin, M, fr.; Abby Tymes, A, sr.; Natalie 

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