Week seven didn’t bring many surprises to the table, outside of Easton continuing to crumble with the real part of their schedule in tow.
Freedom stays on top after a record passing night by quarterback Jared Jenkins, as the top three teams seem to be cemented now until the end of the regular season, barring upsets.
Central Catholic preps for the postseason, while Northwestern looks to continue its quest for the Colonial League crown.
With Week 9 on the horizon, here are this week’s picks.
1. Freedom (7-1)
Last week’s rank: #1
The Freedom boys soccer team came into the opening round of the EPC playoffs needing to play well against second-seeded Emmaus if they wanted to advance to the semifinals. What happened Saturday at Emmaus’ Memorial Field was anything but the type of performance the team needed now that the postseason is here.
Leaving nothing to chance, number one seeded Liberty prepared well and came out kicking at number eight seeded East Stroudsburg South, playing to a 4-0 victory over the Cavaliers in an EPC soccer quarterfinal on Saturday at Liberty.
“I think it was something that they weren’t expecting,” said Liberty senior forward Caleb Mendoza. “I think it did mess up their rhythm a little bit, but I don’t think they expected us to come out swinging as fast as we did from the beginning, so I think that’s what gave us that leverage.”
The Bethlehem Catholic Golden Hawks football team showcased their dominant defense in a 16-6 victory over a previous second-place Easton Red Rovers.
Easton started the game with possession of the ball. Bethlehem Catholic’s senior Matt Stianche intercepted Easton quarterback Cole Transue on the game’s opening drive. Though, the Hawks weren’t able to get much going and turned the ball back over on downs.
Freedom spent the first 40 minutes of Saturday’s Eastern Pennsylvania Conference girls soccer quarterfinals trying to read and react against Pleasant Valley’s defense.
The Patriots had it figured out in the second half.
An early second-half goal from Haley Gschrey lifted Freedom past the Bears 1-0 and into the EPC semifinals. The Patriots will play No. 2 seed Emmaus Tuesday.
The EPC announced playoff matchups for soccer and field hockey on Thursday.
In boys soccer, Liberty gets the top seed and a home game against Eastburg South, the 8 seed, on Saturday at 12 p.m.. The winner gets Easton (4) or Stroudsburg (5), who play Saturday in Easton at 10 a.m.
On the bottom of the bracket, Emmaus gets the two seed and hosts seventh-seeded Freedom, last year’s District 11 champs. That game is 2:15 p.m. Saturday with the winner playing the Parkland (3)-Whitehall (6) winner. The Trojans and Zephs play at 2 p.m. Saturday at Parkland.
Liberty saw its six-game winning streak come to an end last week following a 6-1 defeat to Emmaus. Losing to Emmaus in field hockey, of course, isn’t anything new to schools, but the Hurricanes will look to finish this week off strong before preparing for Saturday’s opening round of the EPC playoffs.
The Hurricanes (12-4, 11-4) should be able to lock up a top-five seed this week if they handle their business against East Stroudsburg South (4-11) and Freedom (5-12) in their final two regular season bouts this week.
Liberty number one singles player Veronica Lynn was a third place medalist at the District XI Class 3A Singles Tennis Championships, played last week at Parkland High School.
“I wanted to make it to finals, but overall, I felt good that I made it that far,” Lynn said. “[Coach Chris Conrad] said I did a good job, and it was a good result, being a freshman and making it that far.”
Suburban Dart League
Emmanuel 10 5 .667
Dryland 8 4 .667
Salem UCC 6 3 .667
Light of Christ 9 6 .600
Bath Luth 7 5 .583
Star of Beth 5 4 .556
Christ UCC 7 8 .467
St. Stephen’s 4 5 .444
Ebenezer 5 10 .333
St. Paul’s 4 8 .333
Farmersville 4 11 .267
Christ UCC at
Star of Beth 8-6, 9-2, 3-6
C - George Gasper 7-11, Keith Laudenslager 6-15, Donnie Laudenslager HR.
SB - Scott Hoffert 8-14, Kyle Taylor 6-11, Tyler Frankenfield HR.
St. Paul’s at
Bethlehem area golfers competed in the District 11 golf tournament on Monday at the Steel Club.
With only six golfers able to advance to regionals, the Hurricanes were well represented as Matt Vital shot a 74 for third and Jimmy Barker a 75 to take fourth. Both are freshman golfers which says a lot about the Hurricane program going forward.
“I played pretty good on the front,” said Vital. “On the back nine, my putting was just off and missed a lot of short ones - short birdie putts.”