Northwestern Press

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Field hockey wins districts, returns to states

Friday, November 8, 2019 by CHUCK HIXSON in Sports

For Northwestern Lehigh field hockey, it’s all been about adding steps to the success of the program. The team reached states last season, but lost in the first round.

This season the Tigers were looking for a win and a trip to the quarterfinals, but that step wound up being a stumble when Newport High School eliminated the Tigers in a 3-0 game at Emmaus High School Tuesday, finishing the Northwestern season at 17-5-1.

From the opening whistle, Newport (17-5-1) proved to be a...

Rookies, veterans are both key to girls soccer success

Friday, November 8, 2019 by CHUCK HIXSON in Sports

From a senior who was named a first-team All-State player to a freshman goalkeeper who was thrown into the job unexpectedly, the Lady Tigers have gotten contributions from players with varying degrees of varsity experience. Saturday, they showed their versatility in a win over Allentown Central Catholic that made Northwestern District 11 champions.

Senior Bailey Groff found out on Friday that she had been named to the All-State team. Groff, a team captain, scored a goal off a corner...

Tigers roll over Indians

Friday, November 8, 2019 by TODD KRESS in Sports

Northwestern was a game away from reaching the District 11 Class 4A championship game last season. A tough loss to Saucon Valley ended the Tigers’ run.

A year later, the top-seeded Tigers are back in the same position.

Northwestern scored 47 unanswered points to pull away from No. 8 Lehighton last Saturday night in the quarterfinals, 54-14. The win advanced the Tigers to the semifinals against No. 4 Central Catholic.

“We’re going to enjoy this tonight,” said Northwestern...

Field hockey continues to improve

Friday, November 8, 2019 by CHUCK HIXSON in Sports

Northwestern Lehigh reached the PIAA field hockey tournament for the second straight season, this time as district champions. The district gold is the school’s first since 2004 and comes on the heels of being district runners-up last season. While the program is quickly gaining respect and seeing better results in the postseason, it hasn’t come overnight.

Head coach Lissa Opolsky took over the program in 2014 after the team had missed reaching districts in each of the past two seasons...

Groff goal helps Tigers to D-11 gold

Friday, November 8, 2019 by CHUCK HIXSON in Sports

You can’t plan the heroics that Bailey Groff came up with. All she was trying to do was get the ball into position for one of her teammates to make a play, but she ended up scoring a goal.

Groff’s goal – and another by teammate Kylie Zentz – led Northwestern to a 2-0 win over Allentown Central Catholic in the District 11 Class 2A girls soccer finals. It also sends Northwestern to the PIAA tournament.

Just under six minutes into the game, Northwestern (21-2-0) was awarded a...

Boys soccer beats SL for title

Friday, November 8, 2019 by CHUCK HIXSON in Sports

When Northwestern Lehigh and Southern Lehigh meet in soccer, don’t figure on too many goals being scored. The two teams played to a scoreless tie in their regular season meeting and the District 11 final was no different.

The two teams played 80 minutes of scoreless soccer again, but this time there had to be a winner. In the ninth minute of overtime, Jeff Garcia used a spectacular bicycle kick to break the scoreless tie and send Northwestern to a 1-0 win and back into states for the...

Tigers ride bicylce kick to title

Friday, November 8, 2019 by CHUCK HIXSON in Sports

After nearly 170 minutes of scoreless soccer in two games, someone was going to need that one special play to break the invisible barrier on the front of the net and win the game. For Northwestern Lehigh, it came in the form of a bicycle kick delivered by Jeff Garcia. The goal, which made ESPN’s Top 10 Highlights, featured a key component that even the Northwestern coach wasn’t aware of until after the game.

Officially, Ryan Baker, who delivered a long throw-in for the Tigers, was...

NW harriers compete in state meet

Friday, November 8, 2019 by PATRICK MATSINKO in Sports

Northwestern sent two cross country teams to states for the first time since 2013 after the boys and girls captured district titles two weeks ago.

The Tigers placed 14th in the boys Class 2A team standings Saturday at the PIAA Cross Country Championships, and were led by Matthew Santana’s 130th-place finish (18:09).

“It felt good to get this experience, and to know what it feels like to make it to states,” said Santana. “I thought it was good to experience it, and to be able to...

Boys soccer beats SV in district playoffs

Thursday, October 31, 2019 by CHUCK HIXSON in Sports

The latest battle in Northwestern Lehigh’s quest for a return to the boys PIAA soccer tournament turned out to look more like a skirmish than a full-fledged battle, but make no mistake about it, the Tigers were in a battle.

Northwestern turned a 1-0 halftime deficit into a 4-1 win and a trip to the Class 3A semifinals in District 11.

Play in the first half was pretty even between the two teams, but turned in favor of Saucon Valley when Eric Brown got a look at the net from the...

Cross country teams earn D-11 gold

Thursday, October 31, 2019 by PATRICK MATSINKO in Sports

Chris Stitzel does his best to standout in Hershey.

When Northwestern makes its way to the PIAA Cross Country Championships, the Tigers’ head coach typically sports a new – often colorful – hairstyle, one that is chosen by his team.

Stitzel’s makeover might be even more drastic this season.

For the first time since 2013, Northwestern will send two teams to the state meet in Hershey after the Tigers captured the boys and girls Class 2A team titles at the District 11 meet...