We hear a lot about how peer pressure can be a bad thing. In some cases though, it can be a very good thing. Such is the case with Northwestern Tigers goalkeeper Zach Rosamalia.
The senior who was a standout player on Northwestern’s boys lacrosse team last spring, had never played soccer, nor did he have an interest in playing. His buddies kept pushing him to come out for the team. His friends realized that the team needed a goalie and they knew how athletic Rosamalia was and thought he could fill a hole for the Tigers.
The Lady Tiger soccer team had a six-game winning streak snapped by Liberty (9-8-0 overall, 7-8-0 EPC) on Saturday before bouncing right back with a win over Catasauqua (5-10-1 overall, 5-8-0 Colonial) in its season finale, finishing the season at 16-2-0 overall and 11-1-0 in Colonial League action.
The win against Catasauqua locked Northwestern into the number-two spot in the league playoffs, giving them a first-round bye.
This week presents game two of a three-game stretch that will ultimately decide the fate of the Northwestern football team this season.
Last week the Tigers (6-1) cleared the first hurdle with a win over Southern Lehigh (6-1).
Next week comes the rivalry matchup with Northern Lehigh (4-3). This week is the one that can further entrench the Tigers in the driver’s seat in the Colonial League when they host Saucon Valley (5-2).
Northwestern seniors Luke Hallman and Gabby Smalley will represent the Tigers at Monday’s District 11 Golf Championship Tournament.
Both earned exemptions by placing high enough in last week’s Colonial League tournament.
Their teammate, Will Dellicker had a chance to make districts if he posted a low round at Monday’s district qualifier, which was held at Olde Homestead. The senior shot 95 to finish 31st in the Class 3A qualifying field. The top half of the field of 37 players, plus ties, advanced to districts.
For the past couple weeks, Northwestern has had somewhat of a lull in its schedule. The Tigers downed Palisades and Wilson on the road and then returned to Tiger Stadium to beat Bangor and Palmerton the past couple of weeks, winning the three games by a combined score of 167-47.
Northwestern head coach Nate Hunsicker admits he was a bit stubborn about changing things up schematically. But the move he made may have saved the Tigers’ season.
After playing in the Hamburg tournament back on September 7, Hunsicker veered away from the Tigers’ traditional 4-5-1 alignment. Since then, Northwestern (11-3-2 overall, 9-2-1 in Colonial League) has lost just one of its last 10 games.
The defense has pitched seven shutouts since the switch. And Saturday’s 7-0 romp over Catasauqua was the latest in that string of shutouts, its sixth consecutive scoreless showing.
Nobody took Northwestern field hockey seriously last season and the Tigers were just fine with that. The end result was a trip to the District 11 finals and a chance to play in states.
This season, opposing teams know just how good Northwestern is and they’re taking them much more seriously. It still hasn’t bothered the Tigers, who have gone 10-3-1 overall and 9-3-1 in the Colonial League.
With the season winding down, the Tigers have punched their ticket to both the league and district playoffs where they hope to not just play in the finals, but win a championship.
Northwestern Lehigh players continue to take turns in the spotlight this season. Justin Holmes set a new school record for receiving against Wilson a couple weeks ago and against Palmerton last week, he was part of the receiving crew that pulled in 277 yards worth of passes from quarterback Deven Bollinger.
The end result was a 42-7 win over the Blue Bombers, putting the Tigers at 5-1 on the season.
Deven Bollinger’s 277 yards of passing last week earned him the Player of the Week honor from the Times News newspaper in Lehighton.
When told of the award, literally the first words out of his mouth were about how well the rest of the team played.
“First off, it starts with the offensive line,” said Bollinger. “They’ve been great this season and have given me a lot of time to throw the ball. Then, the receivers, Justin [Holmes] and Jayden [Allen] have had time to run routes and they’ve done a great job at getting open.
After having spent three of the first four weeks of the season on the road, the Northwestern Lehigh Tigers returned to Tiger Stadium looking for a fourth straight win.
The offense went to work immediately and on their first four possessions of the game, the Tigers went down the field and pushed the ball across the goal line for a quick 28-6 lead over Bangor.
From there, the Tigers didn’t look back as they finished with a 41-13 win over Bangor.