WEST PITTSTON — All the excitement and anxiety over finally playing a home game in the postseason came gushing out of Bree Bednarski all at once.
She scored the first three goals of the game.
She scored the last two for her team.
She scored on a what she called a lucky backhander and on a penalty stroke that luck had little to do with.
Bednarski took off on a one-girl scoring spree.
By the time she was done, Bednarski had six goals Tuesday and Wyoming Area had its first playoff victory at Atlas Field with an 8-3 thumping of Lackawanna Trail in a District 2 Class 2A field hockey opener.
“I just saw opportunities,” Bednarski said.
Evidently, she saw plenty of them, and saw to it that fourth-seeded Wyoming Area (14-2) will face top-seeded Crestwood (11-0) in a district semifinal showdown in Mountaintop.
After more than 10 minutes of solid defensive play on both sides, Bednarski broke through with the game’s first goal to give the Warriors an early edge.
Considering the hard shot through a scrum came from the girl who led the Wyoming Valley Conference in scoring – by far – and finished with more than 40 goals for the second straight season, that first goal wasn’t a major surprise.
Her second one was.
Little more than a minute after her first goal, Bednarski spun around and lofted a high, rocketing shot that clanked hard off the crossbar before falling into the cage to give Wyoming Area a 2-0 lead.
“I like the one corner shot – I did a reverse and it went very high off the crossbar,” chuckled Bednarski, a Michigan-bound senior who said she’s made goals before in similar fashion – “But not off the crossbar.”
A little later in the first half, Bednarski flew down the field and took a near-perfect pass from Jillian Spak before rifling Wyoming Area’s third goal into the cage.
“She’s unbelievable,” Wyoming Area coach Chris Comiskey said of Bednarski. “She’s scored in every single one of our games this year. She’s passionate. She wants these districts more than anyone, being a senior.”
Spak stepped up with a goal that gave the Warriors a 4-0 lead before Courtney Dwyer got Lackawanna Trail on the board 48 seconds before halftime.
Wyoming Area reacted to giving up a goal by scoring two within the first two minutes of the second half, as Bednarski deposited Spak’s second assist into the cage and Ally Bresnahan hit on a goal with 28:28 to play.
“This was a really good game for us,” Bednarski said. “It was really motivating. This was our first home playoff game that me and the rest of the seniors have ever played. It was really motivating to us.”
Bednarski became even more motivated when she lined up for a penalty stroke, and smoked it into the cage for a 7-1 Warriors lead.
“It was intense,” Bednarski said. “You’re always under pressure. I’m happy I made it.”
She made one more, answering two Lions goals from Jordan Laytos with a her sixth goal of the day as the the Warriors rebounded from last year’s first-round district defeat with a resounding win in this year’s Class 2A quarterfinals.
“I think they did a really good job,” Comiskey said. “They came out fiery. We talked about that a lot at practice – 13-2 doesn’t mean much if you get bumped out right now. Basically, for this to be a special season, you have to go deep in the playoffs. Anything less would be a disappointment. I think they did a great job.”
Crestwood 8, Northwest 0
Ashleigh Thomas hit the back of the cage twice and assisted on two other scores while Hannah Ackers scored once and recorded two helpers as Crestwood topped Northwest.
The Comets out- shot Northwest 18-1 and goalie Marlee Dillon made a single save to earn a shutout.
With the win, Crestwood advances to play Wyoming Area on Thursday night in a District 2 Class 2A semifinal game at 4:30 p.m Thursday at Crestwood High School.
District 2 2A Playoffs
Crestwood 8, Northwest 0
First half — 1. CRES, Hannah Ackers (Ashleigh Thomas), 28:48. 2. CRES, Jordan Olenginski (Thomas), 25:07. 3. CRES, Thomas (Ackers), 18:39. 4. CRES, Nicole Paranich (Ackers), 15:06. Second half — 5. CRES, Thomas (Lizzy Dessoye), 29:03. 6. CRES, Hunter Pitman (Cara Jarmiolowski), 16:03. 7. CRES, Maddie Granoski, 4:31. 8. CRES, Katie Karpinski (Arden Morgans), 1:59.
Shots — CRES 18; NW 1. Saves — CRES 1 (Marlee Dillon); NW 4 (Jackie Jones). Penalty corners — CRES 18; NW 1.
District 2 2A Playoffs
Wyoming Area 8, Lackawanna Trail 3
First half — 1. WA, Bree Bednarski (Grace Angellela) 10:14; 2. WA, Bednarski (Madison Mulhern) 12:19; 3. WA, Bednarski (Jillian Spak) 20:29; 4. WA, Spak (Ally Bresnahan) 26:51; 5. LT, Courtney Dwyer (Lauren Beemer) 29:12. Second half — 6. WA, Bednarski (Spak) 0:08; 7. WA, Bresnahan (Emilie Wanko) 1:32; 8. WA, Bednarski 10:03; 9. LT, Jordan Laytos 11:28; 10. LT, Laytos 21:58; 11. WA, Bednarski (Wanko) 24:08.
Shots — LT 13; WA 22. Saves — LT 14 (Sarah Weisenfluh); WA 8 (Katie Wolfgang). Penalty corners — LT 3; WA 4.
Reach Paul Sokoloski at 570-991-6392 or on Twitter @TLPaulSokoloski