Catasauqua entered last Friday night’s game against Palmerton with a district berth literally hanging in the balance.
Both the visiting Blue Bombers and the Roughies began the contest with identical 2-5 records and were perched in the third and fourth spot respectively in the PIAA District 11 Class 2A bracket behind leader and undefeated Schuylkill Haven.
A win for either club possibly could elevate them to the second spot and also further secure their chances of gaining one of the four spots available for the playoffs.
In recent years, Catasauqua’s biggest gut-check, late-season game has been their traditional Thanksgiving Day tilt with Northampton. Unquestionably, there are plenty of reasons to justify the cause.
This season, that trek will take a different path.
The Roughies will look to further cement a District 11 Class 2A playoff berth with a win over Palmerton Friday night at Alumni Field. Beginning the week, Catty (2-5) was in the fourth and final spot for a playoff berth in the bracket.
Like it has in other games this season, Catasauqua appeared to be on the verge of gaining the game’s momentum against Notre Dame, which entered the game with a pair consecutive shutouts.
The Roughies found themselves in a competitive tussle with the unbeaten Crusaders in the opening half and trailed 28-20 at the early stages of the third quarter.
But the Roughies couldn’t find the end zone the rest of the night and they fell to Notre Dame 42-20 last Friday night in a game that was much closer than the final score indicated.
Catasauqua had plenty of positives in their 43-26 win over Wilson last week, and they hope to build on some much-needed momentum.
With the win, the Roughies did snap a three-game losing streak, one in which saw them struggle with consistency and execution. During the span, they were outscored 132-31.
Their previous outing, a 43-13 loss to Palisades, a game in which they had tied at 13 at halftime, only to sputter from a revved first-half.
Catasauqua girls’ soccer head coach Randy Gillespie isn’t one to make excuses, but if he wanted to he certainly could find some.
The second-year coach has watched his team be ravaged by injuries all season. In the process, the Roughies lost five starters, but they still have managed to piece together a 4-8 overall record through their first 12 games.
Coming off arguably their most impressive win of the season, the Roughies likely will face their biggest challenge of the year.
The Roughies will travel to Green Pond Friday night to meet Notre Dame, the only undefeated team in the Colonial League with an unblemished 6-0 mark and a remaining cast from their PIAA District 11 Championship last season.
For Catasauqua, it truly was a tale of two halves.
On their first drive of the game against Palisades, Catasauqua has one of their most efficient drives of the season as they went on an eight-play, 78-yard drive that culminated when Andrew Brett hit Dylan Nonnemacher on a 14-yard scoring play.
From there, the Roughies appeared to gain some added momentum when Joey Sparacello recovered a fumble late in the first quarter. But any momentum quickly snuffed when Brett was intercepted on the first play.
As a senior, Jonathan Dweck has watched his team experience their share of transformations through the years.
This season has proved to be no exception. The Roughies bolted into the Colonial League race when they moved out to a 3-3 start. Since then, they have been saddled with a five-game losing streak, one that can put a serious harness on their postseason aspirations.
Yet, Dweck wants to keep everything in its proper focus. He has experienced some changes in his game.
As they concluded their first half of the season, Catasauqua’s field hockey season continues to search for a sense of consistency as well as seeking their identity.
The Roughies recently suffered a 2-0 loss to Pen Argyl, a defeat that lowered their record to 3-5-1 overall. However, it did end a streak of five games in seven days and finally gave them a breather.
“We were able to hold a solid practice for the first time in a while,” said first-year head coach Julie Bisci. “We were able to look at some things and improve on the things we need to work on.
If Catasauqua ever needed a test of character, it likely will be this week against Palisades.
The Roughies will travel down Route 611 Friday for a key showdown with the Pirates, as both teams will look to either take a major step to aligning themselves with a possible district berth or beginning to think about playing out the string.