Brandywine Heights is enjoying a banner season in field hockey, but despite a 21-1-1 record, the Lady Bullets have something to prove.
You see Coach Donna Hordendorf's bunch fell short of capturing a county title when it fell, 3-2, in overtime to undefeated Wilson in the Berks semifinals.
Now, the Bullets are on course to win a district title if they beat division-rival Hamburg in the district semifinals on Tues. evening at Don Thomas Stadium in Exeter.
To get to this point, Brandywine had to defeat Susquenita and Oley Valley by 1-0 scores in the first round and quarterfinals of districts.
The Susquenita game wasn't as close as the score would indicate. The Bullets had 7 shots to their opponent's 4, and 18 corners to 4, but couldn't finish on their corners.
Amy Hordendorf, the Berks Leagues leading scorer this season, tallied the only goals in these games. Hordendorf has 35 goals and 11 assists for the season. Laura Wummer is next on the team with 17 goals and six assists.
In goal, Chrissy Hoffman has been a rock, stopping 76 of 92 shots before districts. She recorded eight shutouts during the regular season and has added three more in the postseason.
Against Oley, Hoffman and Co. was prepared for the early onslaught, but if it hadn't been for Hordendorf's heroics, the Bullets wouldn't have advanced.
"Oley strikes hard and fast," Coach Hordendorf said. "We had to be aggressive on defense."
That defense led by Shelby Trenge, Kasey Jo-Burnish, Abbey Sheeler, Heidi Fronheiser, Dani Brensinger and versatile sub Amanda Shoemaker helped Hoffman turn back eight shots and thwart eight corners.
Trenge came up big with a defensive save, and when Oley threatened with three shots in quick succession three-and-a half minutes into the second half, the defense responded to ultimately clear the ball.
As for the Bullets' offense, it couldn't muster anything except Hordendorf's backhanded shot, which fortunately eluded the Lynx goalie.
"Oley has a senior(-laden) defense that is extremely tough and extremely hard to penetrate when playing them especially on (artificial) turf," Hordendorf said.
Despite the problems that the Lynx present, the Bullets are 2-0-1 against their archrivals this season.
Hamburg is another quality team, one with quick-strike ability, which Brandywine must not underestimate.
"The Hawks are quick," Hordendorf said. "We played them in back-to-back games, and they scored first in each game."
The first time these teams played, Hamburg led, 1-0, at the half, but less than a minute and a half into the second half, Brandywine tied it. With 5:30 left, the Bullets wrapped it up with their second goal.
This game was similar to the quarterfinal district game, which Brandywine won despite Oley's dominance. This time, the Bullets dominated with 11 shots to 1 and 14 corners to 1, but were fortunate they weren't upset.
In the second game between these two teams, the Hawks scored first after only five minutes had elapsed. In fact, they led 2-1 before the Bullets rallied with two goals to lead, 3-2, at the half.
The second half was scoreless except for a Brandywine goal with six seconds left, so although the final score was 4-2, it was really closer than that.
This time the stats were closer, too. Brandywine only outshot Hamburg 11 to 9, but still dominated in corners, 10 to 3.
Hordendorf will lose eight seniors to graduation, including her four captains, Amy Hordendorf, Hoffman, Alex Najpauer and Sheeler. Of these four, goalie Hoffman will be the most missed since the coach has no one ready to step in at goal.
However, players such as freshman Abbey Hordendorf, sophomore Shoemaker and junior Alicia Bixler, who were the three most consistent subs this season, will return ready to make more of a contribution.
"We'll have a shell left and have to fill the middle with new girls without varsity experience," Hordendorf said.
But don't feel sorry for Coach Hordendorf. She may be rebuilding next season, but she'll have some talented players to work with from a JV team that went 8-7-1 this season.
And no matter what happens the rest of the way, this season will go down as one of the best in Brandywine field hockey history.