Freedom High School won a district title in soccer for the second straight year earlier this month. Only it was the girls team making school history taking home the title for the first time ever. They rode a hot streak that started with them as the 7th seed in the district tournament. The girls then proceeded to win 4 straight games...sending them all the way to the state quarter finals! It all started though with a massive upset of 2nd seeded Emmaus in the first round. Next D-back Lily Judge may have had the goal of the high school year in the district semi-final against Northampton...putting away the game winner in OT. 2018 BFF Female of the year Haley Gschrey led the cause each and every time out including 2 goals in the District final -- a 3-1 win over Nazareth. Huge congrats to Coach Eaton and this scrappy bunch as they broke through their school's ceiling in 2019.
Let's not forget he Freedom Girls helped lead Freedom to their 3rd consecutive BFF Bowl! Their 4-0 record against Liberty and Becahi helped overcome the Liberty Boys's identical perfect record vs Bethlehem teams. The final Standings saw Freedom 6-2 Liberty 5-3 and Beca 1-7. Beca's one victory was over the Liberty girls and helped seal the cup for Freedom. It's worth mentioning the Beca results vs both FHS and LHS were closer than ever this year so don't look now but the Golden Hawks are coming on! Each and every game this year was really competitive and made the bowl a real achievement. Hope you all had as much fun following it as i had presenting it.
Freedom's Boys team lost a ton of seniors (i think i heard 11) from their 2018 District winning team. But Coach Reightler squeezed every last drop out of his boys in 2019. They were defeated by Emmaus in both the EPC and District playoffs. Emmaus ended up winning both tournaments. But they carried the torch for the 2018 Pats and continued to build up Bethlehem Soccer. Both Liberty and Freedom games were epic one goal battles. Many thought they would not be close. They won both of their games against Beca and were a big part of keeping the BFF Bowl home :)! Special shot out to Captain Wesley Miles Young who i have had the pleasure of getting to know a bit over the last year. Looking forward to the next chapter for you and your fellow seniors!
The Liberty Boys meanwhile capped a superb regular season led by Coach Larimer with an EPC conference finals appearance. They lost a cliffhanger against a very strong Emmaus team. Later that hangover seemed to carryover a bit to districts as they ran into a white hot Whitehall team in the quarters. They lost to them 2-1 in OT and just like that it was over. This marked the end of some stellar high school careers. We may never see another keeper like Blake Koski at the high school level. Fortunately we may get to see more of him locally at the college level. But that is a story for another day. As my alma mater it's been a pleasure watching all these Liberty seniors grow over the years. They are leaving some very tough boots to fill moving forward. Thanks for the memories and setting the bar high for Bethlehem Futbol.
Lastly the Liberty girls put up a very respectable 9-10 mark. Led by captains senior Kathryn Wescoe and junior Catey Kelly ... the Lady Canes always put on a good show. In hindsight the two nail biters against freedom were even more impressive considering what the Lady Pats went onto to do. Great luck to those moving on. But if this is the "floor" of Bethlehem High School Soccer teams ... this town is killing it on the pitch! Special thanks to Coach Rodenbach on his dedication to the game (he coached me a long time ago). Enjoy retirement!