Neshaminy and CB West advanced to Wednesday’s District One AAA girls’ soccer semifinals.
#2 NESHAMINY 1, #10 PENNSBURY 0 (5-4 PK’s)
The Redskins were perfect on penalty kicks, connecting on all five of their shots to eke out a win over their neighboring rival in Saturday’s quarterfinal contest.
“It was definitely frustrating knowing we could have finished during the game because we had so many opportunities, but it didn’t happen,” senior Jamie Mason said. “Going into penalty kicks, I was just trying to tell my whole team, ‘We have this still. We’re the better team, and we can put this away in penalty kicks,’ and we did that.”
It was Mason burying the first shot to set the tone for her teammates when PK’s rolled around.
“I knew I would be number one, and when I got up there, I wasn’t really nervous,” she said. “Me and the goalie kind of made eye contact, and in my head, I was like, ‘Okay, let’s get this done.’
“I thought the goalie looked more nervous than I did, so that helped.”
Mason, Jess Kelly, Julia Andreozzi, Megan Schafer and Katie Suchodolski all buried their shots, and when goalie McKenna Mullin stonewalled the final Falcon attempt with a diving save, the dramatic win was in the books for the Redskins, who advanced to Wednesday’s semifinal round and also earned a berth in the state tournament.
“Coming into the season, we knew we only lost two starting players from last year, so we had big expectations for ourselves, but we wanted to fly under the radar, which I think we did for most of the season,” Mason said. “Going to states as a senior – I had no expectation of this, but now that we’re here it’s great.”
The win was the 19th in a row for the streaking Redskins, but it didn’t come easily against a determined Falcon squad.
“I felt that we had the better of play,” Neshaminy coach Rachel Clemens said. “We certainly had opportunities that we should have, could have finished.
“They had probably two or three chances as well, but we had more. They played a very defensive style, and we just had a hard time breaking through their defense and getting a clear shot off.”
Clemens lauded the performances of several of her players.
“Sam O’Donnell played amazing,” the Redskins’ coach said. “She probably had one of her best games of the season. My keeper had a great game.
“Jamie Mason came up big for us in the last game, and she played well today.”
While the Falcons are one of four teams battling for the fifth and final state berth, the Redskins are guaranteed a spot in states.
“The girls knew what was on the line,” Clemens said. “We’re just so excited. I don’t want to say it’s the first time ever, but it’s the first time in a long time that we have been in states.
“The girls are really looking forward to it. We knew if we got past this game, we would be there.”
Saturday’s win erased memories of last year’s second round upset at the hands of 28th-seeded Lower Merion.
“That was heartbreaking,” Clemens said. “We talked about it all season. The girls knew we had to get past that second round game.
“We had this goal in mind all year. It’s awesome that it’s come to fruition for them.”
The Redskins will face sixth-seeded Downingtown West in Wednesday’s semifinal round. The Whippets upset third-seeded Owen J. Roberts 2-1.
To read Stuart London’s complete game story, please click on the following PhillyBurbs.com link: http://www.phillyburbs.com/my_town/langhorne/neshaminy-survives-pennsbury-to-reach-states/article_aff229ef-00dc-55b0-9706-3f3eb12624a8.html
#21 CENTRAL BUCKS WEST 2, #4 PENNRIDGE 0
The fourth-seeded Rams couldn’t have felt comfortable when they looked at the district tournament bracket and saw a potential matchup with Central Bucks West looming on the horizon.
Forget about the fact that the Rams were seeded fourth and the Bucks 21st. It didn’t matter that the Rams finished atop the Continental Conference standings while the Bucks (13-6-2) finished fifth with a 7-6-1 record.
The Rams knew they would have their hands full and then some with a West squad that earned a 2-1 win over Pennridge on Oct. 11, and although the Rams won the initial meeting 1-0, they needed a goal with 1.9 seconds remaining in the second overtime to eke out the win.
“We felt confident because we split with Pennridge, and both games were very competitive,” West coach Chris Freudig said. “Whether you’re playing them for the first time or second time, at this point, you try and take away a couple of things they do well, but it’s more about what you’re trying to do.
“We wanted to defend well, get good services in and score on our opportunities.”
The Bucks did just that in Saturday night’s rematch, stymying the Rams’ offense and scoring a pair of goals within a deadly three-minute span early in the second half to earn the upset win.
It was Emily Grove scoring a goal that proved to be the game winner in the 41st minute.
“Lauren (Schofield) served it, Erin McQuate flicked it by the goalie, and Emily knocked it in the net,” Freudig said. “We came out and played really well in the second half.”
If the Bucks needed insurance, they got it when Shae McCarty connected in the 44th minute.
“After halftime in the regular season, we didn’t show, but ever since the playoffs started, we’ve come out big the second half,” McQuate said. “It really showed tonight. We’re starting to believe and coming together. It’s a good feeling.
“When we started out, our goals were very simple - one game at a time, work together, do what we practice and accomplish that. Honestly, I didn’t expect to get this far, and that makes it even better that we can overcome the challenges we have to get where we are now.”
The key to the Bucks’ postseason success, according to McQuate, is simple.
“I would say teamwork and believing in what we have,” she said. “Anything’s possible if you really put your head in it, and that’s what is keeping us going.
“It’s the best feeling. I can’t even explain it.”
With the win, the Bucks not only earned a spot in Wednesday’s district semifinal but also guaranteed themselves a berth in the state tournament.
“I don’t really think we’re a 21 seed,” Freudig said. “Part of that is because we came in fifth in our league, and we had some bad injuries at bad times and were missing some key players.
“If we had won two more games, we might have been a 12th seed. I think there’s a lot of parity. I guess usually a 21 seed doesn’t hang around that long, but I don’t think the kids and I know the coaches weren’t looking at us as a 21 seed.”
While the Rams will join Pennsbury in a battle for one remaining state playoff berth, the Bucks will face top-seeded Strath Haven in Wednesday’s semifinal.
To read Drew Markol’s complete game story, please click on the following PhillyBurbs.com link: http://www.phillyburbs.com/my_town/doylestown/west-blanks-pennridge-to-gain-state-berth/article_c9a0393e-8ecb-561e-8dae-b06f0fb9059c.html
#1 STRATH HAVEN 1, #8 CENTRAL BUCKS EAST 0
To read a complete game story, please click on the following PhillyBurbs.com link: http://www.phillyburbs.com/sports/high_school/intel/cb-east-falls-in-quarterfinals/article_fbfdfded-19f8-5a70-b437-1d48e2cb04e8.html
#6 DOWNINGTOWN WEST 2, #3 OWEN J ROBERTS 1