SOL Field Hockey Wrap (10-18-11)

A champion was crowned in the National Conference when Council Rock North defeated Neshaminy. Check out all of Tuesday’s SOL action.

National Conference

Senior Carly Everett (Hannah Plappert assist) scored during corner play with no time showing on the clock at the end of the first half. That goal turned out to be the game winner as the Indians held on for the 1-0 win.
The win came less than 24 hours after the Indians suffered their first league loss of the season when they fell to neighboring Council Rock South, and this one clinched sole possession of the Indians’ third consecutive National Conference title.
“These girls have won three in a row, and I’m very proud of them for that,” coach Heather Whalin said. “They’re excited, and they deserve it.”
Winning the title was all but a foregone conclusion for the Indians, who hoped to clinch it last Friday when they faced Bensalem only to have their game postponed because of rain, putting the celebration on hold for four days.
“I definitely just wanted to get it over with,” Whalin said. “It’s like that monkey on your back – you just want to get it.”
According to Whalin, losing to Rock South was not the worst thing that could have happened.
“Last year we lost to Truman, and it turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to us,” said Whalin, whose team went on to make a run to the state quarterfinals. “The same thing here – you don’t want to go into playoffs thinking you have everything together when every single game, every single day you can learn something new.
“It was huge to come back and win today, especially since last night was a night game, and we were coming right back to play. We hadn’t scored last night, so it was definitely big to get this win under our belts.”
While the Redskins fell to 6-4-4, the Indians improved to 11-1 in league play.

Brittany Mitchell scored a pair of goals to lead the Panthers to the important National Conference win. 
 “We have such a strong league, and everybody is pushing really, really hard,” Tennent coach Kaitlyn Rauchut said. “Pennsbury played such a great game.
“Offensively, my team was definitely stepping up. We broke down a couple of times on the defensive end, but I think Pennsbury was a great competitor.”
The two teams found themselves deadlocked 1-1 at halftime. The Falcons actually got on the scoreboard first only to watch Mitchell (Rachael Mueller assist) knot the score with five minutes remaining in the half.
A goal by Colleen McCabe (Mueller assist) gave the Panthers their first lead, but this time the Falcons answered with the tying goal 13 minutes into the half. Mitchell scored the game winner a minute later. Neither team scored the rest of the way.
Rauchut acknowledged the strong performances of Mitchell, McCabe, Mackenzie Merrick and Megan McCloskey in the winning effort.
With an important make-up game against this same Falcon squad on Thursday to close out the season, the Panthers are in a position to finish either second or third in the conference standings. Quite a showing for a team that took a hit to graduation and lost its head coach in the preseason.
“When I was handed the program, my biggest goal was basically to make sure I kept it going in the direction it was going,” Rauchut said. “My long term goal was to make the playoffs, and my short term goal was to have these girls show some kind of growth over the season.
“So far just watching the girls play from the beginning of the season to now – those short term goals were outstandingly accomplished. Hopefully on Thursday night, I will get the good news that we’ve made the playoffs.”
The Panthers are 9-3-1 in league play while the Falcons are 7-4-2.


Continental Conference

A young Rams’ squad closed out the season on a high note, dominating its game against the neighboring Panthers.
“I think this game was probably the best thing we could have asked for,” coach Nikki Thren said. “Especially because one of our problems is scoring, so to be able to finish with more than one goal was nice.
“I think the girls came out knowing it was their last game. We were ready. We connected with our passes, and we were finishing. We had a number of corners, and we were actually able to get most of them off, and that’s beneficial as well. It’s a good note going into next year.”
Paige Decew scored a pair of goals, the first assisted by Sarah Yerk and the second by Kelly Herd. Also scoring single goals were Molly Hurley and Emily Kaempf.
“Paige Decew is one of my first players off the bench and will most likely be a starter next year,” Thren said. “She’s very calm as a player, so she’s been a huge asset to have her come off the bench and be able to keep the momentum up. “
Thren started just three seniors and two juniors. The remainder of her starters were sophomores.
“Those sophomores getting varsity experience will hopefully help big time even next year,” Thren said.
Some of those young names to remember for the Rams are Melissa Herd (midfielder), Kelly Wolff (center back), Madison Reiss (sweeper), Katie Dubyk, Natasha Nagle (goalie) and Addy Marshall (forward).
Senior Sarah Yerk, according to Thren, has held the team together at midfield.  Juniors Brooke Labs and Anastasia Matz also were key contributors on a young squad.
The Rams – who held a 27-2 advantage in shots and a 10-1 edge in corners – closed the season with a 3-11 record in league play while the Panthers are 1-12 with one game remaining.

The Maidens celebrated Senior Night by sprinting to a 3-0 lead before the Hatters scored a pair of late goals.  Bobby Dougherty (Juliamae Marger) broke a scoreless halftime tie when she scored at the 26:04 mark of the second half. Michelle Holweger (Emilie Ikeda assist) scored during corner play midway through the half, and the Maidens led 3-0 after Dougherty turned a Shannon Talbot pass into a goal at the 7:59 mark.
The Hatters responded with a goal 35 seconds later when Robin Barbell (Casey Swezey assist) connected, and it was a 3-2 game after Colby Eldridge scored, using a Barbell assist.
The Maidens held a 10-4 advantage in shots on goal. Hatboro goalie Maddy Wagenfeld was credited with five saves while North Penn’s Shannon Keen had three saves.
The Maidens closed out their regular season with a 10-4 record while the Hatters, who have one game remaining, are 6-6-1.

American Conference

The Vikings celebrated Senior Day with a shutout win over the Golden Bears. The team’s five seniors – Jenny Desimone, Nicole Priest, Ally Frymoyer, Tamahra Sheard and Madi DiBella – were recognized prior to the game.
Amanda McAteer scored the first goal of the game with an assist from DiBella on a penalty corner, sending the Vikings into halftime with a 1-0 lead. In the second half, Lindsay Samites and Tamahra Sheard scored goals with assists from McAteer and Danielle SanFelice.
Frymoyer had two saves in goal for the Vikings while her counterpart, Saige Wenik, collected 11 saves.
The Vikings end their season with a 4-8 record in conference play and a 6-10-1 overall record.  The Golden Bears are 0-11 in conference play with a 1-13 record overall.
The Trojans used goals by Jackie Hibbs and Emily Gallagher (Melanie Fry assist) to open up a 2-0 halftime lead. Hibbs (Fry assist) and Taylor Myers scored second half goals for the 4-0 final.
Cheltenham goalie Emily Hawkins was credited with 19 saves.
“Dara Liss played extremely well on defense and Gabby Szczepanek on offense,” coach Emily Zegestowsky said. “We had nine shots on goal but could not score.”
The Trojans closed out their league season with a perfect 12-0 record while the Lady Panthers – with one game remaining – fell to 1-10 in the league.