SOL Soccer Wrap (11-18-11)

The Council Rock North girls’ team clinched sole possession of the National Conference title with its win over Neshaminy. Check out all the SOL results.

GIRLS SOCCER
Council Rock North 3, Neshaminy 1
Larry Sullivan approaches each game not so much as a soccer game, but as a boxing match. His Council Rock North squad is not often going to score a quick knockout, but as it's done on all but one occasion this season, it's going to get the 10-count.
"Our system is not set up to take the game over in the first 20 minutes," Sullivan said following the Indians' 3-1 victory over Neshaminy on Tuesday. "Our system is to figure out what you're going to do, and then figuring it out. It's a boxing match. You have to get in there and slug it out to figure out how you're going to box."
That's how Tuesday's National Conference showdown played out as well. Neshaminy struck first on a Jess Kelly goal (Erin Farrell assist) 13 minutes into the game, and had an opportunity to make it 2-0 shortly thereafter on a Farrell shot that was denied by North keeper Helena Gemmell.
"After losing to Neshaminy the first time, I didn't feel good about it," Sullivan said. "Neshaminy had confidence. They came out, they played their game, they bang it around, they jump on the ball, and they score first."
"The start of this game was almost a similar feeling to what happened last game (a 2-0 Redskins' victory)," said Neshaminy coach Rachel Clemens. "We have to take care of business right from the start. We went ahead, we had another opportunity not long after that with Erin Farrell with a perfect gift-wrapped ball to her."
The Indians jabbed back and knotted the score with less than seven minutes left in the first half when a sliding Adrianna Rosario redirected a long cross from Kaitlin McNamara into the cage.
North slowly began to take control of play and had an opportunity to take the lead in the final seconds of the half, but Redskins' goalie McKenna Mullin made a good save of a long Caitlin Hannagen shot and grabbed the loose ball from an onrushing North attacker.
The Redskins pressured early in the second half, and nearly broke the tie when Katie Suchodolski made a great move past a North defender and hit Jamie Mason with a perfect pass, but Gemmell was equal to the shot.
North took its first lead of the game -- and first of the season against the Redskins -- seven minutes into the second half when Alexa Hone sent a cross to Hannagen in the middle of the field and the senior bumped it over to a streaking Nicole Moonan, who fired a shot that went off Mullin's hand and bounced across the goal line.
"Caitlin did a great job of possessing the ball in the final third, and I saw an opportunity to make the run," Moonan said. "She played a great ball and I got it. It was an unselfish act and it totally made the difference."
"We had Moonan out here, but she's only been out three or four minutes, so she's still fresh," Sullivan said of the play. "And Caitlin has the wherewithal to let it go instead of trying to force the shot. That's why Caitlin's one of the best players on the team. And that was a pretty goal."
Both teams traded chances and rushes down the field as time ticked away in the second half. North junior Karina Kovalcik entered the game and immediately injected some fire into the Indians. Kovalcik came close with 14 minutes left on a nice solo effort that was denied by Mullin. But five minutes later, Kovalcik headed a Moonan corner kick in for a textbook goal and a 3-1 lead.
"She's making her move now," Sullivan said of Kovalcik. "She's showing that she's as good as some of the seniors."
With the victory, the Indians (13-1 league, 15-1 overall) clinch outright the National Conference title and avenge the only blemish on their record.
"They're the only team that beat us this season and we wanted to win really bad," Moonan said. "We had a lot to prove. This was definitely the biggest game of the season, bigger than (Council Rock) South. This whole season, our goal was to go undefeated, no goals against. When this team beat us, it really hit us hard. We wanted to come out and get them back."
"We didn't want to be co-champs, so we knew we had to win today," Hannagen said. "We knew we had to come out and play our normal game and play hard. The last time they scored first, too, but we learned to keep our heads up, don't let up, don't stop going. This is one of the bigger games we had this season. We lost to them last time and we always know they're going to be a good team."
The Indians will close out the season with a nonleague game against Conestoga on Thursday as they prepare for the District playoffs as a team running on all cylinders.
"We want to make it far this year," Hannagen said. "I would hope we can make it to states, because we've never done it before. We got to the second round of playoffs last year, so we definitely want to go farther than that. We want to at least get to states and see where we go from there."
"The kids are motivated," Sullivan said. " It's getting to the point where I don't have to say anything anymore. I have them now where when they don't pass, when they don't tackle, when they don't execute, they're disappointed in themselves. They know they made a mistake. And the next time, they're not going to miss it."
For the Redskins, it was a missed opportunity, but not a crushing defeat. Neshaminy stands at 10-3 in the league, 11-4 overall with a non-league game against Archbishop Wood (last season's state runner-up) on Thursday and a Friday date with league foe Pennsbury. The Redskins will be looking to getting back on the winning track as they head into the second season as well.
"This was a disappointing loss, but we're losing to a great team that plays 80 solid minutes of soccer," Clemens said. "We're disappointed with what could have been, but we're keeping our spirits high and we're going to look for a playoff run.
"We'll shake it off and take each day as it comes and hopefully make a nice playoff run."

Abington 2, Harry S. Truman 0
Following a long season filled with numerous strong performances that didn't translate to wins, Abington finally broke through on Tuesday night, defeating Harry S. Truman, 2-0, to earn its first victory of the year.
Emily Willard set up the first Abington goal, playing a ball down the left flank, getting past several Truman defenders and sending a cross to Gabby Nyirjesy, who scored the first goal to give Abington a 1-0 halftime lead.
Willard scored the Ghosts' second goal off a penalty kick in the second half. Abington goalkeeper Ali Dobson and the defense recorded the team's first shutout of the season.
Abington stands at 1-12 in the National Conference, 1-14 overall, and will face non-league opponent Penncrest on Thursday, then will have a rematch against Truman (0-13, 1-13) on Friday.

Council Rock South 8, Bensalem 0
Paige McDowell scored a hat trick in her second straight game, Nicole Caffey added two and Erica Crosier and Kelsey Pressler each scored one as Council Rock South downed Bensalem in Tuesday's National Conference game.
South secures second place in the National Conference with a record of 11-2-1 (34 points) and are 14-3-1 overall. Bensalem visits Pennsbury on Thursday to close out the season. The Owls sit at 5-8, 6-9-1.

Plymouth Whitemarsh 6, Norristown 0
Sarah Asnan scored two goals and Kelly McCreesh, Amanda Craney, Kelsey Plona and Nicole Abbott each added one as Plymouth Whitemarsh led 2-0 at the half and downed American Conference opponent Norristown 6-0 in Tuesday's game.
Plymouth Whitemarsh improves to 10-1 in American Conference play (11-1-1 overall) and will visit Upper Merion on Wednesday. A victory against the Vikings will give PW a share of the American Conference title with Upper Dublin.
"The girls know what's at stake," PW coach Steve Slack said. "We're not taking either of these games lighthearted."

Central Bucks East 2, Souderton 0
Danielle DeMichael highlighted a strong game with an assist on the eventual game-winning goal as Central Bucks East finished the regular season with a 2-0 win over Souderton in Tuesday's Continental Conference game.
DeMichael fed Aimee Chimera for the Patriots' first goal in the 20th minute. Eight minutes later, Miranda Meehan scored (Annie Axenroth assist) to make it a 2-0 count.
Jess Haug and Holly Moyer also played well for the Patriots, who finish the regular season at 7-6-1 (19 points, fourth place) in league play, 10-6-1 overall. They now can only wait to see if that's enough to earn the squad a berth in the District tournament.
"Our strength of schedule is in the Continental Conference," said East coach Paul Eishold. "Out of league, we've had some crossover games with some good teams, we beat Upper Dublin and Cheltenham. We played West Chester Rustin to a tie. We're hoping that that will end up bringing us good news."

Upper Merion 1, Upper Moreland 1
Kristina O'Sullivan scored in the first five minutes of Tuesday night's American Conference game against Upper Moreland. But the Golden Bears battled back, and Morgan Valera scored on a penalty kick to knot the score as the two teams fought to a 1-1 tie on Tuesday.
"That's our M.O. ... we're always giving up those early goals," said Upper Moreland coach Joe Joyce. "O'Sullivan is a great player. She's all over the field. But we controlled her for most of the game."
Joyce credited sweeper Carly Lynch, Lindsay Walder and Valera with strong play. The two teams will square off again on Thursday evening, this time at Upper Merion.
"We're looking to win that one," Joyce said. "Hopefully we can wake up early."

Pennridge 2, Quakertown 1
Sarah Wiley scored off a cross from Marissa Sheva, and Shannon Chynoweth added the second goal off a cross from Natalia Pinkney as Continental Conference champion Pennridge downed Quakertown, 2-1, on Tuesday.
The Rams finish the season at 13-1 (39 points) in the league, 16-1 overall. Quakertown closes out its schedule with a non-league matchup against Central Bucks West on Thursday.

Wissahickon 3, Cheltenham 2
Wissahickon topped Cheltenham, 3-2, in an exciting game under the lights at Cheltenham's stadium. Wissahickon started the match strong, with convincing possession and fire in their eyes. In minute 10 of the match their quick step and though balls to wingers Katie Ziegler and Alyssa Ryan paid off when Ziegler was able to capitalize on a breakaway to score for Wissahickon. The match heated up with both teams back and forth with possession and runs at goal. Wissahickon striker Anna Chiedo-Ortiz had a couple nice breakaway moments, Ryan a beauty of a shot just wide, and backs Samie Silar, Bailey Weber, Laura Frankenfield and Meredith Brown held strong when faced with action in our defending third. In around minute 30, however, a collision inside the 18 took out Cheltenham's striker and Wissahickon goalkeeper Rachel Stone. From the field, Ellen-Claire Benbow was called on to take Stone's place. Wissahickon regrouped, again with great support from the backs and center midfielder Cailin Grey holding off attacking Cheltenham to end the half at 1-0.
The second half of play started with Stone back in goal, however with increasing strain on her right shin she was relieved after the first few minutes of play, calling on newbee Kara Ciaccio to step up. Cheltenham took advantage of Chiedo's opening jitters, scoring in the 52nd and 53rd minutes to take lead. Regrouping and finding their strength, again the Trojans took back control of the game with away balls to striker Chiedo-Ortiz to allow her a couple more nice breakaway chances. Goaltender Chiedo found her groove, stepping up and finding her mind and body in the game stopping and returning balls forward. But the real strength came from Grey, as her skill and grit kept winning possession for Wissahickon, so to put the ball on target, wearing down the Cheltenham team. At minute 75, a Wissahickon corner kick taken by captain Maureen Beichert found Ziegler once more for the tying score. And with that momentum, in the 79th minute, Benbow stole the ball for a beautifully executed breakaway, low and in the left corner, for the winning shot.
Amarri Trueheart and Emily Leibovitz scored for Cheltenham, which finishes the league slate at 7-5, 8-8 overall with games against Hatboro-Horsham (Thursday) and Souderton (Saturday) to end the season.
--Submitted by Wissahickon coach Shannon Franke

Hatboro-Horsham 1, North Penn 0
Mary Kate Bateman scored the only goal of the game to lift Hatboro-Horsham to a 1-0 victory over North Penn in the Hatters' Senior Day game.
Marie Guerra, Maddie Paone and Siobhan Spanninger played strong defense for the Hatters, and Lindsey Day earned her seventh shutout of the season.
The Hatters finish their league slate at 10-3-1 (31 points, second place), and stand at 12-3-1 overall with non-league games against Cheltenham (on Thursday) and Wissahickon (on Friday).

Central Bucks South 1, Central Bucks West 0 (OT)
Neither team was able to score a goal in 80 minutes of regulation. And Central Bucks South and local rival Central Bucks West were just two seconds away from completing a scoreless overtime frame when Kristen Rose scored off an assist from Taylor Matsinger to give the Titans the 1-0 victory.
Meg Radwanski had five saves in the shutout.
The Titans finish at 10-4 (30 points, third place) in the Continental Conference, and look to improve upon their 10-5 overall record when they end the regular season against William Tennent on Thursday.

BOYS SOCCER
Council Rock North 1, Neshaminy 0

Council Rock North wrapped up its second straight National Conference title -- this time sharing the crown with no one -- with a 1-0 win over Neshaminy in a league showdown on Tuesday evening.
Alec Neumann scored (Ian Fitzsimmons assist) the only goal of the game for the Indians in the first half.
"They got the early goal, and it broke our backs," said Neshaminy coach Rich Reice. "The second half, we played much better. We hit a post, hit a crossbar. We had much better chances."
North will close out the regular season at Cheltenham on Saturday. The Indians finish the league season at 11-2-1 (34 points). They claim the title in a National Conference that saw three teams finish with 10 wins overall and will see five teams finish at or above .500.
"Our division stands up to anybody's," Reice said. "This league is so competitive and so balanced. I really feel, top to bottom, that our league is the most competitive around. Anybody can beat anybody on any given day."
Neshaminy will face non-league opponent Wissahickon (the American Conference champion) on Thursday and visits Pennsbury to close out the season on Friday. The Redskins stand at 8-4-1 (25 points, third place) in the league, two points behind second-place Council Rock South, which finished its league slate at 9-5 for 27 points.

Plymouth Whitemarsh 2, Norristown 0
Seniors Sam Brodovsky and Ian McDade each scored second-half goals as Plymouth Whitemarsh blanked Norristown, 2-0, in Tuesday's American Conference matchup.
Andrew Pilhuj and Mike Willis each played a half in goal to combine for the shutout.
PW ends the season at 6-5-1 (19 points, fourth place) in the American Conference, 9-6-1 overall. Norristown finishes at 1-10-1 (4 points), 3-11-1.

Council Rock South 2, Bensalem 1
Chris Spadaro scored both Council Rock South goals as the Golden Hawks topped Bensalem, 2-1, in Tuesday's National Conference matchup.
Zach Hizer scored for Bensalem.
South finishes the regular season at 9-5 (27 points, second place) in the league, 11-6-1 overall. Bensalem stands at 3-10, 4-11 and close out the season with a league game at Harry S. Truman on Saturday.

Pennridge 1, Quakertown 0
Seniors Jacob Stear and Michael Gaito made their final game on the soccer pitch for Pennridge count. Stear converted Gaito's corner kick as the Rams topped Quakertown, 1-0, on a night where both teams observed Senior Night.
"Quakertown has improved so much," said Pennridge coach Pete Valimont. "They're lucky to have such a good coach (Marc Benson), and their goalie (Nick Lapinski) is probably the best goalie in the league when you look at the number of saves he has to make. And he was great tonight."
The win ends the season for the Rams at 3-11 in Continental League play, 4-14 overall. The team bids farewell to six seniors, but has a large number of experienced players returning for next year.
"This was definitely a rollercoaster season," Valimont said. "I don't think anyone expected 4-14 because we had a lot of talent. But we were trying to find our identity.
"To the seniors' credit, they never started pointing fingers, they never complained to the coaches or to each other on the field. And the younger players now realize, this is Continental Conference soccer. This is the level they're going to have to get to."     

Central Bucks East 2, Souderton 1 (2 OT)
Trent Koberna (Eric Vare assist) scored the game-winner three minutes into the second overtime period as Central Bucks East earned  a 2-1 victory over Souderton on Tuesday.
East -- playing without Nick McGarry and Kyle Clow due to injuries -- led 1-0 at halftime on a goal from Ryan Gleason (Sean Jenkins assist). Souderton knotted the score in the second half on a goal by Rob Schaefer (Matt Wolfe assist).
The Patriots close out the conference slate with a 12-2 record (13-2-1 overall) and will finish the regular season with a nonleague matchup against Abington on Thursday. Souderton finishes at 4-5-4 in league play and stand at 7-5-4 overall with nonleague games against Cheltenham (Wednesday) and Hatboro-Horsham (Friday) to end the season.

Upper Moreland 4, Upper Merion 0
Tommy Hays scored twice and Tyler Foerst had a goal and an assist as Upper Moreland spoiled Senior Night for Upper Merion by leaping out to a 3-0 halftime lead en route to a 4-0 American Conference victory on Tuesday.
Nate Roberts put the Golden Bears on the scoreboard when he buried a perfect cross from Foerst. Hays scored (Carl Wambold assist) the Bears' second goal, then added the team's third on a great shot off a setup by Kyle Lynch. Foerst added a second-half goal (Wambold assist) to close out the scoring. Kyle Walder recorded the shutout.
The Bears finish at 9-3 (27 points, second place) in the conference. They stand at 9-4 overall and host Springfield in the season finale.

Central Bucks South 1, Central Bucks West 0
Stephen Pieri scored the game's only goal in the 27th minute as Central Bucks South won a hard-fought battle with Central Bucks West in Tuesday's Continental Conference matchup.
Pieri got past a defender and fired a show low and to the far post for the score. Matt Weigner recorded his eighth shutout in goal.
"There was not much rhythm by either team," said South coach Don Brady. "Everyone was trying to push and physically get to the ball. It was not a very attractive game, but we're pleased to get out with a victory."
The Titans finish their league schedule at 9-4-1 (28 points, third place) and are 11-5-1 overall with a visit to Malvern Prep on Thursday to finish the regular season. The Bucks finish at 6-6-2 (20 points, fourth place) in the league, 7-7-3 overall with a season-ending nonleague game at Cheltenham on Thursday.

North Penn 3, Hatboro-Horsham 1
Curtis Washburn continued his stellar offensive season by scoring all three North Penn goals as the Knights rallied past Hatboro-Horsham in Tuesday's Continental Conference game.
The Hatters scored midway through the first half, but Washburn tied it before the break. He added two goals in the final eight minutes on two impressive plays to put the Knights ahead.
North Penn coach Paul Duddy also praised the efforts of Sean Gorman and Zach Miller in the victory.
The Knights finish 9-2-3 (30 points, second place) in the conference and will play Holy Ghost Prep on Thursday and Christopher Dock on Saturday in nonleague games to close out the season.
"To Central Bucks East's credit, they had a tremendous season, they're on a great streak," Duddy said. "Finishing second to them is certainly no disgrace. And we're hoping it should get us a good seed in districts."

Wissahickon 3, Cheltenham 0
Joe Farrell scored twice and Tim Ko added one goal as American Conference champion Wissahickon downed Cheltenham, 3-0, in Tuesday's American Conference game. Stefan Dasbach had two assists and Nick Nikic had one.
Neal Guaglianone made two saves and John Carozza made one to combine for the shutout. Brian Henstenburg made eight saves for the Panthers.
The Trojans finish the season at 10-1-1 (31 points) in the American Conference, 10-5-1 overall. Cheltenham finishes at 4-7-1 and looks to improve upon its 4-8-2 overall record with nonleague games against Central Bucks West on Thursday and Council Rock North on Saturday.