Council Rock North vs. Pennsbury

Pennsbury Comments
As the clouds rolled in and the winds of change cautioned a coming rain storm, the Pennsbury Falcons and CR North took to the field at Walter Snyder Stadium for an incredible field hockey showdown. It was like today's game was pulled from the script of a (low budget) sports movie - Pennsbury returning to the turf where they were hammered by CR South not long ago, both PHS and North having beaten and lost to the same SOL opponents, and the Falcons players and staff filled with anxious energy about the crossroads of this moment in time. It was a great cinematic ending with a dramatic 1-0 victory for the Falcons and that score reflected the great contest that played out for 60 minutes. Coaches, Curtis, Sheenan, Mallon, and Aker had been pumping their girls full of inspirational stories, quotes, and analogies for days leading up to this game, as they searched for every way possible to encourage their team to rise to the challenge of playing at a higher level. We knew today would be a defining moment for us in believing we are worthy of competing and capable of being, not just good, but great, said Curtis. But honestly, that doesn't just apply to the kids, it applies to us as coaches as well. Sometimes it is difficult to be confident in coaching skills when you are not getting the results you think you should. It was really tough for us to bounce back from those two big shutout losses - they really stung. It takes a lot of effort to not let that seed of doubt take root. Our coaching staff never stops studying, researching, learning, questioning, and working together to do what we think is best for our entire group. We arranged to practice on turf on Tuesday and I think that made a big difference for us in our preparation. We also took some chances and made some big changes in our set up that sparked momentum across the field. Rock came out strong forcing corners right away and creating many offensive opportunities, but the PHS defense came up big. The score remained 0-0 into halftime despite Rocks numerous corners (15 documented) and shots (14) and Pennsbury's multiple breakaway opportunities. It was a very evenly matched game with strong performances on both sides of the ball, but Curtis had a feeling that the game would follow this script. North was dominating a little more in the first half solidifying the fact that nothing would not be easy. Curtis cannot recall exactly what she said at halftime, but she is sure it was some sort of inspirational concoction from Rocky, Rudy, Miracle, and Hoosiers - a rant about believing, digging deep, rising to the challenge, destiny, and how this all applies to life itself. Whatever it was, it worked. About halfway through the third quarter with the score still tied at zeros, Pennsbury was on attack penetrating the circle. As the ball was about to go over the end line right next to the cage, Junior forward, Reagan Ward, completely dove to keep the ball in play. She swept it up to Jaclyn Gorgo, who tapped it passed the goalie for what would be the only score of the game. Add to that stand out play and a defensive save for Sophomore defender, Gabby Darling, and an absolutely stellar performance by goalie Jordan Vradenburgh, and the movie played out with the Falcons riding off (on a very delayed bus) into the sunset. The moment when Ward dove was transformative for us all. The assist was as powerful, if not more, than the goal. Her decision in that moment sent a strong message to all of us about what needed to happen - she sent a shockwave through our team that carried us to the final buzzer. Every single player stepped up today and rose to the occasion and now that we did this, we can continue to grow sparked by a bit of confidence. Cheers to North for an awesome game in every way. Their girls are always stacked with talent, grit, IQ, and strength. It makes us proud knowing that we held our own against a team like that. Other impressive Falcon contributions were displayed by Meg McClure, EB Rafferty, Rylie Borgman, Olivia Graebner, and Sophia Curtis. Pennsbury will close out a three game week as they host North Penn on Friday