Pennsbury vs. Council Rock North

Pennsbury Comments
We knew this day was coming, but it didn't make it any easier. In the comfort of their own home field, the Falcons shut out CR North 2-0 for their final game of the regular season. Despite the exciting win, as the clock ran down to zero and the twilight sky turned pink, you could feel the heaviness in their hearts. Through the pre season pressure, grass and turf practices, and all 18 games, these girls won together, lost together, laughed together, and shared some tears. It may have taken us a bunch of games to find our groove, but we sure did gain momentum over the last couple of weeks, said coach, Traci Curtis. This group played some of the best hockey I have ever seen Pennsbury play and that is just so exciting. What makes us most proud is our team's response to that rough patch of crossover game losses. We lost five in a row and were scoreless in all five of those games, yet we picked ourselves up, brushed off the dirt and won five out of our last six match ups (including an upset over the top team in our division, CR South). Nothing can be a greater life lesson than that sequence of events and we wouldn't want it to happen any other way. Pennsbury emerged from that mid season struggle a transformed team and they did it as one solid unit. We accomplished everything we hoped for and more, Curtis beamed. I just don't want it to end. Today was the exclamation point we were looking for, but it came with a lot of planning and strategizing with our line up. We did not know what to expect from North because we played them way back in September on turf. So much time had passed and they were coming to our field on grass so it was going to be a completely different contest. Our coaching staff set up a formation to play to our strengths offensively, while still keeping a solid defense in place. The decision worked as EB Rafferty and Meg McClure connected for the first goal of the game in the opening 2 minutes. Meg crossed the ball and EB tipped it in, which is why we put them on the field where we did - they are a good offensive match for us and have only gotten better with each day. McClure is one of our best weapons and she proved it by scoring a second goal for us with three minutes left in the first quarter on an assist by Jaclyn Gorgo to give the Falcons a 2-0 lead going into the half. Pennsbury sat on that lead for the remainder of the game and closed out 2021 with four wins in a row. The game was pretty even from end to end with both goalies being challenged with a handful of shots and each team earning a few penalty corners. North has strong sticks making it difficult to get the ball through them. Our girls did an awesome job with the small passing game and big transfers when necessary to work the ball around. We had opportunities to score in later quarters, but just did not find a way to finish. There was a beautiful goal called back that would have made it 3-0 - McClure made a long stretch to save the ball near the endline and dumped it to the stroke mark where Liz Jordan deflected it right passed the goalie perfectly, but unfortunately, it was called out of bounds back where McClure had handled it. We were so excited about how they had worked to make that play happen that we didn't even care that it didn't count. The process and progress of our team has blown us away. When we think about how far we have come in two months, it gives us the chills. It was a strong finish for our program, for the team, and for individuals. Senior, Jenna Outcalt, played one of the best games we have seen her play. Senior captain, Sophia Curtis, dominated the defensive end and Junior, Jaclyn Gorgo, used her talent perfectly in the midfield to possess the ball and distribute selflessly. EB Rafferty and Meg McClure rose to the occasion to get us on the scoreboard and Jordan Vradenburgh protected the cage with agility and intelligence. The book may be closed on the Falcons' season, but the story will live on for a very long time for this family. Our theme this season forced us to search for our WHY and we believe that the journey we took, helped us to discover that and more. We wish our seniors and all of the seniors who are finishing out 2021 the best as they move on and say goodbye to the high school hockey field. Best of luck to all of the teams who will enter playoffs and battle beyond the regular season.