Pennsbury vs. Council Rock South

Pennsbury Comments
Senior Day games are wonderfully exciting and very special, but also extremely distracting and a little chaotic. Photo shoots, disrupted warm ups, and sentimental announcements shift the player and coach focus of pregame and the rattled routine causes coaches like Traci Curtis to feel out of sorts as the clock ticks to 3:30. The sound of the starting whistle today was like a jolt to my already pounding heart, Curtis admits. I just don't like feeling unprepared when we hit the field and senior days can do that to you - especially this year because my daughter is a senior on the team. I was in (a very proud) parent role right before we started and then had to jump back into coach mode in the huddle. The first time we played CR South we lost 7-0 so we anticipated the level of challenge and our captains set small goals for the team. There were things we just wanted to walk away having done better than the first meeting. Exactly the same way they went into the Neshaminy game on Wednesday. The Falcons not only met those small goals, but they walked away with an upset against the top team in the Patriot Division. It was like a "Miracle" movie moment, just without the ice, Olympic theme, or Hollywood stars. Although there was much less at stake than the referenced movie, it was transformative for this Pennsbury squad and felt just as cinematic. With every senior in the starting line up, the Falcons held the Hawks in the first quarter and went into the second tied at zero. Back on Sept. 17th, South had already racked up three goals in the first fifteen minutes. This was progress in action once again. We tweaked our lineup a tiny bit after the first quarter to capitalize on our speed as we were getting offensive opportunities, but needed to up the pace of our playing. The score was still at zeros going into the half and it was feeling a little bit like deja vu. Curtis recalls how the Neshaminy game went the same exact way. "We were just trying to stay hyper focused, but calm and capitalize on every opportunity we had". We definitely had South rattled and off their game so it was up to us to take advantage and embrace the success we were having. The game was pretty even from end to end with the Hawks earning more penalty corners (8) than the Falcons (1). Our defense is just incredible and they have really become a tight knit unit who recognizes what each other needs in any given moment, explained Curtis. Goalie Jordan Vradenburgh played so smart in the cage for 60 minutes and is the backbone of the defensive 25. Today she dove, slid, cleared, and popped up for rebounds really well - it is so much fun to watch that kid just own her space. She is extremely talented and a game like today is proof of what is inside of her. Gabby Darling, Sophia Curtis, Olivia Graebner, Helena Sosa, and Jenna Outcalt are the builders of the brick wall that denied South's offensive attempts. South comes into the circle strong, but we proved stronger today and did it together. The Cinderella story started to take shape with 4 minutes left in the third quarter when EB Rafferty crossed the ball and Meg McClure found the back of the cage to give Pennsbury the lead. Those two worked so well together in this game and truly made such a difference for us. The score remained 1-0 into the fourth and PHS seemed to have the upper hand in possession as well. The coaches were working double time to be strategic with formation, clock management, and a 15 minute plan to hold onto the fragile lead. The strategies worked and a minute and a half into the fourth, Meg McClure did some more damage on another assist from EB Rafferty. The Falcons now led 2-0 and were playing like a well oiled machine. McClure is such an overall amazing player. She is scrappy, smart, fast, and knows how to handle the ball on the right like a champ. We were not content or feeling safe even with a 2-0 lead. There were still 13 minutes left to play and knowing CR South, a lot could happen. With the help of Jaclyn Gorgo, Molly Murray, and Liz Jordan, PHS found a way to take care of the ball and keep possession using incredibly accurate passing and communication. Those three players have taken their game to new heights in the past two weeks. We love the decision making and creativity they have brought to our game. They have such important roles and make a huge impact. As the final seconds ran out, the Pennsbury sideline went crazy and the coaches stood speechless. This was the biggest win we have had since starting here three years ago. It brings us joy that the seniors shared this experience today and will have this memory to take with them. Congratulations to Sophia Curtis, Liz Jordan, Pranita Madaka, Lily Morgan, Jenna Outcalt, EB Rafferty, and Helena Sosa.
This game is for all the underdogs out there - Yes. You. Can.

The Falcons host Conwell at 3:00pm today and then travel to Truman on Monday.