When Souderton and Pennridge square off in any sport, the intensity of the rivalry is apparent. Although both sides put in a great effort in the pool, the Indians' offensive firepower was just too much for the Rams.
Souderton took home an impressive rode victory, downing Pennridge 11-4 in Suburban One Continental play. Led by Sarah Hershey's six goals, the Indians dominated the proceedings from the opening whistle. Pennridge showed glimpses of solid play, but in the end Souderton scored too many early goals for the Rams to get back in the game.
"I think the girls played well and they are really starting to come together as a team,' Souderton coach Elyse Faccenda said. "It's really exciting to see them playing together and supporting each other.'
If the game plan was to fly out of the gate with a barrage of shots, than Souderton executed perfectly. The Indians put a lot of pressure on Pennridge goalkeeping and posted four goals in the first period. April Kichline opened the scoring for the Indians two minutes into the game, followed by two goals a minute apart by Hershey. Before the Rams could blink, Caleigh O'Donnell had put the fourth in the net and it was a tough early hole to dig out of.
"Souderton is a strong team,' Pennridge coach Ryan Griffiths said. "We have a core group of kids that are sophomores and juniors that have only been playing about a year and a half, two years. It's the speed of the game. Once we get that down, we will be much better. There were some highlights in the defense, but we just have to execute our shot selection a bit better.'
It seemed like the Rams needed a period to wake up, because the offense looked much better in the second seven minutes. The defense gave up three scattered goals to Hershey, but finally got on the scoreboard with a pair of their own and hit the post a few times. Brittany Savercool represented the first Pennridge goal, scoring about 30 seconds into the second, while Maggie Walker scored with a minute to go. The 7-2 score was still a steep deficit, but the Rams were playing much better than in the beginning of the match.
"Sarah has been really good for us this season,' Faccenda said. "She has been our top scorer. She's really strong offensively and defensively. She pulls everyone together and gets everyone on the same page.
While the Pennridge defense improved in the second half, Souderton kept on scoring. The Indians managed two goals in the third period, both of which were scored by Gabriella Pagano. Although Pennridge gained some possession, fouls and turnovers plagued any chance of a comeback. After being blanked for the second time, a 9-2 disadvantage was too big for the Rams.
"It was an important game, but every game is a big deal for us,' Faccenda said. "It was nice to get a win, especially against Pennridge.'
The Indians tacked on two more goals in the final six minutes, one from Kayla Rush and the other by Hershey. It was a dominating effort in many ways for Souderton, but Pennridge showed a lot of fight. The Rams scored a pair of goals in the fourth period, both coming from Kacie Cois. There may have been some positives for Pennridge, but Souderton had the most to be happy about when the match was over.
"You have to come in well prepared,' Griffiths said. "You can't wait to get going six minutes and then try to play catch up. It's tough because of the way the flow of the game and because of the rules. We just need every girl to know how to warm up and get themselves ready to go.'