UPPER PROVIDENCE ' Fighting for the No. 2 seed out of the Frontier Division and a berth into the PAC-10 final four playoffs, Pope John Paul II needs to stay perfect if it wants to thrust Phoenixville out of that position.
Monday, the Golden Panthers took one step closer to snatching that position.
Jordan Kengor scored four goals, Emma Dyson had three assists while Caity Gill and Stephanie Petery each added tallies as Pope John Paul II exhibited an offensive exhibition in a 6-1 victory over Pottsgrove on Monday afternoon.
"Our offense has been relatively stagnant so it's nice to see them working together, leveling our play, passing to the appropriate person,' PJP head coach Jackie Petery said.
"We worked on working together as a team,' Kengor said. "We've been playing together since freshman year — we have 15 seniors — and we work really well together.'
That cohesion showed early for the Golden Panthers.
After a strong offensive start from Pottsgrove in which it obtained two corners in the first 10 minutes of the game, PJP answered with three goals in a few ticks shy of three minutes.
Ten minutes into the game, Dyson blasted a shot from left of the circle that careened off of Pottsgrove goalkeeper Cheyanne Ready and onto the stick of Kengor. Kengor, after being denied by Ready on her first attempt, reversed position and tapped home her first goal of the day.
"It wasn't our game,' Pottsgrove head coach Christine Campbell said. "The first 10 minutes of the game we were on fire but it didn't click the whole hour.'
Two minutes later, PJP continued the offensive display as Gill stole the ball from a Pottsgrove defender and raced her way down a quarter of the field before firing a shot passed the Pottsgrove keeper to make it 2-0.
"We wanted to show them our best,' Gill said. "We worked on talking and playing like a team which we didn't really do the last couple of games.'
Petery then got in on the scoring a minute later, taking a pass from Dyson and sending it into the left corner of the cage to give PJP a 3-0 advantage midway through the first half.
Facing an early deficit, Pottsgrove started to turn up the heat in PJP territory, as Abby Girafalco sent two lasers in the direction of PJP goalkeeper Rachel Everly; however, Everly was up to the task, denying both of the scoring opportunities to keep the score at 3-0.
The Falcons' Alyssa O'Neil made sure that Pottsgrove's scoring opportunities weren't for naught as she stole a pass from a PJP defender and broke away from the pack, sending the ball past the PJP keeper to bring the game to 3-1 with 10 minutes remaining in the half.
"She's always very aggressive,' Campbell said about O'Neil. "She definitely has leadership qualities. She's always moving.'
Four minutes later, Kengor answered the Pottsgrove resurgence with her second goal of the half, coming from an assist from Jessica Wayock, to give the Golden Panthers a 4-1 lead heading into halftime.
"We came out here and reminded ourselves that they were going to give us good competition, they have good girls that wanted to win just as much as we did,' Wayock said.
The second half spelled much of the same for PJP as Kengor deposited her third and fourth goals in a two-minute span, one coming off another assist from Dyson, to give the Golden Panthers a 6-1 lead with 20 minutes left.
Sarah Hershey and Molly Brennan added quality minutes in the waning minutes of the game, relishing one of their few chances to play at the varsity level this season. The two helped keep Pottsgrove off the board in the second half, sending PJP to the 6-1 win.
"I hoped that our team would end the losing streak that we were having,' Hershey said.
"I love the game and it's fun to go in and play,' Brennan added.
For the Golden Panthers (3-7), their players' motto is simple, "Shock the World.' Entering Wednesday's bout with Phoenixville, PJP and the Phantoms are separated by one game in the Frontier Division.
A win on Wednesday could help propel them to its first playoff berth since 2011, where the team lost to Owen J. Roberts 6-0 in the conference semifinals.
However, the team must find an answer for Rose Moore and Bailey Quinn, who paced the Phantoms to a 3-0 victory in the last encounter on Sept. 6.
"We're a lot better of a team than we were (in the beginning of the year),' said coach Petery. "We are going to do our best to contain her (Bailey) and keep her goals to a minimum.'
Follow Sam Stewart on Twitter @Samuel_Stewart7