FRANCONIA — With seniors Dylan McMahon and Abdul Mohamed pacing the North Penn boys soccer team's offense this season, the rest of the Suburban One League Continental Conference is having a hard time keeping up.
“They're a tough pair to handle for a defensive group,” Knights coach Paul Duddy said. “They both have speed. They both have a pretty good read on the game.”
Tuesday night against host Souderton, the duo provided the scoring for North Penn as it kept its unbeaten record intact through 11 games. Mohamed collected a goal in the first half, McMahon struck in the second and the Indians' penalty-kick goal in the final minute was not enough to keep the Knights for a 2-1 victory.
“We're happy with the result,” McMahon said. “We were able to get a goal early in the first half. And we were able to keep that lead and why I got that second goal, we were feeling good.
“The handball in the box in the end may have actually helped us, cause it slowed them down and got us the ball back.”
McMahon was also key in setting up Mohamed's goals as North Penn (9-0-2, 6-0-2 conference) won its second straight and stayed a point ahead of Central Bucks West — 20 to 19 — for first place in the SOL Continental standings. The win was also the Knights third in a row over Souderton (3-7-1, 2-6-0).
“It would have been nice if we could have got the shutout, if we could have had the shutout, but that happened at the end,” Duddy said. “It's accidental, but the ref had to call it.”
Nick Stulb scored the Indians' lone goal as the Knights were called for a handball in their 18-yard box with just 30.7 seconds remaining, but the final half-minute was too little time to find an equalizer.
“We really, really wanted to come out hard tonight and really try and turn the second half into a real good springboard to get the rest of our season going,” Souderton first-year coach Matt Benner said. “So, to not get the result we want tonight was a little bit disappointing, but I have to give a lot of credit to North Penn. They have some very, very skilled players on the other side of the ball.
“I thought, particularly, (No.) 13, McMahon, and then (No.) 10, Mohamed, were just outstanding tonight.”
Both teams are back in action Thursday for conference matchups. North Penn hosts Central Bucks South at 3:45 p.m., while Souderton play at Hatboro-Horsham at 7 p.m.
“We know (CB) West is right there with us, so we got to keep pushing hard, keep working,” McMahon said.
North Penn's opening tally came close to the halfway mark of the first half. McMahon played ball towards the Indians' goal, but was stopped by a sliding Souderton defender. That, however, put it in position for Mohamed to deposit it into the net at 21:19.
“I was just trying to get it front of the goal. Get someone on our team an opportunity to score,” McMahon said.
McMahon made it 2-0 with 16:56 left in the second half, spinning free of a defender then place his low shot found the opposite corner.
“He got back and I just tried to get around him. So, I tried to turn. That didn't work, turned around again and had a shot,” McMahon said. “Took it and hit the inside of the post.”
After Souderton was award the late penalty kick, Stulb stepped and placed his shot into the lower right corner. The result of his conversion was that the final scoreline matched the North Penn's win over the Indians on Sept. 10.
“I am very proud of my boys that they did not give up tonight. We tried different guys at different spots and we tried to get something going,” Benner said. “As you saw, up until the very end, they were clawing and fighting and trying to get everything they could. The last-minute penalty, although a consolation, I think showed they truly care all the way to the last whistle.”
Follow Mike Cabrey on Twitter @mpcabrey.