Opposing teams had a variety of options to defend Dylan McMahon, The Reporter's 2013 Athlete of the Year for Boys Soccer. The problem, however, was finding one that would work against the North Penn senior.
Trying playing him tight, but McMahon could just spin free and deposit the ball in the net, like he did for the deciding tally in the Knights' 2-1 win on the road against Souderton Oct. 1.
"(The Souderton defender) 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.'
Or perhaps other squads felt giving him a little bit more space was the way to go. McMahon showed that a false assumption as he collected the equalizer in the 2-2 draw with Central Bucks West Sept. 23 when he lasered in a goal from distance when offered a little room to work.
"I just turned and saw that I had a shot, so I just took it,' said McMahon after the tight Suburban One League Continental Conference battle at War Memorial Field.
Whatever the strategy, it was hard to stop McMahon and North Penn for most of the fall.
The senior garnered all-SOL Continental first-team honors at forward as he amassed 15 goals in the Knights' first 17 games. The total aided North Penn in finishing second in the conference and finishing 14-3-3, a record that included wins over PIAA Class AA Tournament qualifier Lansdale Catholic and state 2A champ Holy Ghost Prep, both by 4-1 score lines.
McMahon scored twice in the season-opening victory over LC, heralding the start of big things for both him and North Penn. McMahon scored six goals in NP's first four matches — including two in a 3-2 win over Central Buck South — and nine of his side's 24 goals as North Penn won its first 9 games and went unbeaten in its opening 11.
McMahon kept that run going in its later stages with his goal in the CB West tie — capping a comeback from 2-0 down at half. His goal and assist at Souderton the opening night of October pushed the Knights to 9-0-2.
Eight days later after back-to-back losses, McMahon staved off a third straight defeat with his third multi-goal game of 2013. Trailing Quakertown 2-1, McMahon scored the contest's final three goals — converting a penalty to put the Knights up for good.
Follow Mike Cabrey on Twitter @mpcabrey.