Despite allowing 10 goals in the first half, trailing for a majority of the contest and going against one of the higher-ranked teams in the state, Abington, like it has so often over the past several years, found a way to win.
Cameron Leech scored the game's first goal and then scored the game-winner with 48 seconds to play to boost the Ghosts to a 12-11 come-from-behind upset win over Upper Dublin in a non-conference game under the lights inside of Abington High School's Stephen A. Schwarzman Stadium on Thursday night.
With the rain pouring down throughout the entire second half, the Ghosts settled in and eventually scored the final four goals of the game to come out on top.
"Every week, we prepare the same no matter who we're playing,' Abington first-year coach Peter Burns said. "Upper Dublin is definitely a quality opponent and we came up ready to play and we're just happy to get the win against such a good opponent.'
After scoring the game's first goal, Upper Dublin (2-2, 2-0) scored the next four, with Ryan Siwinski, Michael Mullin, Evan Scott and Jack Rapine recording the tallies. The Ghosts scored the final two goals (Hunter Jones, Will Dulin) of the first quarter to cut their deficit to one.
In the second, Upper Dublin came out on fire, increasing its lead to four goals at 7-3 and 8-4, but the Ghosts again responded, and scored three goals in a row. They eventually went into the half down by two, at 10-8.
In the second half, Siwinski got the scoring started just 16 seconds into the third quarter, but that would be it for the Cardinals, who were held off the scoreboard for the final 23 minutes, 44 seconds of the game.
"The only thing I said to (my goaltender) was that we'll give up those 15-yard shots all year long,' Burns said of his goalie, senior Blake Friedman. "That was the only thing that needed to be said and he responded. He's an excellent goalie who had an excellent time to shine in the second half tonight.'
Friedman stopped seven shots while earning the win.
"There were some plays that we didn't finish on,' Upper Dublin coach J.P. Banks said. "We didn't sit back and we pushed it, but a little slippery ball pops out of the stick and we got a little unlucky and that's how it worked out. I think everything we do is a great learning experience. It's a season of steps and it's a marathon and today, we didn't come out on the right end. I thought we did some great stuff out here tonight, but some things didn't fall our way and that's the way it goes.'
The Cardinals received six saves in net from junior Bobby McPeake in the loss. Offensively, Upper Dublin was led by Scott's three goals and one assist. Siwinski, Mullin and Rapine each tallied two goals and an assist, while Zach Hanson scored once. Tyler Fortune added two assists.
Leech added two assists to his two goals for Abington.
"That was a big win for us, but we have to keep playing,' he said. "I think the way we've been practicing all week and the way we've been fighting, we knew we had to win this game and we came out on fire. I think we have a good enough team now and I think that we can play as a team. We get good chances, so we just have to keep playing like that.'
"Cameron is a great player and he works hard in practice and it really translated in the game today,' Burns said. "He's a high-quality teammate as well and I'm just grateful that he had the chance to show it on the field today.'
Offensively, the Ghosts were led by Jones, who scored four goals and added a pair of assists. Brian Gallagher recorded a hat trick, while Dulin finished with a goal and three assists. Matt Gormley also scored twice for Abington.
"We constantly talk about being a family,' Burns said. "We kept it together and played as a family tonight. We came back in that second half and came out on top.'