BUCKTOWN — Heading into Friday's game against Phoenixville, Devin Hassinger, Kerry Huzzard and Owen J. Roberts knew it had to get back to basics.
After suffering two straight losses to Boyertown (the PAC-10 defending champion) and Spring-Ford, a date with undefeated Phoenixville served as a good measuring stick to get back on the right track.
Indeed it was.
Hassinger lit up the net seven times while Huzzard dished out eight assists as the Wildcats notched its first win in PAC-10 play with a 22-11 victory over the Phantoms on a misty and otherwise dreary night at Wildcat field.
The loss dropped Phoenixville to 3-1 in PAC-10 play this season.
"They played an awesome game,' Phoenixville head coach Senorita Thornton said. "It was one of those things where mistakes, made by us, were capitalized on by the other team. If we made a mistake, they capitalized, if they made a mistake, we didn't always capitalize.'
"This game was a great confidence boost for us,' said Hassinger, a Villanova commit.
The senior and Huzzard, a sophomore, connected four times throughout the game, seemingly on the same play. A slight head fake by Hassinger would free her from the defender as she cut near the crease, burying it home after a sharp pass from Huzzard from the left side of the net.
"It's simple but it works,' Huzzard said.
"We do it every game,' Hassinger followed. "We just look at each other and go.'
The combination proved lethal for the Wildcats as they outscored the Phantoms 10-4 in the second half, queuing the running clock with a familiar addition to the scoresheet — Huzzard to Hassinger.
"They (Phoenixville) knew it was going to come but we had to wait, try and surprise them,' Huzzard said.
"The third play of the game I heard the Phoenixville coach (Thornton) say, ' Watch the cut underneath,' but we just kept doing it,' Hassinger added.
The Wildcats kept the Phantoms on their toes throughout as Huzzard made her home on the left side of the net, finding a cutting Maddie Gebert and Hassinger to pace the team to an early 3-1 lead. Two goals by Morgan Stone — who displayed a brilliant spin move before firing home a goal to make it 4-2 — and a goal from Hassinger and Anna Dempsey swelled the lead 7-2, prompting a timeout from Thornton.
The Phantoms responded as the team scored four of the game's next six goals, capped off by Kellie Matson's second of three goals — this one off of a free position try. Her shot ricocheted off the stick of OJR goalie Devon Hennessey before trickling just past the goal line, cutting the deficit to 9-6.
However, that is as close as the Phantoms got.
Holding a 15-10 lead in the opening minutes of the second half, the Wildcats went on a tear, scoring the next seven goals, highlighted by a Hassinger goal as she cut past four Phoenixville defenders. Huzzard notched her last helper in similar fashion to her others, working her way to the left side of the net before finding a wide open Gebert who took care of the rest. Gebert finished the game with four goals along with an assist.
"We just had to be patient,' Huzzard said regarding her team's late surge.
"We had to lighten everything up and believe in each other and ourselves. We knew we can do it,' Hassinger added.
Despite the loss, Thornton was pleased with her team's effort as the Phantoms continue to hold the top spot of the Frontier Division.
"I'm impressed with their play,' Thornton said. "They are improving every day and they are starting to work together as a team.
"Every game is a different game. Every time you play a team, it's like we are playing the team for the first time. If we improve, you have to expect the other team to improve.'
Follow Sam Stewart on Twitter @Samuel_Stewart7