North Penn’s Kaitlyn Suzuki (10) works past Neshaminy defender Ashley Nicoletti (16) during second-half action of their contest at North Penn High
North Penn's Kaitlyn Suzuki (10) works past Neshaminy defender Ashley Nicoletti (16) during second-half action of their contest at North Penn High School on Thursday, April 10, 2014. (Mark C Psoras/The Reporter)

TOWAMENCIN — The North Penn girls lacrosse team may be young, but the Maidens are steadily developing into a cohesive, offensive force.

On a sunny Thursday afternoon that previewed the warm days to come, the Maidens displayed the type of attack they hope will carry them back to the postseason, running past rival Neshaminy by the count of 19-8.

"We're moving the ball well," junior midfielder Emily Schulze said. "At the beginning of the season, we weren't connecting well but now we're bringing the connection that we have off the field onto the field. And that's really helping us on the attack."

North Penn battled back and forth with the Redskins early, but once Kaitlin Suzuki scored the first of her three goals to put NP ahead 4-3, the Maidens' offense began to find its rhythm, and North Penn took over the contest.

North Penn’s Emily Schulze (8) lines up a shot for a goal as she cuts between Neshaminy defenders during second-half action of their contest at North
North Penn's Emily Schulze (8) lines up a shot for a goal as she cuts between Neshaminy defenders during second-half action of their contest at North Penn High School on Thursday, April 10, 2014. (Mark C Psoras/The Reporter)

The Maidens (4-3) built a 13-4 lead by halftime, turning its Suburban One League National Conference opener into a lopsided victory.

"Maybe at times, we were a little bit sloppy, but we were still really aggressive and playing good, solid lacrosse," coach Jami Behm said. "We just went to goal hard and we were able to make our shots. I was really proud of the way the girls responded."

Schulze led the way with five goals and senior Julianna Hill added four as the Maidens stretched their lead to double digits after halftime, enforcing the mercy rule and the running clock.

"Defense, midfield and the attack — we're working well passing the ball down the field," Schulze said, "and it's just a good connection overall."


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The Maidens have also benefited from the return of Suzuki, who has made her return from ACL surgery.

"With Kaitlin back, it adds a new dimension for us," Behm said of the senior midfielder. "It allows us to use our midfielders a little bit better. It's nice to have her back, have her leadership on the field."

North Penn, blending its youthful but explosive roster, now gets ready for a 10 a.m. Saturday game at Parkland.

"We still have a really young team," Behm said, "so we are still learning out on the field. We're still learning positions, we're learning where people belong, and we're kind of still in tryout mode. We're putting people all over the place and seeing who performs."

North Penn 19, Neshaminy 8

Neshaminy 4 4 — 8

North Penn 13 6 — 19

First Half

N-Fran Donato, 28:40; NP-Chloe Norack, 24:22; N-Morgan McCormick, 23:12; NP-Emily Schulze, 19:28; N-Donato, 18:42; NP-Julia Hill, 16:41; NP-Katelyn Suzuki, 15:39; NP-Jen Delongis, 13:12; N-Donato, 9:43; NP-Schulze, 8:34; NP-Hill, 6:53; NP-Hill, 5:53; NP-Hill, 4:42; NP-Kara Imes, 4:26; NP-Schulze, 4:15; NP-Norack, 3:16; NP-Suzuki, 1:26

Second Half

NP-Lear, 23:00; N-McCormick, 20:02; N-Donato, 17:24; N-McCormick, 15:26; NP-Michelle Lassen, 14:09; NP-Suzuki, 13:33; NP-Schulze, 11:23; NP-Hill, 10:43; N-Emily Alexis, 2:42; NP-DeLongis, 1:57

Follow Kev Hunter on Twitter @khunter.