Pennridge boys’ water polo hosted Souderton on Senior Night Tuesday. The Rams were looking to avenge a 23-17 loss to the Indians in mid-September. Souderton started fast and jumped out to an early 6-2 lead after the first period. The Rams tightened their defense in the second period, allowing only two goals while scoring three to close the gap to 8-5 at halftime. The Pennridge defense continued to stifle the Indians, shutting them out in the second half while scoring three goals to battle back to an 8-8 tie and move the game into overtime. Pennridge scored two early goals in the first few minutes of OT, but Souderton found its offense and tied the game at 10-10. The Rams again took the lead, but the Indians scored the last two goals to win, 12-11.
Pennridge boys’ water polo couldn’t get it going in a very important contest against LaSalle on Thursday. The two teams had played each other twice before, splitting two close games. It was a defensive struggle in the first period as both teams scored a goal. The offense opened up a bit in the second period with LaSalle taking a 5-3 lead. That lead doubled in the third period as the Explorers started to pull away to go up 9-5. The final period was all LaSalle as Pennridge couldn’t keep up with the Explorers offense and lost, 13-6. Nick Spehar led the Rams with three goals. The loss puts the Rams in jeopardy of qualifying for the state tournament.
Pennridge boys’ water polo got past Wissahickon, 12-9, on Tuesday. This was a game of revenge between two evenly matched teams. During their first encounter in early September, Pennridge led all the way, took a one-shot lead into the final period, but couldn’t hold on and lost by two goals. On Tuesday, the Rams again jumped out early and led at halftime. The Trojans kept it tight and got to within one goal early in the final period. But this time, the Rams not only held on, but pulled away for the victory. The win evens Pennridge’s conference record at 4-4 to stay in the hunt for a state bid. The Rams’ Nick Spehar had seven goals, while D.J. Maurone added four.
Pennridge boys’ water polo had an incredible day at the prestigious Beast of the East Tournament on Saturday at Governor Mifflin. The Rams swam and shot to three straight wins and came out on top in the Flight 2 section of the tournament. The tournament brought together 37 teams from Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Pennridge started the day with a tough win over St. Xavier, 10-8. It was a big lift for the Rams after a heartbreaking, 13-12 loss to Penn Charter the night before to start the tournament. Their second game against La Salle was a bit of payback as the Explorers beat the Rams, 15-11, recently. The Rams turned that around with a hard-fought, 11-10 win. Pennridge’s final game against Erie Cathedral Prep was a story of two halves. Erie took an early first-period, 6-3 lead, and then totally shut down the Rams in the second period to take a 9-3 lead into halftime. The Rams came out strong in the third period as Nick Spehar threw in all five Pennridge goals to tighten the score to 12-8. The final period was all Pennridge as Colin Russell fired in three goals, Spehar two and D.J. Maurone one while shutting out Erie and winning the game, 14-12. Pennridge goalie Jake Aigeldinger was exceptional in turning away shot after shot. Spehar was also outstanding, scoring nine times.
After easily defeating a shorthanded Hazleton team, 21-8, and using its starters sparingly, Pennridge boys’ water polo ran into a much tougher opponent in the second game of the Beast of the East Tournament. Hosting the first round of the tournament, Pennridge faced a strong Penn Charter team. The Rams jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the first period and led by as much as 4-0 in the early part of the second period before Penn Charter came storming back to tie the game at 4-4. Pennridge fired right back to pull ahead by three, eventually ending the first half with a 7-5 lead. Penn Charter outscored the Rams, 4-2, in the third period to tie the game at 9-9. The final period was a back-and-forth battle, with Penn Charter scoring four goals to the Rams’ three to win, 13-12. The Rams had three multiple goal scorers, led by Nick Spehar with five. Callum Malcolm had three and D.J. Maurone two. A great defensive effort by Kyle Frerichs and Colin Russell kept the game close. The tournament continues for Pennridge on Saturday at Governor Mifflin.
Upper Dublin boys’ water polo came ready to play at the Pennridge pool on Thursday. It was a tight back-and-forth contest as the Cardinals led at the half. They maintained the lead into the fourth period. The more experienced Rams had decided not to play four of their starters, giving the young players a chance to see some action. Even with starters D.J. Maurone, Colin Russell, Nick Spehar and Jake Aigeldinger on the bench, the Rams pulled away in the final period for a 17-11 victory. Callum Malcolm led the scoring for Pennridge with five goals and Tommy Schneider tossed in three as the team evened its conference record at 3-3.
Pennridge boys’ water polo went down to Souderton, 22-16, on Tuesday. The Rams jumped out to an early 2-1 lead at Souderton’s pool in Franconia. It was an evenly matched battle as the first quarter ended in a 6-6 tie. Nick Spehar fired in three of those six goals for the Rams. The half ended with Souderton leading, 9-8. But the Indians took over in the third quarter, outscoring the Rams, 7-3. Pennridge fought hard in the final period, but couldn’t catch up. Spehar led Pennridge for the fourth game in a row, scoring seven goals. Pennridge is now 2-3 in conference play.
Pennridge boys’ water polo lost to LaSalle, 15-11, on Thursday to even its conference record at 2-2. LaSalle jumped out to an early lead and held it into the third quarter. The Rams battled to tie the game at 8-8 midway through the third quarter. But they were weakened in the second half as injured starter Reilly Dolan couldn’t play while starter Colin Russell fouled out midway through the third quarter. Pennridge fought hard to stay close, but LaSalle overpowered it in the final period to pull away to win by four goals. Nick Spehar led the Rams with five goals. He was followed by D.J. Maurone with three. LaSalle’s leading scorers were Luke Chadewic and Kyle McElwee, each with four goals.
Pennridge boys’ water polo improved its conference record to 2-1 with a 13-11 victory over rival Springfield (Montco) on Tuesday. The Rams scored early, jumping out to a 2-0 lead, and ended the first quarter up, 3-1. The Spartans battled back, outscoring the Rams, 3-2, in the second quarter and trailed by one at the half. The referees called a tight game forcing Pennridge starting seniors D.J. Marrone and Colin Russell to foul out early in the second half. But the Rams, with their strength and depth, outscored the Spartans, 8-7, in the half to win by two goals. Nick Spehar led Pennridge with five goals to bring his conference total to nine in three games.
Pennridge boys’ water polo creamed Upper Merion, 18-5, on Friday. The Rams led, 6-0, at the half. It could have been worse for Upper Merion, but head coach Ken Vincent pulled most of his starters midway through the first quarter. With their young players, the Rams outscored Upper Merion, 12-5, in the second half. Nick Spehar led the Rams with three goals, while five others scored two goals each.