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CB West nips Pennridge in key Continental clash


A soccer ball is roughly nine inches in diameter.

Those nine inches may be all that separate Central Bucks West and Pennridge.

“I’m not quite sure we’re the better team,” CB West coach Mike Moyer candidly stated last Thursday night. “But we won 1-0 and I’ll take it.”

Pennridge’s Ashley Groeber blasted a 30 yarder with 20 seconds left that was inches over the crossbar. If the shot had been one ball diameter lower, it would have knotted the score with visiting West.

Instead, the Bucks (11-3, 6-3 Continental) escaped with their second 1-0 win over the Rams in 2018.

“While we didn’t come out on the side we wanted to,” assessed Pennridge coach Audrey Anderson, “I think we learned a lot tonight about who we are as a team. We keep digging and digging. I wouldn’t do anything differently except to remind the girls to pressure every ball. (West) is a good team and hard to beat.”

Seventy-two seconds into the second half, West’s Taylor Moyer received Keely McGlone’s feed and buried a goal in the upper left corner.

“I just hit it and hoped it went in,” Taylor Moyer grinned.

Ram defender Sarah Williams stood out with her disruptions of West attacks. Pennridge keeper Meghan Kriney, a position player subbing in for the injured M.K. Levush, saved four and garnered praise from Anderson.

West goalie Jenna Abaza had six saves to earn this season’s fourth clean sheet. “Everyone covered for each other and is there for each other,” Abaza said. “If we make a mistake, we know what to do next.”

The game’s two corner kicks, both by West, were seconds apart.

Pennridge got a breakaway on the second in the 64th minute. Abaza came out to ice Leah Malone’s point blank offering.

“She was coming at a speed where I thought I could meet her,” Abaza described. “I made myself big and put my body out there.”

Tricia Hauck, who tallied two goals in West’s recent 4-1 win over Perkiomen Valley, distinguished herself on defense. “Pennridge plays 4-3-3 where most of us play 4-4-2,” Hauck noted. “They push on offense. With three forwards, we need an extra person in the back. Not that we wanted to play defensive, but we knew if we kept it out of our back, we’d get scoring opportunities up top.

“It starts with our midfield,” Hauck credited, “and not letting them get opportunities to play it through our defense.”

Pennridge carried a six-game win streak into the match. Bloomsburg-commit Abby Groff tallied eight goals during that run.

CB West entered as No. 5 in the district power rankings. Its eight-game win streak ended two days prior with a tough 3-0 setback to Souderton. That loss was quickly forgotten.

“We work well together. We’re good at helping each other when we’re down,” added Taylor Moyer.

West enjoyed a much needed week off before taking the pitch this Thursday against North Penn. “We need it,” coach Moyer said. “We’re cramping. I don’t know where the girls found the energy tonight.”

The No. 3 Rams (11-2, 7-2 SOL Continental) stayed busy, beating Hatboro-Horsham 2-0 last Friday and defeating CB South 2-0 on Tuesday.

The Hatter win started a second “century” at Pennridge. Anderson, in her seventh season, earned her 100th Ram victory with a 2-0 defeat of Quakertown on Oct. 2. Pennridge is the two-time defending Continental champion.

“We want to be the hardest working team on the field,” Anderson outlined. “That’s it in a nutshell. Believe in the team, the process and results will come. That’s how we go through each game and each season.”

“We want to play Pennridge because they are the best team around,” Mike Moyer praised. “In order to be the best, you have to beat the best. What Audrey has done with this program is second to none.”

United rivals: Last Thursday’s game was a Pink Out, with various fundraising channels for Grand View Hospital Breast Cancer support services. Anderson and Moyer both coached in matching pink cancer awareness T-shirts. The CB West soccer family has been directly impacted by a breast cancer loss.

“Anything this team can do to help,” Moyer said, “we’re going to do it every time.”