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Girls soccer: Pennridge claims district title


From the outset, it was clear that the District One Class 4A girls soccer final was going to come down to one bounce.

Pennridge was the recipient of that bounce.

The top-seeded Rams defeated second seed Boyertown 1-0 to earn the district title on Saturday at Spring-Ford’s Coach McNelly Stadium.

Boyertown controlled play for the early portion of the game.

“That first 15 minutes they definitely pushed us,” Pennridge senior goaltender Meghan Kriney said. “I think we definitely needed to pick it up.

“Once we got past that we were able to play together and connect really well. We’ve gotten off to a slow start before but once we get past that we can really start to do a lot of good things.

“That’s definitely something we need to work on. We need to keep pushing forward and not let up because in states it’s very competitive and that could be the difference in the game. It’s definitely something we have to focus on and if we can keep our heads I think we’ll be able to get there.”

Pennridge coach Audrey Anderson agreed.

“We tend to need about 10 minutes and we’ve been trying to work on it all season just trying to not give teams a chance to get in behind us early on,” Anderson said. “After that 10-minute mark we were able to get our feet wet but again we have a lot of inexperience. We have girls who are finding themselves in big roles in big games and they’re trying to feel the waters out, not make a mistake and get moving.”

Leah Malone took a ball from Grace Myers and found the net with 5:33 remaining in the first half for the only goal of the day.

“It was definitely an exciting goal,” said Kriney, who will continue her playing career at Florida Southern. “It was a great shot by Leah, a great cross by Grace. I think it definitely picked us up a little bit knowing we had a lead. We had a little bit of momentum going into the second half and it really pushed us to know this is what is going to be expected of us at the state level.

“Boyertown was a very strong team. They connected well on their passes.”

Boyertown’s roster featured an exchange student, Camille Kuever, who plays for the German national team.

“We expected her to be super tall and super technical,” Kriney said. “We just wanted to shut her down and not let her play right through us.”

The Bears did not go down easily, playing hard until the final buzzer.

“In the last 15 minutes or so there was a lot of pressure,” Kriney said. “It was a bit chaotic but I thought our backs played well. They communicated out of the back and we were smart on a lot of things especially going to the far corner, holding the ball and wasting time. I think because of that we were able to control the game ourselves.”

Pennridge reached the state final last season, falling to Suburban One League Continental Conference rival Souderton.

“We’ve been talking about it since the end of last year,” Kriney said. “A lot of us were on the team for that state playoff run and we’re excited. We’re ready to go. We want to get back to Hershey. That’s the goal.”

The Rams took nine shots on goal to three for the Bears. Each team had three corner kicks in the game.

Pennridge (21-1-1) opened up the PIAA tournament with a 4-1 win over District Three third-place team Wilson (20-6) on Tuesday at Souderton.

The Rams got on the board with a goal off a Maddie Anderson free kick just outside the box, and added to it when Lindsey DeHaven converted on a penalty kick awarded when Malone was taken down inside the box.

Malone scored the third goal with an assist from Chance Hendricks and it was Malone again with the Rams’ final goal of the evening.

The win sets up a rematch with Suburban One League Continental Conference rival North Penn, a 5-0 winner over District Four champion Williamsport, in the quarterfinals.

North Penn (13-9-2), the District One fourth-place team, handed the Rams their only loss this season.

The game will be 5 p.m. Saturday at Spring-Ford High School.