NEWTOWN – Earlier in the week, Council Rock North came out flat-footed against Neshaminy and it cost the Indians dearly in a 2-0 loss to the Skins, who had only four league wins to that point.
On Thursday, Oct. 15 at Walt Snyder Stadium in their Unity Cup battle with sister school CR South, North came out with guns a-blazing. The Indians outshot the Golden Hawks 6-2 in the first half and applied pressure on the South net and keeper Nolan Gaudet throughout much of the contest.
The result was a 3-0 win, an important victory, given the fact that Neshaminy toppled Pennsbury in overtime earlier in the day, allowing Abington to jump into first place in the Suburban One League (SOL) National Conference with a 2-1 triumph over William Tennent.
“We started out the season on point and now we’ve had a couple of losses,” admitted senior Jared Scharf. “But I think it’s really important to bounce back I think we’ve done a good job with that, especially today.”
Just six minutes into the Unity Cup game, CR North junior midfielder Nick Guarna popped one onto the top shelf, giving the Indians a 1-0 edge. Guarna nearly pushed the score to 2-0 when he was awarded a penalty kick after the Hawks were called for a handball in the box in the 24th minute.
South netminder Nolan Gaudet came up with a huge save but still, the Indians had the early lead and they did their best to protect it.
“Most of the games where we’ve gotten the early lead, we’ve won,” said Scharf. “The games that we’ve lost, we usually go down early so it’s really important to get the early lead.”
CR North senior Max Mykhylyk extended the Indians’ edge when he took a carom of a shot by sophomore Conor O’Donell and poked it into an empty net for a 2-0 lead less than nine minutes into the second half.
With just 12 seconds remaining in the contest, Mykhylyk took a feed from sophomore Justin Scharf and poked home his second goal, pushing the score to its 3-0 final.
“I’m excited,” said Jared Scharf after the win. “Our heads were down after Tuesday’s loss (to Neshaminy) but now, they’re back up.
“We have a chance of winning the conference.”
Two of the Indians’ first seven shots went for goals and two of their three shots in the second half went into the back of the net.
“It’s really important to get a lot of quality shots. We take our time and wait for them,” said Jared Scharf. “South took a lot more shots in the second half though they weren’t necessarily quality shots.”
In a battle that took place Oct. 13 on North’s dirt field, Neshaminy kept the pressure on throughout much of the first half, outshooting Rock 7-3 before the intermission. While Council Rock came to play in the second half, it was a matter of too little too, late. Val Scarsellatto, junior netminder for the Skins, stopped a dozen shots including nine in the second half to record the shutout for the visitors.
With two games remaining in the season, the win over South gives North a fighter’s chance for the National Conference crown. The Indians are 7-3-2, tied with Pennsbury. Abington sits atop the division at 8-4.
The Hawks, meanwhile, fall to 4-7 in league play.
“We gave it everything we had,” said South senior K.J. Sweeney. “Even though the score didn’t show it, I felt like our players gave a lot, the other players gave a lot and it was just a tough battle back and forth.”
“We needed a win; we wanted it – just because it’s the last game on the turf for our seniors and just because it’s North.
“It’s kind of disappointing we didn’t pull away with it.”
The 3-0 win gives CR North its third straight Unity Cup. The North Girls, who won it in 2014, also get to keep the Cup, though the sides tied in a scoreless double overtime game that took place before the boys took the field.
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Council Rock North 3, CR South 0
(Oct. 15 at CR North)
CR NORTH 1 2 – 3
CR SOUTH 0 0 – 0
FIRST-HALF GOALS: Nick Guarna (6th minute)
SECOND-HALF GOALS: Max Mykhylyk 2 (49th minute, 80th minute)
ASSISTS: Conor O’Donell, Justin Scharf
SHOTS: CRN — 9; CRS 8
SAVES: Billy Storm (CRN) 8; Nolan Gaudet (CRS) 6