MARPLE >> Carly Brosious was a fourth-grader in 2009, when her sisters, Melissa and Rachael, were field hockey players at Archbishop Carroll High.
During that season, Archbishop Prendergast earned a Catholic League victory over Carroll. From that time until Monday afternoon, no Patriots team had lost to a Pandas squad, whether those Pandas were representing Archbishop Prendergast High or Bonner-Prendergast.
Brosious, a Bonner-Prendie sophomore, helped put a halt to the losing streak with a goal with 8:16 to play, lifting third-seeded B-P past No. 2 Carroll, 2-1, in a Catholic League semifinal game played at Cardinal O’Hara High.
The Pandas will take on No. 1 seed O’Hara, a 9-0 winner over Archbishop Wood, in the Catholic League final at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Neumann University.
“I didn’t really score that goal,” Brosious said, pointing out that after her stick made contact with the ball in the scoring circle, the ball went off the stick of a Carroll defender into the back of the cage.
“I just tipped it a little.”
Whether it was a little or a lot, it was the play that prompted a major celebration on the field by Bonner-Prendie players when the final whistle sounded and they realized their dream of a Philadelphia Catholic League championship and the opportunity to play in the PIAA Tournament remained alive.
“We had a really intense practice Sunday,” Brosious said. “Everybody was taking everything really seriously.”
That was apparent during the first half, when the Pandas, who were outshot, 8-4, and gave up nine penalty corners — four as the half expired — led, 1-0, on a goal by Kerri Quinn in the eighth minute.
Casey Rafferty, Kaitlyn Martin, Kacie Farrell and Allison Martin took turns making key plays for B-P in front of goalie Maggie Baldini to keep the Carroll attack in check. At the end of the half, Baldini had to face four penalty corners before the Pandas could clear the ball out of the scoring circle with the clock reading 0:00.
Carroll worked for almost 18 minutes of the second half before getting even when Gracie McClatchy banged in the rebound of a shot by Sam Swart.
Less than four minutes later, the Pandas were back ahead, and Rafferty, Farrell, Riley Dolan and Lisa Tomasetti held B-P together through the final Patriots push.
“There was a lot of excitement at our practice Sunday,” said Dolan, a junior who has committed to the University of Delaware to play field hockey. “We knew we would have to come over here and play as a team.
“The big thing is our closeness, and how we play with toughness.”
Dolan and her teammates wear warmup shirts indicating their desire to “Win for Mitch,” a reference to Bonner-Prendergast faculty member Mitch Vanello, who is dealing with a serious illness.
“He’s also my uncle, which makes it mean even more for me,” Dolan said.
Bonner-Prendie head coach Joanne Dolan, who is Riley’s mother, searched for the right words to express her feelings on her team’s victory.
“We play controlled, clean hockey,” she said. “Our players are 100 percent committed. We don’t have superstar players. In fact, we only have two club team players. But they are coming together at just the right time.
“This means a lot because of how hard they have worked for this. We have two days of practice ahead of us, and then we have the chance to play for the championship.”
In the other Catholic League semifinal:
Cardinal O’Hara 9, Archbishop Wood 0 >> Hannah Nihill scored five goals as the Lions (14-4) rolled to victory.
Annemarie Banes chipped in with a pair of goals and Kelly Methvin and Molly Grady also scored for O’Hara, which led at halftime, 4-0.
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