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Evolutionary Council Rock North punches ticket to states (GALLERY)

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NEWTOWN – Even evolutionist Charles Darwin might not have predicted the transformation in the Council Rock girls soccer team this season. A rocky start that left coach Wendell Beres charges with a 2-3 record has now become a full charge into the PIAA state playoffs.

Becca Margolis, sophomore forward for the Rock, recognizes the team’s transition. “We’ve really grown this year. In the beginning of the season, we had a rough start but then we started progressing and doing better as a team. We started playing together and getting to know each other better.”

The bonding process really magnified on October 10 when the Lady Indians took down their archrival Pennsbury by a 1-0 score.

“Our second time playing Pennsbury was key. We’ve always had this thing for Pennsbury. We always wanted to beat them. They were our big rival. Our goal was to beat them at least once. As a team, we gained more confidence after defeating them. That was always a struggle. This year, it changed and that set the tone.”

The new attitude saw the Indians finish the regular season on a 13-1 tear, earning them the 14th seed in the District One Class AAA girls soccer tournament. Yet, North well remembered their first round departure from the 2014 tourney as they took aim at the 19th-seeded Upper Dublin squad in the opening round. “Our coach gives us a short description of our opponent. Before Upper Dublin, he said they were a small team height-wise. We didn’t underestimate them but we took that into consideration and we used our strengths against them.”

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Certainly, one of Rock’s strengths was the scoring punch provided by junior Kayla Robinson. The speedy forward turned a hat trick, scoring the only goal of the first half and then peppering the enemy twice more before departing from the game with Council Rock holding a comfortable 4-0 lead. Becca and Sydney Allen would round out the home team’s scoring with one goal apiece.

The Indians had only two days to savor the 5-1 victory before taking on West Chester Rustin, Chest-Mont league champ and 3rd-seeded tourney team.

“We try to keep the same mentality for every game. We know every game will be harder and harder. We knew they (WC Rustin) were a good team. We actually were overestimating them so we’d have more intensity. We took that into perspective and went with it. We played an overall tough game.”

The Hill sisters, Tori and Meredith provided the offensive punch. Tori took a pass from Brielle Wright and booted it by the Rustin goalie 35 minutes into the game. After Rustin tied the game, Meredith Hill stepped up big time, scoring her first career goal in the 74th minute. The 2-1 triumph set up a showdown with another Chest-Mont League power West Chester Henderson.

“That was a big one. Our coach usually gives us pre-game talks. He showed us an article. It was about how they (Henderson) felt it was their year and they said they were going to beat us. They had the mentality that they had already won against us. We took that and got angry and that gave us more intensity. We were pumped for it.”

The psyche worked. Robinson, once again, sparked the offense, scoring early off an assist by Tori Hill and then icing the 2-0 win by converting a pass from Mackenzie Siverd into a goal with 14:41 remaining in the game.

The 2-0 win assured the Rock a trip to states, their first since 2011. As a sophomore, Becca fully relished the moment. “It was a great feeling. It never happened for us before, especially for me because this is only my second year. Last year we lost in the first round. So this is such a big step for us. We are so excited and we can’t wait to see what will happen next.”

Newly evolved North sports an increased confidence that was missing when the season started back in August. “Right now, we have really great chemistry. We are bonding more and getting use to each other and our roles. We are able to connect on more passes and get more goals.”

The Indians have every intention of maintaining that winning chemistry as they do battle among the elite sixteen teams in Pennsylvania.

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