FRANCONIA >> North Penn’s offense has been a tide that keeps rolling in.
Two games in, a ton of goals, and a very resounding 2-0 start for the North Penn boys after Wednesday night’s 18-7 win over rival Souderton Area.
“I’ve never played on a team better than the one I have behind my back,” said Knights junior Derek Friday. “These guys, I’ve grown up with, and we’ve played together my entire life. We know how each other plays, we know where we want the ball, and we just play to the best of our ability.”
Friday and fellow junior Matthew Franco each scored three goals to lead the Knights, who followed up the North Penn girls’ 7-4 victory over Big Red earlier in the evening.
The North Penn boys — state runner-ups a year ago — scored 37 goals in victories over Wissahickon and Souderton.
“That put a lot in us,” Friday said of reaching the state final a year ago against Cumberland Valley. “We’re building off each other, learning from each other’s mistakes, and the fact that we’re putting it all together to win feels really nice.”
Freshman Sean Faikish added a pair of goals for the Knights, who had a total of 13 players reach the scoring column.
“We have a fairly deep team this year,” coach Jason Grubb said, “so it’s nice where everyone stays fresh, stays nice and high in the water.
“It was a long preseason so it’s nice to finally start playing.”
The North Penn girls battled Big Red to a 2-2 tie after one quarter then gained control in the second, building a 5-2 lead.
Claudia Thamm came up with four steals for the Knights, leading a defense that served as the backbone to the victory.
“We graduated a lot of talent last year, so these girls here are just hungry,” Grubb said.
Thamm added a goal for the defending state champs and Maeve Wydan keyed the offense with a hat trick. North Penn (2-0) took a 5-3 lead into the fourth quarter and stretched the margin to four, a pair of goals by Montgomerie Weitzel helping the attack further along.
The Souderton girls put together a strong effort, playing to a tie after one quarter and shutting out the Knights in the third.
“We’ve got a lot of seniors and they know what they’re doing,” Big Red coach Joe Hay said of his squad, led by Rachel Morris. “We lost tonight but we made some progress, figured out some things, and I think we became a little bit better tonight.”
Top Photo: North Penn’s Mark Ercolani takes a shot on goal during the Knights boys team’s match against Souderton on Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2016. (Bob Raines/Digital First Media)