FAIRLESS HILLS – While Conwell-Egan Catholic (CEC) was missing 2015 First Team All-Catholic fullback Jake Kemery and a host of other players from last year’s team, even head coach Barry Roxberry had no answers for the way the Eagles played Wednesday afternoon, Sept. 14 vs. Del-Val League rival Academy Park.
The visiting Knights may have arrived a little late for the 3:45 p.m. matchup, but they quickly made up for their tardiness with a pair of goals in the first half and four more in the second for a convincing 6-0 triumph on Egan’s home turf.
“It was a tough one. We’re a young team. Last year, we lost nine starting seniors,” stated CEC sophomore forward Paul Leible. “We’re going to put some hard work in practice and get better.
“We’re going to improve from this.”
The Eagle defense had no answers for AP senior forward Owen Ede, who registered a hat trick in the contest, including both goals in the first half, helping his team to its first win of the season and its first victory ever over the Eagles, who topped AP three times over the last three seasons.
“We didn’t have much of a chance to warm up, but sometimes, that’s good for us – not much thinking, we just get on the field and play,” said Knights head coach Dan Schultz. “It was good – we got off the bus, we stretched and we were on the field.”
To review, Conwell-Egan blanked Academy Park 3-0 last year and 4-0 the year before.
“We have had trouble with Conwell-Egan in the past. We’ve had a couple games where they’ve stuck it to us really hard,” explained Schultz “I think my kids were sitting back and kind of expecting that. When they realized they’d be able to play with them, that kind of fired them up a little bit.”
That fired the Knights up a lot in the second half.
Fifteen minutes after the break, senior Yahann Chawiky put Academy Park up 3-0 with a direct kick that got past starting CEC goalkeeper Steve Carroll. After netting both goals in the first half, one of which was a deflection of a cross by sophomore Tahjay Swaby, Ede struck again for his third goal, netting the hat trick on a direct kick from 20 yards out that put the Knights up 4-0 in the 63rd minute of play.
Eight minutes later, the Eagles were called for a handball in the box and AP junior Lansana Doumbouya made no mistake when he put the penalty kick to the right of backup keeper Luke Schiavo and into the back of the net.
The sudden turn of events sent the CEC defense on its heels. On the second of many odd-man rushes by the Knights in the second half, Doumbouya attacked the goal with classmate Kho Tuang to his right. Not knowing where the shot was going to come from, Schiavo was left defenseless while the second goal of the contest by Doumbouya pushed the score to its 6-0 final.
“We just weren’t marking our men; we were all over the place,” said Leible. “Late in the game, I guess we just broke down.
“That’s a mental thing so we should be able to fix that.”
With the loss, Conwell-Egan drops to 1-6 overall, 0-2 in the Philadelphia Catholic League. The Eagles started their season with a 1-0 win over Philadelphia Academy Charter Aug. 25 at Lighthouse Soccer Club. But the team has lost six straight including its PCL opener at Bonner-Prendergast on Sept. 8 when CEC lost 2-0. Five days later, Egan battled Archbishop Ryan to a standstill in regulation only to see Will Stackhouse score for the Raiders in overtime to put that one in the win column for the opponent.
Academy Park, meanwhile, started its season Sept. 6 by dropping a 3-2 heartbreaker at New Oxford. From there, the Knights dropped three more one-goal games including overtime losses suffered at the hands of Central League rival Harriton and Ches-Mont League opponent Bishop Shanahan.
“It’s not rare that we really wanted it more than this team,” said Schultz. “It showed that we really wanted to win. It goes back to those four games that we lost by one goal.
“They really wanted to win so badly for themselves that they were going to force the issue and make sure they came out ahead.”
For AP, the win over Egan comes just one day before the Knights begin their league schedule. Academy Park opens league play today (Sept. 15) at Del-Val League rival Interboro then takes on Central League rival Upper Darby in a Sept. 19 road match. AP returns home Sept. 20 to resume league play against Chichester.
Conwell-Egan, meanwhile, resumes PCL action Friday, Sept. 16 at Lansdale Catholic before traveling to Friends League rivals George School (Sept. 17) and Abington Friends (Sept. 19). The Eagles resume league play Sept. 20 at home against Bishop McDevitt.
Academy Park 6, Conwell-Egan Catholic 0
(Sept. 14 at Conwell-Egan Catholic)
ACADEMY PARK 2 4 – 6
CONWELL-EGAN 0 0 – 0
FIRST-HALF GOALS: Owen Ede, from Tahjay Swaby, 30th minute; Ede, unassisted, 35th minute.
SECOND-HALF GOALS: Yahann Chawiky, 55th minute; Ede, 63rd minute; Lansana Doumbouya (PK), 71st minute; Doumbouya 74th minute.
SHOTS: AP 14, CEC 1.
SAVES: AP 3, CEC 10.