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Plymouth Whitemarsh explodes in second half, blanks Hatboro-Horsham

WHITEMARSH >> Most field hockey coaches will tell you the most important moments of games are the five minutes after a goal is scored. The team that scores can either get complacent or strive for more. The team that allowed the goal can lose its composure or bare down and get back in the game.

Monday afternoon, Plymouth Whitemarsh scored midway through the second half to take a two-goal lead over Hatboro-Horsham. Eight minutes later, the Colonials edge escalated to five before they cruised to a 6-0 Suburban One League American Conference win at Plymouth Whitemarsh High School.

“I always tell my kids it’s the first five minutes of the game, the five minutes after a goal, first five of the second half,” PW coach Charise Halteman said. “First half I don’t think we totally bought into that and I don’t think we played with our level of intensity, but definitely the second half — as soon as we scored a goal there wasn’t a letdown.”

Gene Walsh — Digital First Media Plymouth Whitemarsh’s Sopie Kolkka takes a cut at the ball during game against Hatboro Horsham September 19, 2016.

Plymouth Whitemarsh’’s Sopie Kolkka takes a cut at the ball during game against Hatboro-Horsham on Monday, Sept. 19, 2016. (Gene Walsh/Digital First Media)

PW’s Kennedy Reardon scored her second goal of the game with 18:38 left in the second half to give her side a 2-0 lead.

Less than two minutes later, Frankie O’Brien scored on a penalty shot, firing a wrister by the goalie’s glove side.

Two minutes and 26 seconds after that, Julia Fiddler knocked one home for a 4-0 Colonials lead.

O’Brien added her second goal of the game off of a corner with 10:39 remaining.

“PW really came out strong in the second half,” Hatboro-Horsham coach Laura Swezey said. “I don’t think we were going to the ball as much as they were.

“Once they scored a couple goals we seemed to letdown a little more. First half it could have been anyone’s ballgame … PW had some nice passing sequences and they played a great second half … Once they scored that second goal they were just on a roll.”

Kerin Betchel capped off the scoring in the final minute of the game to give PW the 6-0 victory.

“We talked about we just have to go after it,” Halteman said of the second half success. “Put a little more pressure on them. We also talked about using our center-mids Sophie (Kolkka) and Frankie (O’Brien) a little bit more to create a little bit more width and then kind of attack the circle. I thought they did a good job with that. Some of our forwards used some really nice moves in the second half to set up some good goals.”

The Colonials win was a key one in the SOL American title race. They entered the game with a perfect 4-0 league record, but the Hatters were right on their tail with a 3-1 mark.

“As I said last game, Hatboro-Horsham and Quakertown are the new teams so we didn’t quite know what to expect,” Halteman said. “They were winning games in the league too, so it’s always good to get a win when the top two teams in the league come together.”

Colonials midfielder Sophie Kolkka played a big role in keeping Hatboro off the scoreboard. She intercepted passes and knocked balls down in the neutral zone to keep the Hatters offense from ever really getting into sync.

“We actually didn’t have her in our Pennsbury game Saturday,” Halteman said. “I told her that her defense in that center spot is always helpful for us. She’s key there. She doesn’t necessarily always get the most goals at her center-mid spot, but she manages the midfield for us and really steps up and gets the loose stuff and helps us get back on attack. We really need her in that position.”

Despite allowing six goals, Hatboro goaltender Liz Wilburn had a good day. She was faced with 23 shots and turned 17 of them away.

Top Photo:  Hatboro-Horsham goalie Liz Wilburn blocks Plymouth Whitemarsh’s Sam Spera shot on goal during their game on Monday, Sept. 19, 2016. (Gene Walsh/Digital First Media)

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