JENKINTOWN >> In previous seasons, the Bicentennial Athletic League matchup between Jenkintown and Dock Mennonite Academy has been mostly uncompetitive.
Although on the surface Dock’s 5-2 win over Drakes Thursday afternoon looked like more of the same, Jenkintown had a much better showing than in pervious matchups.
“I’m very proud of the girls,” Jenkintown coach Katie Small said. “They came out hard, they came out strong and they came out ready to play.”
Prior matchups saw Jenkintown struggle to generate any type of offense, at times finding it difficult to move the ball across midfield. The Drakes had several stretches of game Thursday of some good sustained pressure.
Dock and midfielder Jill Bolton took over the game about halfway through the first half as Bolton scored a goal assisted by Emme Raieta to give the Pioneers a 3-1 lead. The goal by Bolton was the first of a personal and team 3-0 goal-run.
“Jill is an outstanding player,” Dock coach Michelle Waldspurger said. “She can play defense, she can play offense, and she’s definitely the core of this team. Even her mental aspect, she’s so tough mentally as well.”
Ashley Kremp was given the unenviable and nearly impossible task of guarding Bolton throughout much of the first half. While she had her ups and down she made some nice plays on the D-1 bound midfielder.
“Her play was fantastic,” said Small of Kremp’s play. “She came out and did exactly what I asked her to do. I just told her she had to mark her in the open field and when she’s given the ball you have to give her a step. Jill’s stick skills are bar none one of the best I’ve ever seen and with Ashley giving her that step it made Jill pass the ball earlier than she wanted to.”
Jenkintown netted the only goal of the second half when Mia Kolb scored with a little more than five minutes remaining in the contest. The goal put a cherry on top on an overall solid showing for Kolb and the Drakes.
“She’s the type of player you look for on your team,” said Small of the sophomore. “You give her a task, you give her a drill and the next time you see her on the field she’s doing it. She definitely had a great game going down the left side. Usually, the left side is not your strongest player but for us our left side is very, very strong.”
The result of Thursday’s game showed some things for both squads. Dock is for sure a contender and probably the favorites to win the league, while Jenkintown shows they’re not a team that’s just going to get pushed around when it come to league play either.
“That’s one of team goals this year (to win the league) and the girls are determined to (do it),” Waldspurger said.