EAST ROCKHILL >> Dock Mennonite scored early and often Monday afternoon at Pennridge High School.
Sophomore Jess Schmidt got Dock on the board less than seven minutes into the game and the Pioneers cruised to a 5-1 over Pennridge.
Schmidt’s goal was a beautiful one. She made a great play on the ball to keep it from going out of bounds next to the net and scored on a shot from a tough angle to the left of the cage.
“Jill (Bolton) had a great shot on goal,” Schmidt said. “I was just kind of in the right place at the right time and lifted it in.”
She was on the board again 16 minutes later. The ball was in the middle of a pile in front of the net and she found a way to put it home to give the Pioneers a 2-0 lead that would stand until halftime.
“Jess played really well,” Dock coach Michelle Waldspurger said. “She’s aggressive. She had great passing. She lifted the ball on the corners so she was able to get goals, catch the goalie off-guard.”
Quickly after the break, Dock senior Jill Bolton added another goal to make it 3-0. This was Bolton’s third point of the day after assisting on both of Schmidt’s goals.
“Jill is a captain, senior, she’s a playmaker,” Waldspurger said. “She definitely heads up our offense. Great player.”
“Jill makes us all work a little bit harder,” Schmidt said. “She forces us to make plays of our own and follow through on her own plays and just work to make us better. She tries to do her own plays and she tries to drive the ball down the field and she moves us up too. She just pushes us forward to get better.”
Anna Gwiazdinski added a score a couple minutes later and Macy Balmer knocked home a one-timer on a beautiful pass from Kate Strickland to make it a 5-0 Dock advantage with seven minutes remaining in the game.
Pennridge got on the board with 2:38 left in the game. Off of a corner, Caitlyn Amsden scored the goal and Hannah Cook tallied the assist.
“I really don’t think that the score reflected how we played,” Pennridge coach Becky Spahr said. “I felt like it was honestly pretty even, (Dock) just capitalized every time they were in the circle. We had a lot of chances and just have to put the ball in the cage more.”
Other than that goal, the Rams struggled with corners. They were 0-for-15 in the game before Amsden knocked one home.
“We’re going to practice corners a lot,” Spahr said. “I think it’s our confidence level. We’ve been pretty bad at corners all year. It should be the best scoring opportunity, but it isn’t for us right now. So we’ll get more confidence just practicing a little more throughout the week.”
“I think just getting out quickly,” Schmidt said of what Dock’s defense did on the corners. “(Olivia) Boyle and Jamie (Kolb) got out as quick as they could and we were able to stop those balls. They did really well on those corners.”
Both teams got a break from the conference play with this game. Dock currently leads the BAL with an 8-0 record and 10-1 mark overall. Pennridge falls to 3-8 overall and stands at 1-6 in SOL Continental play.
“We have a smaller league than we’ve ever had so we get to play more non-league games,” Spahr said. “The cool thing is that every game helps your power rankings and playing Dock, who is a great team, can only help that at this point in the year. And just playing against good teams — regardless of what league they’re in — helps us play better. We tend to play up to our opponent. We just need to score as many as them.”