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North Penn senior class helps lift conference title with sights set on playoffs

Over the course of about the last decade, the Suburban One Continental Conference has been owned by CB East as the Patriots have won nine out of the last 11 conference titles.

“(It’s been) too many years, it’s painful,” North Penn coach Paul Duddy said of his team’s drought. “CB East deserves all the credit. They’ve won this conference nine out of 11 years. They are a great team and have been. (They’re) a great program. We were normally second and that’s tough to swallow a little bit.”

For a majority of those seasons , North Penn finished as the runner-up. In Thursday night’s 3-0 win over Pennridge, the Knights lifted their first conference title in nine years, an opportunity made possible by an improbable result with William Tennent knocking off East.

“William Tennent beating CB East last week opened the door for us and we took advantage of that situation,” North Penn coach Paul Duddy said. “I’m proud of them for that and I’m happy for them.”

Much of the success of this season’s North Penn team revolves around close-knit and very talented senior class.

“It’s a really good group of guys and I’m happy for them,” Duddy said. “I’m happy for the coaching staff don’t get me wrong but I’m just happy for them. They’re good guys, they’re friends and they enjoy this whole deal.”

Thursday night’s pregame festivities centered on honoring the senior class. The seniors did not disappoint. Seniors scored all three Knight goals — the first goal just two minutes in came from center back Noah Kwortnik on a beautiful head ball.

Midfielder Nate Baxter continued the scoring as his run and finish gave the Knights a 2-0 lead just minutes after Kwortnik’s tally. Mike Kohler put the final point on the board in the first minute of the second half.

The senior class not only scored but also helped keep Pennridge off the score sheet. Right defender Erik Szilagyi played tight defense and helped move the ball back up the field in transition along with fellow senior defensemen Nick Terchek and Cem Hoffmann.

A senior keeper duo of Bobby Dean and Tyler Rothmann combined for a six save clean sheet.

Duddy hopes that the current run his team is on can continue for a lengthy playoff run. With the current construction of the Knights team, they seem to check a lot of the boxes that suggest they would.

“I know it’s cliché but there is still a lot of soccer left, we hope, with districts and states,” Duddy said.

Top Photo:  North Penn’s Mike Kohler pushes past a tackle by Pennridge’s Aidan Link during their game on Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016. (Bob Raines/Digital First Media)

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