TOWAMENCIN >> Led by their “war horse” and driven by a desire to avenge an overtime loss from two weeks ago, Gwynedd Mercy was fast, crisp and efficient Wednesday night at Dock Mennonite Academy, earning a 4-1 victory in the District 1-A field hockey semifinals.
“Losing to them in overtime (on Oct. 10), we just wanted to come out here and go for it,” said the Monarchs’ Bridget Beck, who scored two goals in the victory. “We wanted to give it our all and we came out tonight and did just that, from the very beginning.
“It definitely changes the momentum of the game as soon as you get that first goal. Then they all just come.”
The win clinches a spot in the District 1-12 regionals for the Monarchs and advances them to Friday’s 3 p.m. district final, to take on New Hope-Solebury — a 2-0 winner over Lower Moreland Wednesday — at a site to be announced.
Beck scored less than 13 minutes into the contest and just two minutes later Kaitlin McCauley set up Alden Boccella for GMA’s second goal, and the Monarchs were rolling.
“We come alive on turf,” coach Alex McMahan said. “Gwynedd has grass but we are absolutely a turf team. We try to practice on it whenever we can because our players are highly-skilled and they have a lot of finesse. So the turf changes us and takes us to the next level.”
GMA got a far different end result this time around compared to its last to Dock on Oct. 10.
“We’ve been waiting for this game since the last one,” McMahan said. “We felt like we could have pulled it out in the first game but we made some adjustments in the last two weeks and there was nothing that was going to get in our way.”
Even when the Pioneers trimmed the margin to 2-1 at the half on a goal by Kate Strickland, the Monarchs picked right up after the break and got a breakaway goal from Beck.
“Bridget is our war horse. She never stops,” McMahan said. “She always goes a hundred miles per hour. She just has no fear.”
Controlling play throughout, GMA put the game away when Katie Cusamano scored to make it 4-1 midway through the second half.
Dock still has life — the Pioneers host Lower Moreland Friday night at 6 with a spot in regionals on the line.
“Gwynedd came ready to play,” Dock coach Michelle Waldspurger said. “You have to give that to them. They came out and played hard. They played well.
“We tried to get back in the game but it just didn’t happen. Gwynedd came out stronger. We still have a shot to get to regionals so hopefully we can learn from this and take it into Friday.”
Top Photo: Gwynedd Mercy’s Alden Boccella drives the ball past Dock Mennonite’s Cedar Smith during their District 1-A semifinal on Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016. (Bob Raines/Digital First Media)