FAIRVIEW VILLAGE >> Throughout the night, sounds from the Methacton High School marching band’s practice echoed throughout campus, even above the cheers from both sidelines and the two competitive student sections going back and forth.
It seemed oddly appropriate as Council Rock South played in harmony and is now marching into its first PIAA tournament appearance since 2004 following a 2-1 win over the Warriors in the District 1-AAA playback round on Tuesday night.
“We knew that if we lost this one, our season would be over,” said senior captain Sarah Womer, who scored the game-winning goal with 47 seconds left in regulation. “None of us were ready for that.”
With the win, No. 8 seeded Council Rock South (17-4 overall) will take on No. 6 Central Bucks East — 9-1 winners over Plymouth-Whitemarsh — on Friday night for a seeding game. Methacton’s season comes to a close with a 15-5-2 overall record.
Fresh off their loss against Central Bucks West in the second round of districts, Tuesday was the first time since September of the 2015 season that the Warriors had lost two straight games. Even in the loss, Methacton head coach Sarah Quintois highlighted plenty of positives on her team.
“I can’t say anything about the effort,” she said. “The effort was definitely there. It was just one of those games that somebody had to win. That’s why you play.”
Womer’s deciding goal provided the needed separation in what was an even game on both ends. Council Rock posted two penalty corners and a pair of shots on goal while the Warriors had three shots on goal and three corners. Methacton seemed to be in control of the possession often, but it was the Hawks who were frequently getting the penetration into the scoring circle.
Just 10 minutes in, fellow senior captain Caroline McGovern corralled the ball 25 yards out from the cage. The Boston College commit single-handedly worked her way through the Methacton defense and then fired a blast hard off the wood to give her team its first lead of the night.
“I’m not even sure how that got in,” she said. “I brought it in expecting to get a corner (whistle), but that never came. So I winded up and sent one in.”
While with the Hawks, McGovern has checked off plenty of accomplishments and clinched several feats during her four-year starting career.
This season, she broke both of her own school records, which she had set last year in points (currently 85) and goals scored (currently 38) while leading her team to its first Suburban One Championship since the 2013 season. She’s also earned All-State honors twice.
None of that, though, ranks up there with punching a ticket to states.
“This is number one, definitely,” she said. “No matter how many records or things I’ve accomplished, there’s nothing better than this moment. As a team, we’ve been through so much together. I can’t wait to experience this with them.”
“I’m so happy with this team,” said CR South head coach Lisa Belz. “They’ve gone above and beyond the expectations of this season. They’re playing together and they’re playing really well.”
Olivia Hoover scored Methacton’s lone goal on a reverse chip with a shade over six minutes left in the first half to even the score. The junior is one of seven starters who will be back with the Warriors again next season. With four starters set to graduate in the spring, Quintois and the Warriors will have plenty to look forward to next season.
“We’ll miss our seniors, absolutely, but we’ll have the majority of the team coming back,” she said. “We definitely have high expectations for next year. It won’t be a rebuilding year for us.”