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Dock Mennonite gets past Lansdale Catholic to qualify for states

LANSDALE >> It’s been a while since the Dock Mennonite Academy field hockey team has made it to the state playoffs, eight years to be exact. But Friday afternoon they did just that as they beat Lansdale Catholic 6-0 in the District 1/12 regional playback game.

“It’s very exciting for us,” said Dock head coach Michelle Waldspurger. “It’s been since 2008 since we’ve been to states so the girls are definitely pumped for this chance.”

Bob Raines--Digital First Media Kate Strickland (Christopher Dock) happily carries the ball back to center field after scoring on Lansdale Catholic  Nov. 4, 2016.

Dock Mennonite’s Kate Strickland happily carries the ball back to center field after scoring on Lansdale Catholic during their District 1/12 Class third place game on Friday, Nov. 4, 2016. (Bob Raines/Digital First Media)

It was a pretty relentless offensive attack all afternoon from Dock that kept Lansdale Catholic on their heels. They outshot the Crusaders 28-8, thanks in large part to the efforts of senior captain Jill Bolton and her two-goal and two-assist performance.

“Jill (Bolton) played awesome today,’’ added Waldspurger. “She controlled the tempo of the game, passed great and then of course scored those goals too.”

The scoring started less than 10 minutes into the game with Bolton finding a rebound and sending it back into the goal to beat LC goaltender Claire Crotty.

Dock’s attack continued for the rest of the half as they kept peppering Crotty with shots, but she was up to the task as she made 11 saves in the first half and kept it at 1-0 at the break.

“For us to get that from her (Crotty) in the first half was awesome,’’ said LC head coach Alexis Setley ‘‘If your goalie isn’t solid in this game you can almost count yourself out immediately but she was definitely able to keep us in it today and played great.”

Unfortunately for the Crusaders, those shots eventually ended up finding the back of the cage in the second half.

Sophomore Kate Strickland wasted no time, scoring her first of three goals just over a minute into the half.

Another from Strickland five minutes later followed by Bolton’s second of the day and just like that a competitive one-goal game began to seem one-sided as Dock cruised to victory.

Bob Raines--Digital First Media A shot by Julianna Connors (Lansdale Catholic) hits Jill Bolton (Christopher Dock) on her forearm, preventing a score while goal keeper Liz Wanamaker was out of position Nov. 4, 2016.

A shot by Lansdale Catholic’s Julianna Connors (Lansdale Catholic) hits Dock Mennonite’s Jill Bolton on her forearm, preventing a score while goal keeper Liz Wanamaker was out of position during their District 1/12 Class A third place game on Friday, Nov. 4, 2016. (Bob Raines/Digital First Media)

“We definitely looked better in that second half,” said Waldspurger. “We passed a little better and we were able to finish in the offensive circle which we weren’t doing early on.”

This was a big game from Bolton and Strickland to show up on the score sheet. Big time players show up in big time games, and that’s exactly what Dock got from the two of them.

“This is a do-or-die game for us, if we lose were going home,’’ said Bolton. “I think that mentality really picked us up in the second half and we realized if we wanted to make it to states we needed this one.’’

This was a tough loss for LC as they see its season come to an end, but with this being Setley’s first season with the team as head coach she looks to be building something positive as they came up just one game short of qualifying for states.

Dock won’t know its opponent for states until later Saturday, but the Pioneers know if they want to make a run they’re going to have to do it as a team.

“We’re really just focused on playing as a team, as one unit,’’ said Waldspurger. “If we can do that we can win games.”

Top Photo:  Dock Mennonite’s Anna Gwiazdinski takes a backhand shot on goal during the Pioneers’ District 1/12 Class A third place game against Lansdale Catholic on Friday, Nov. 4, 2016. (Bob Raines/Digital First Media)

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