By Bill Rudick
EAGLEVILLE—No. 5 Central Bucks West was coming of an emotional semi-final victory over top seeded Unionville, a win coach Courtney Lepping called the most important in her tenure at the helm of the Bucks.
They were riding high and feeling confident as they entered the District 1, Class AAA championship game against No. 2 Conestoga, and came out of the game firing. But the Pioneers found a connection the Bucks couldn’t seem to stop, and Conestoga cruised to a 5-2 win and the first district title in program history.
“Yes, this is an amazing feeling,” said Pioneers coach Megan Smyth. “We just came in here tonight with the right energy, and once they start moving the ball the way we did, it’s a tough team to stop.”
West got out to the early lead, when Bryan Boylan scored the game’s first goal off a penalty corner just over three minutes into the contest.
Conestoga was visibly motivated by the early deficit, and began to put serious pressure inside the circle, forcing seven corners over a ten minute span. Awarded a corner at the 12:55 mark, Kiley Allen put the ball in play on the insert, sending it in to Charlotte deVries at the top of the circle. deVries moved to her left along the circled, then unleashed a shot towards the cage, sending it in front of a drawn out Laura Kubit in goal. Waiting just beyond Kubit was Emma McGillis, all by herself to make the easy tap in.
Two minutes later, Ryan Murray put the Bucks back on top, slipping a goal in a crowd for a 2-1 Bucks lead. The advantage couldn’t have been much more short-lived, as 16 seconds later, deVries sent another cross to McGillis and another score to tie it at 2-2.
“We all just wanted this game so bad,” said McGillis. “We know we have the talent level to score on corners, we practiced our corners all week, and everyone knew we had to take advantage of them tonight. We’ve gotten a little further each year I’ve been here, so it’s great to finally come out on top.”
The two found each other once again before the end of the first half, this time with McGillis scoring despite tumbling over the goalie, who came out aggressively to make the unsuccessful attempt at a save.
“It’s always great to be able to answer a goal with one of your own,” said deVries. “We never worry too much about getting behind because we know what we can do. This is a great feeling to know we are the first in program history.”
The Pioneers notched another pair of goals in the second half, a rocket from about the 10-yard line from deVries, and Kylie Allen with a deVries assist iced it with a score 4:21 to play.
“They didn’t do anything that caught us by surprise,” said CB West coach, Courtney Lapping, ” We knew they were a strong team with a lot of defensive weapons and we would have to be at our best. I don’t think we played badly and these girls have nothing to hang their heads about. We just have to put this behind us and get ready for the state tournament next week, our season is far from over.”
The Bucks will face District 11 runner-up Stroudsburg, while the Pioneers move on to play the fourth place finisher from District 3, Hershey.
“This is just phase two of our goals, so we’re not done yet,” said Smyth. “We’re going to enjoy this amazing feeling for tonight, but then we’ll get right back to work on the next phase of our goals.”
CB West 2 0 –2
Conestoga 3 2 –5
CB West—Boylan, Murray
Conestoga—McGillis (3), deVries, Allen
Goalie Saves: Kubit (CBW) 3, Showers ( C ) 0