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Field Hockey: Cardinal O’Hara already knows state tourney foe

Cardinal O’Hara gets a familiar foe in the first round of the PIAA Class 3A field hockey playoffs. The District 12 champion Lions take on Downingtown West, the No. 4 seed out of District 1, in the second game of a doubleheader Tuesday at the Germantown Super Site.

Monsignor Bonner & Archbishop Prendergast takes on East Pennsboro in a Class 2A first-round game in the opener at 3:15.

The Lions needed a goal by Makayla Gallen on a penalty stroke with 10 minutes to play to beat the Whippets, 2-1, Oct. 14. Hannah Nihill also scored for the Lions (20-1). The star that day, though, was O’Hara goalie Jen Ahearn. She made 20 saves that day to keep the Lions in the game.

O’Hara won its fifth straight District 12 championship and sixth overall with a 7-0 victory over Northeast High School. Molly Grady had two goals and one assist. Danielle Bradley scored twice and Gallen had one goal and two assists. The Lions are looking for their first victory in the PIAA Tournament since a 2-1 victory over Wissahickon in double overtime in 2008.

Downingtown West (16-5) enters the PIAA Tournament with two consecutive losses. The Whippets fell to second-seeded Conestoga in the semifinals, 2-1, and then dropped a 2-1 decision to top-seeded Unionville in the third-place game. Downingtown West won the Ches-Mont League’s National Division.

The O’Hara-Downingtown West winner gets the winner of the game between District 11 champ and defending PIAA 3A champ Emmaus and Central Bucks East, the No. 5 team out of District 1, in Saturday’s quarterfinals. Emmaus has won 10 PIAA titles and been to the state final 14 times.

Monsignor Bonner & Prendergast (13-5) is making its first appearance in the PIAA Tournament since 2009. The Pandas dropped a 2-0 decision to Great Valley in Class AAA that year.

MBAP earned its spot in the state tournament with a 12-0 romp over Franklin Towne Charter in the District 12 Class 2A final. Molly McNulty led the way with five goals, while Catholic League MVP Riley Dolan had three goals and four assists.

East Pennsboro (18-5-1) started the season with seven straight wins, but fell to defending 2A state champion Twin Valley, 2-0, in the District 3 semifinals and then dropped a 2-0 decision to Manheim Central in the third-place game.

The Bonner & Prendie-East Pennsboro winner gets the winner of the game between District 1 champ Merion Mercy and Gettysburg, the sixth seed out of District 3, Saturday in the quarterfinals.

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