FRANCONIA >> Don’t ask Upper Dublin freshman Jackie Rama about toughness.
The Cardinals attacker learned the game playing for three years in a boys league.
Rama’s toughness was on display Wednesday at Souderton High School where she and her teammates battled back from a three-goal, first-half deficit to stun the host Indians, 10-8.
Rama and the Cardinals trailed, 5-2, with 5:22 left in the first half, but turned the game around, pulling to within 5-4 by halftime and then overcoming their hosts with a four-goal run in the middle of the second half to build a three-goal lead of their own in the contest’s final 4:00.
“We were 4-for-16 shooting in the first half,” said Cardinals head coach Dee Cross with a wide smile. “We were shooting a lot, we just weren’t finding the cage.”
The host Indians were finding the cage in the first half, however, and they built a 5-2 lead behind a three-goal explosion from Riley McGowan.
But the Cardinals (8-2, 4-0 Suburban One League American) stayed non-plussed.
And after halftime, they found themselves in the lead.
In the middle of the comeback was Rama, who tied the game at the 20:53 mark of the second half, then after Caroline Wall and Lindsey Schreiber pushed the Cardinals into an 8-6 lead with 14:53 left, the Indians played a futile game of catch-up the rest of the way.
“We had to settle down,” Rama said. “We were playing well, we just had to keep possession and keep scoring.”
That’s exactly what the Cardinals did, especially on the defensive end.
“They worked real hard on defense,” Cross said of her team. “Someone would come up with a key groundball, or get in a passing lane.
“They played extremely hard in the second half.”
Meanwhile, Souderton’s hard work in the first half went for naught as the Cardinals won virtually every draw and defended like banshees
“Upper Dublin has a very good offense and a very good team,” said Souderton head coach Nancy Offner. “Our turnovers hurt us, and caused us to be in the position we were in.”
The Indians (7-4, 3-2) huffed and puffed down the stretch, but the best they could muster was Kaitlyn Mardi’s goal in the game’s final minute.
The Cardinals had a much-needed win, and Rama was in a celebratory mood.
“I’ll go get some rest,” she said. “That, and some mac and cheese from Wawa.”
LAXNOTES: Lindsey Schreiber had 11 ground balls for the Cardinals, while goalkeeper Lauren Scott had 16 saves for the Indians.
UPPER DUBLIN 10, SOUDERTON 8
Upper Dublin 4 6 — 10
Souderton 5 3 — 8
Upper Dublin goals: Jackie Rama (3); Caroline Wall (2); Becky Browndorf (1); Lindsey Schreiber (2); Hannah Reape (1); Mack Moore (1).
Souderton goals: Riley McGowan (3); Sarah Goodwin (1); Kaitlyn Mardi (3); Carly Doughty (1).
Upper Dublin saves: Sarah Herchenroder 5.
Souderton saves: Lauren Scott 16.
Top Photo: Upper Dublin’s Jackie Rama drives in for a score during the Cardinals’ game at Souderton on Wednesday, April 26, 2017. (Jeff Davis/For Digital First Media)