TOWAMENCIN >> For the first half of play, it looked like the North Penn and Council Rock North boys lacrosse teams were in for a slugfest that would inevitably come down to the wire.
With the Knights leading 6-5 at the break, it was anyone’s game to take and that’s exactly what North Penn would end up doing.
Six unanswered goals in the third quarter from the home team effectively clinched the result in their final regular-season game as the Knights cruised to a 13-9 win over their Suburban One League National Conference foe.
“The difference in this one was that third quarter,” said North Penn head coach Rick Smith. “We kept possession of the ball and we were able to settle down. When we can do that on offense we’re very successful and in that third we settled it down and executed our plays.”
The scoring started in the third just two minutes and thirteen seconds in. Tanner Nelson ripped a beautiful shot over the goaltenders’ shoulder off a feed from Reece Udinski and the Knights never looked back.
Udinski, who finished the afternoon with four assists to go along with two goals of his own, was the team’s main facilitator from behind Council Rock North’s net. More times than not, he would find a cutter in perfect position and set them up for an easy goal in stride, which allowed the offense move along smoothly.
“We try to feed the cutters a lot in this offense, especially because we have so many guys that can finish around the net,” said Udinski. “Our offense is based around movement without the ball and feeding those guys and it was working, especially in that third quarter.”
It was working for them in the second quarter as well, as the Knights shot out to a 6-2 lead to open the game, but the Indians would eventually respond.
Following a two-minute illegal body check penalty, the Indians scored three straight goals before the half to steal the momentum back and put themselves within striking distance.
Unfortunately for CR North, its inability to control possession in that third period would be its eventual downfall.
“For most of the game we looked good except for that 10-minute span after halftime,” said Council Rock North head coach John Fitzpatrick. “We’re down just one goal going into half then you give up a quick five straight. We need to be more focused coming out of halftime.”
Council Rock North now shifts its attention to its final game of the season, an away contest against Archbishop Ryan, before preparing for District 1-AAA playoffs.
As for North Penn, now it waits. The Knights will be eagerly sitting by waiting to find out who they will play after coming up just one game short of an SOL National crown.
“We don’t know who we play next week and we don’t know where we stand but it’s just a matter of being ourselves moving forward,’ said Smith. “We can have all the plays in the world drawn up but when you’re doing the little things right the big picture comes together and that’s what we need to focus on now.’
North Penn 13, Council Rock North 9
Council Rock North 1 4 1 3 — 9
North Penn 2 4 6 1 — 13
North Penn Goals-Assists: Reece Udinski 2-4; Nick Conroy 2-0; Tanner Nelson 2-0; Max Lehrman 1-0; Eric Diamond 3-1; Stephan Rinck 3-0; Nick Kelm 0-4.
Council Rock North Goals-Assists: Peter Lehman 3-0; Ben Hoefer 3-0; Ian Waitkos 1-0; Beckett Thompson 1-2; Jack Jogerst 1-1.
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