MALVERN >> Villa Maria Academy began its District 1 Class 2A opener against Interboro Wednesday with surgical style, driving deep into Bucs territory time after time, making precise passes and scoring on nearly every drive.
After that the Hurricanes pretty much hit cruise control en route to a 20-0 victory. With the victory, the Hurricanes (16-3, 13-0) advance to the second round Saturday against No. 9 seed Upper Merion.
“This was probably our fastest start in a game this season,” Villa Maria head coach Ali Mongan said. “It was a good, clean game, and I told the players after the game that they deserved it.
“Before the game I told our players that Interboro was coming in as a 16 seed, so they have nothing to lose. I told our team that we need to come out like it’s a championship game, a win-or-you’re-out type of game — which is what the postseason is like.”
Villa Maria sophomore attack Sarah Delaney scored the game’s first goal 33 seconds into the contest, and senior attack Annina Iacobucci followed up with a score 14 seconds later.
In the next two minutes, goals by senior attack Bri Bamber, freshman attack Hannah Young and senior midfielder Audrey Fantazzia gave the hosts a 5-0 lead.
Fantazzia also played a key role in the Hurricanes’ dominant time of possession, winning a team-high seven draw controls.
“I thought Audrey played particularly well today,” Mongan said. “It’s nice to have her on attack — she sets the tempo.”
Within the next two minutes, Iacobucci and Young each scored a second goal, and Villa Maria had a 7-0 lead. Iacobucci also dished out five assists Wednesday.
With the score 9-0, Villa junior midfielder Erin Finley scored back-to-back goals within one minute to give the hosts an 11-0 lead with 18:31 left in the first half. Finley also won five draw controls Wednesday, and dished out four assists.
Midway through the first half, Villa’a Paige DeMutis scored back-to-back goals within 31 seconds of each other to give the Hurricanes a 15-0 lead with 12:04 to go before halftime.
Interboro worked up a few drives into Villa Maria territory in the second half, but every time the Bucs took a shot at the cage, Villa Maria goalie Maddie Medve (five saves) turned them away for her second shutout of the season. Medve now has 147 saves for the season, averaging nearly eight per game.
“Villa Maria played really well today — you can tell they’re coached really well,” Interboro head coach Steph D’Alonzo said. “We gave our best effort today, and I’m really proud of my team.”
For Interboro (9-8), Wednesday’s loss marked the finish to an encouraging 2017 campaign. Bucs freshman Morgan Reed has been one of the leading point scorers in Delaware County this spring.
“This was a season of transition and change for us, but we put our best foot forward throughout the season, and I’m proud that we made the playoffs,” D’Alonzo said. “It’s the first time we’ve been in the playoffs in a while.”
Top photo: Interboro’s Jenna Schreiber, left, tried to defend Villa Maria’s Caroline Antell Wednesday during the Hurricanes’ district playoff win over the Bucs. (Photo by Anne Neborak – Digital First Media)