FALLS TOWNSHIP >> Recent Pennsbury graduate Kelly Ann Amador is taking her game to college and she’s headed to our nation’s capital where she’ll attend George Washington University. Kelly Ann had the distinction as one of the three former Lady Falcon starters including Riley Rudd and Caroline Foley who could not come out for their senior campaigns.
“It was tough, especially because we had done so well the last couple years,” said Amador. “It was our last chance to get as far as we could.”
After capturing a District 1 Class AAA championship and making states in 2014, last fall was a tough season on the pitch for the senior crop at Pennsbury.
Playing without the services of Amador along with Rudd and Foley, All-Suburban One National League standouts who were injured in the offseason, the Lady Falcons didn’t let adversity stand in their way, however.
The girls went out and grabbed a third consecutive Suburban One League (SOL) National Conference title, going 11-1 in the league to outpace archrival Neshaminy by a half-game.
“The girls pulled off another SOL title – they had a good run. And I was very much involved in that so I wasn’t completely removed from the field.”
Before making her college choice final, Amador was also looking at Columbia, the University of Maryland and Indiana but picked George Washington because of her interest in international affairs.
“International affairs is always something I’ve been interested in so it’s a perfect fit for that,” said Amador. “Athletically, I wanted to go into a strong program and still be able to make a difference and help them grow as a team. I think I’ll have an opportunity to do that at G-W.
Visits to the Colonials’ campus – just down the street from the White House – cemented Amador’s decision.
“The campus is insane – it’s in the middle of the city and I loved it from the moment I stepped on,” she said. “I was the first of 11 girls who committed this year. We’re a huge class and we all got together for the first time and got along so well. That really solidified it being the right choice.”
A year after Neshaminy’s unbeaten run to the 2013 PIAA Class AAA championship, Pennsbury posted a historic run of its own. District playoff wins over Downingtown West, Spring-Ford, CB West and CB East earned the Falcons their first district crown in 14 seasons.
Pennsbury’s 20th win that year was 1-0 triumph over District 3 rival Hershey that put them in the state quarterfinals. Pennsbury would not reach win number 21, however, falling instead to 2014 eventual state champ CB West, 2-1 in the PIAA quarters.
Nevertheless, the 2014 campaign is a fond memory for Amador. She’s happy to have played a significant role – Amador scored six goals that season – on that team along with her two friends Megan Engeland (Washington & Lee) and Uche Onouha (Howard/track & field).
In the 2014 D-1 title tilt with CB East, a first-half strike by Amy Blazejewski and a second half header from Foley along with some tremendous defensive play by Meredith Webber that kept the dangerous Emma Loving off the scoreboard cemented Pennsbury’s first D-1 crown in 14 seasons.
“It was really great to pull that off, let alone with the whole team but especially with [Engeland and Onouha] – to pull out that win was great.”
Amador followed her sophomore campaign up with the second of three straight league titles, a number two seeding in districts and a second team All-SOL National Conference nomination after notching a career high 13 goals and six assists.
Though she did not get to play her senior year, Amador – who acted as a team manager along with Rudd in 2016 – says she benefited greatly by playing high school soccer.
“At Pennsbury, even if you’re not a captain, you still have a leadership role,” she explains.
“High school has helped advance my leadership ability a lot. You have a group of 40 girls when you’re playing high school. You meet so many new people so socially and working with other people, it’s really helped a lot.”
In addition to Amador, the Falcons wave goodbye to defenders Rachel Beri, Avery Huston and Jo Tennant, midfielders Mannie Annan and Bri McDonald, forwards Laurel Perkins and Cara Thomas, and Webber, who is taking her game to University of Maryland at Baltimore County (UMBC).
NOTES: George Washington went 11-7-3 last season, making it to the Atlantic-10 Championship Semifinals.