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Owens leads Methacton past North Penn, 6-1

FAIRVIEW VILLAGE >> The early days of the regular season are all about a little self-evaluation.

And if Friday afternoon is any indication, the Methacton field hockey team is looking plenty primed for a strong fall.

The Warriors dominated possession throughout, using a four-goal run over the final 39 minutes to claim a 6-1 win over North Penn at Methacton High School.

The win was the Warriors’ fourth straight season-opening victory over the Knights (0-1 overall). North Penn’s last win over Methacton came as a 3-0 shutout to start the 2013 season.

“We got some good momentum going in the early going and we were able to sustain it,” said Methacton head coach Sarah Quintois of Friday’s game. “We’ve got a lot of experience coming back and a lot of girls who have played together for a long time. It’s nice to see how they feel comfortable with each other this early on in the season.”

Senior forward Emily Owens lit up the scoreboard four times, including the game’s opening goal six minutes in when she picked off a pass at the top of the circle then weaved her way through traffic and flicked it past the keeper. Fellow senior forward Olivia Hoover added a goal and an assist to Frankie Lucchesi’s score with 7:38 left in regulation.

“We had been spending all preseason getting excited about the first game,” said Owens, a Drexel University commit. “We came out really strong and just kept fighting. Everyone is excited to get this season started. I think this was a great first step.”

Methacton dominated the possession, especially early, when they held a 10-1 advantage in corners and 16-1 advantage in shots on goal by the half.

Making her first career varsity start, Molly Frey looked plenty comfortable in the Methacton cage. Filling in for her graduated sister Addie (now at Ursinus College), Frey finished with nine saves including a run of two-straight stops on a late North Penn possession.

“She did great,” said Quintois of Frey. “There was a lot of lag time, but then they (North Penn) were putting a lot of pressure on her. That’s hard as a goalie where you have all that time and then it all comes at once. She played really well.”

Across the way, North Penn keeper Anissa Gardizy was plenty strong. Although she let six goals go by, she came up with 18 saves, including a highlight reel sprawled-out save minutes into the second half.

Bri O’Donnell registered the Knights’ lone goal — a scrum in front of the net on her team’s first corner try — with 12:44 left in the opening half.

Although it wasn’t quite the start to the season that Shannon McCracken and North Penn had been searching for, the sixth-year head coach believes the result could serve as a gut-check.

“Today was Day One, and unfortunately we didn’t bring our best game,” she said. “We’ve got a lot to improve on. We learned a lot today — this was a great measuring stick for us.

“It’s a long season. We want to be playing hotter a little bit later in the season. We’ll get there.”

As both teams look to build off solid 2016 seasons that ended deep in the District One Class 6A playoffs, one thing remains certain — there are plenty of games still to be played between now and November.

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