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Dixon scores twice, Plymouth Whitemarsh grinds out win over Upper Dublin

Plymouth Whitemarsh’s Sam Spera battles Upper Dublin’s Maisie Hanson for possession of the ball during their game on Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017. (Gene Walsh/Digital First Media)

WHITEMARSH >> Plymouth Whitemarsh’s role this season in the Suburban One American Conference is that of frontrunner.

That means focus every minute of every game.

It means no slip-ups, no unintentional breaks.

Wednesday afternoon the Colonials lost their focus throughout much of the first half of their game against SOL American rival Upper Dublin.

Perhaps it says something about the Colonials that they still emerged with a 4-0 victory.

Jess Dixon scored twice and Kennedy Reardon and Sam Spera each scored once as the Colonials (5-0-0, 4-0-0 conference) pulled up their bootstraps and earned a win over a riled up Cardinals team that was able to carry play for large portions of the game.

Plymouth Whitemarsh’s Livia Truong races to beat Upper Dublin’s Molly Linney to the ball during their game on Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017. (Gene Walsh/Digital First Media)

“It was not our best day,” said Colonials head coach Charise Halteman. “Our kids found a way to grind it out, but it was not our best game.

“We didn’t play our style of hockey. We let Upper Dublin control the pace.”

The Cardinals (3-2-0, 2-2-0) did control the pace early, although the Colonials came out of the half with a 1-0 lead thanks to Dixon, whose shot through traffic somehow eluded Cardinals goaltender Megan Muth.

At the break, the Colonials regrouped and played a much better second half, with Reardon scoring early and Dixon and Spera scoring late to arrive at the final score.

“We didn’t have a good first half,” Dixon said, “but we did a lot of talking (at halftime) and I’d say we were pretty good in the second half.

“We know if we work hard as a team we can win, even though everybody’s out to get us.”

“They were down, we gave them a little bit of a challenge,” said Cardinals head coach Heather Boyer. “They have some very good players, but the bottom line is that we didn’t put the ball in the back of the cage, and that was the difference.”

Upper Dublin’s Ryann Kullman chases down a pass near Plymouth Whitemarsh’s Sam Spera during their game on Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017. (Gene Walsh/Digital First Media)

With the Colonials taking their game up a notch after halftime, the visitors were no match.

Reardon scored early to give the home team some breathing space.

Then the goals by Dixon and Spera added some frosting.

But Halteman was not smiling.

“The way we showed up today is not the way we want to approach the rest of our season,” the coach said. “It was a test of our ability to make adjustments.”

Still, the Colonials were confident after surviving the scare.

“The way we’re playing,” Dixon said, “I think we can get to states.”

Plymouth Whitemarsh 4, Upper Dublin 0
Upper Dublin     0 0 — 0
Plymouth Whitemarsh  1 3 — 4
First Half Scoring: PW: jess Dixon, 5:43.
Second Half Scoring: Kennedy Reardon 3:41; Dixon, 14:47; Sam Spera 2:34.
Shots on Goal: Upper Dublin 7-3-10; Plymouth Whitemarsh 6-10-16.
Corners: Plymouth Whitemarsh 9; Upper Dublin 8.

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