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Girls Water Polo

North Penn attacks in waves, sweeps Souderton

North Penn's Claudia Thamm moves the ball forward against Souderton on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017. (Bob Raines/Digital First Media)

TOWAMENCIN >> North Penn had something going early and often with Maeve Wydan.

“I was really excited for my first home game as a senior,” said Wydan, the sharp-shooting leader of an attack that — right from the start — was overflowing. “It was really exciting. We’ve been working really hard and we wanted it to carry through for us.”

Wydan’s five goals helped propel the Knights to a commanding 10-5 victory over Souderton Area Thursday night at the Rick Carroll Natatorium, with the NP boys following up with a 15-5 win in the second half of the Suburban One League doubleheader.

“Souderton’s always a big game to play,” Wydan said, the stands packed with plenty of red and blue. “(Opening up the season as three-time defending state champs) is a great feeling. It’s a little nerve wracking but overall we’re excited as a team, and looking forward to the rest of the season.”

North Penn’s Katelyn Harkrader and Souderton’s Gabrielle Fortier scramble for the ball during their match on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017. (Bob Raines/Digital First Media)

North Penn sprinted to a 5-0 lead and led by at least four the entire contest, against a competitive rival.

“It’s good to start off the year with a couple Souderton wins. Their girls team is really good this year so that could be a potential state final game,” Knights coach Jason Grubb said. “(Coming out fast is) something we’ve really worked on this year, coming out with a little bit more offense, as opposed to last year — try to get a little bit more control of it right from the start.

“We returned a lot of players from last year’s team so they’re experienced, they’ve been playing all summer long together, and hopefully they make a nice run.”

North Penn found many options to go to, including Maddy Koerper, who scored twice and helped the Knights to a 9-3 lead in the third quarter.

Wydan typified the play of her team — they stayed busy on both ends of the pool.

“Maeve is looking outstanding,” Grubb said. “She is one of the best players in the state right now. It’s tough to guard her on offense and it’s tough to play against her on defense.

“And we have a lot of girls that kind of fit that mold.”

Souderton’s Gabrielle Fortier looks to pass as she moves the ball away from North Penn’s Maddy Koerper during their match on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017. (Bob Raines/Digital First Media)

Big Red kept coming on, powered by K.K. Hershey (two goals).

“She’s a great player,” Indians coach Joe Hay said. “I think she’s the smartest player in the water. She’s always in the right position, stays very calm, never gets out of her head.”

A Knights boys team — that Grubb said is “poised to do something well this year” — scored in bunches and led 9-0 late in the second quarter. An even dozen players contributed goals for the Knights, including a hat trick by Matthew Franco.

Ethan Moyer played a solid game for a young Big Red squad.



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