TOWAMENCIN >> By the time senior Ross Gold spun around in front of the net and quickly buried one into the corner, the party was just about to get started for North Penn.
The Knights were at their best on Senior Night, earning an impressive sweep over surging Upper Dublin.
“It was a good final game for the seniors here,” Knights coach Jason Grubb said. “Everyone got in the water, every senior got a goal, so it was a good way to cap off their career at their home pool.”
The North Penn girls won 9-3 over the Cardinals and the NP boys followed with an 11-7 victory over Upper Dublin.
After going 4-0 at the Erie Challenge, both NP squads head towards this weekend’s Eastern Conference Tournament (at NP) playing at a high level.
“We had a big weekend this past weekend and now we’re getting ourselves ready for the conference championships,” Grubb said. “The top four boys teams were at that tournament so to get all four wins is nice.
“The guys played the best they have all season and the girls did as well.”
Upper Dublin goal keeper Jasmine Thek blocks a shot by North Penn’s Hayley Muth during their match on Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017. (Bob Raines/Digital First Media)
The Knights (20-1) got scoring contributions from seven different players in the first half of the doubleheader, including two from senior Maddy Koerper and two from senior Maeve Wydan. Including an assist by Abigial Broadhead, eight different Knights either scored a goal or set up one.
Make it a dozen for the North Penn boys, who got offensive contributions from 12 players and that includes senior Zachary Owens, who added a goal to go along with his 10 saves in net.
The Knights (17-3) led 6-4 at the half and then clamped down in the third quarter, not allowing a goal in the second half until the Cardinals scored with five minutes to play, making it 9-5.
A.J. Patterson set up senior Matthew Franco and soon the Knights lead was 11-5, with a Senior Night celebration to follow afterwards.
Upper Dublin played well at the Rick Carroll Natatorium, and the Cardinals can look forward to Easterns with most likely a third or fourth seed for the girls and a fifth or sixth seed for the guys.
The young program has made tremendous strides — the Cardinal girls are in their third year of existence and this makes it five years on the boys side.
Upper Dublin’s Emma Rearson looks to pass as she is pressed by North Penn’s Hayley Muth during their match on Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017. (Bob Raines/Digital First Media)
“It’s always tough going up against North Penn and I was very proud of how they played,” Cardinals coach Chris Ianni said. “You could tell they were thinking, playing smart water polo.
“This has been our best season by far, and I’m very excited for this week as we close in on Easterns. I’m very proud of the team and where they’ve come in such a short amount of time.”
Grace Murphy scored twice for the UD girls and Kyle Rubenstein had a pair of tallies and an assist for the Cardinal boys.
Tuesday night’s venue was of special significance for Ianni, a North Penn grad. “To come here and play was a fun, special night, and the fact that they played well against such a great team — they didn’t give up and played smart, tough polo, as a coach I can’t ask for anything more than that.”