UPPER DUBLIN >> In what Riley McGowan called her team’s best offensive game of the year thus far, Souderton Area had its midfield transition clicking and was able to score in bunches.
Goalie Lauren Scott made some key saves in the final minutes to stifle the heat put on by Upper Dublin, and Big Red came away with an 8-6 Suburban One League American Conference victory over the Cards on a misty afternoon on the turf.
“We just kept moving the ball — everybody touched it before we took a shot. We were swinging it,” said McGowan, who scored a pair of goals for Souderton. “Usually we’re a second-half team, but I felt today we played pretty even the whole game.”
Souderton jumped out to a 2-0 lead and later went up 7-2 in the second half. Upper Dublin, behind two goals by Becky Browndorf and additional tallies from four others, got within 8-6 with 4 minutes, 37 seconds to play, but the Indians didn’t allow them to creep closer.
“These kids are giving me a heart attack,” Souderton coach Nancy Offner said with a smile. “Upper Dublin has a great team. We know coming in every year — coach (Dee) Cross is awesome. So we know every year, it’s gonna be a very challenging game.
“None of (our girls) gave up. They kept up their intensity the whole game and kept playing hard. The offense is working well together. They’re passing well and moving the ball.”
With the win, Souderton raised its conference record to 4-1 and its overall mark to 7-4. Upper Dublin is now 8-3 on the season, 2-2 in the conference.
“We’re pretty happy with the last couple games,” Offner said of wins over Upper Moreland and Upper Dublin. “We had a rough start to the season but now we’re playing well and they’re really gelling as a team.”
The Indians went up 2-0 in the opening minutes and jumped to a 3-1 advantage barely 10 minutes in.
“I feel like every game, we’re getting better,” said McGowan, a junior attacker who has already committed to play at Temple.
The Cardinals closed to 3-2 but Souderton finished out the first half with a sprint, running its lead to 6-2.
Two goals by Randi Hess and one each by Anna Anello, Averie Doughty, Sarah Goodwin and Carlie Doughty helped keep Big Red comfortably ahead.
Back Come the Cards
Upper Dublin seemed to find its way.
Keeper Sarah Herchenroder made some stops and the attack was firing. The Cardinals got within 7-4 with 9:52 to play and made it 8-6 with just 4:37 left, a goal by Browndorf putting Upper Dublin right back in it.
“We had the momentum,” Cross said, “and we need to finish. We started the season with lots of confidence and finishing and all of a sudden, we’re back on our heels and making uncharacteristic turnovers. We just have to take the next game and start over.
“All the credit to (Scott in goal). We may have taken some bad shots but she was making some great saves. She was very consistent today. Souderton hustled. They beat us to ground balls. I think we had the same amount of turnovers but they just capitalized on getting possession back, and that’s key.”
Both squads are back in action soon: Souderton is at Pennsbury Thursday and Upper Dublin is at Radnor on Friday.
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