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Gwynedd Mercy

Villa Maria handles Gwynedd Mercy

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LOWER GWYNEDD >> When Villa Maria Academy scored Tuesday afternoon, it made sure to do it in twos.

The Hurricanes scored twice in a three-minute stretch in the first half and twice in less than four minutes in the second half of their 4-1 Athletic Association of Catholic Academies win over Gwynedd Mercy Academy at the Larry Wilson Track & Multi-Sport Complex on the campus of Gwynedd Mercy Academy High School.

“Once the first goal is in the back of the net we all get excited and hyped up,” Villa senior Hannah Miller said, “because we know that we’re capable of doing it. We just have to have confidence in ourselves. When the first goal goes in our confidence grows and we know what we have to do.”

The Hurricanes got the scoring started midway through the first half.

Megan Dillon scored off a nice feed from Margie Carden to give VMA a 1-0 lead.

Exactly three minutes later, Maggie Powers took a shot off of a penalty corner and Ryan Hickey deflected in into the back of the cage to double their advantage to 2-0.

Villa added on quickly after the halftime break.

Less than two minutes after intermission Hickey found Dillon to extend the lead to 3-0.

Before you knew it, Miller scored off a corner to finish off Villa’s scoring for the game and give them a comfortable 4-0 advantage.

Gwynedd responded quickly to Villa’s fourth goal, but it was too little too late. Alex Wentz found Morgan McMenamin 64 seconds after falling behind by four goals to get the Monarchs on the board.

“I don’t think we (got down after Villa scored) today at all,” Gwynedd coach Alex McMahan said. “I think it actually motivated us this time. They were goals that could’ve been prevented if we cleaned up our defense a little bit more, which I think propelled us into a good attacking momentum.”

The game was played through steady showers. The rain came down heavy during the pregame warmups before slowing down in the first half. It picked back up early in the second half when it looked like the game may need to be stopped, but the teams continued to play and the precipitation slowed down.

“In the beginning and the warmups (the weather) got in our heads but we knew what we had to do,” Miller said. “We knew we had to come out here and get the win. During the game we overcame the adversity and I think we did a great job of working together and just playing our game.”

The Hurricanes limited Gwynedd to four shots on goal in the entire game.

“We’ve been practicing a lot on our intercepts and our patience in the defensive end,” Miller said. “I feel like our defense really came in clutch back there and they used everything we’ve been working on and just stayed patient and played our hockey.”

Despite the loss, McMahan is happy with how the Monarchs played.

“I am so incredibly proud of how we played,” she said. “They were maniacs all over the field. They hustled, they passed, they attacked, they defended beautifully. The ball just didn’t bounce our way on our shots. On any other day, maybe with better conditions, it could have gone the other way. We were right there.”

Both teams are in good shape heading towards the latter part of the regular season. Villa entered Tuesday’s contest No. 1 in the latest District 1 Class 2A power rankings. GMA was sitting at No. 7 in Class 2A.

“We’re improving every single game and that’s all I care about and that’s what I’m happy with,” McMahan said.

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