UPPER DUBLIN >> It didn’t mean anything, except perhaps for district seeding.
But North Penn sure played like it.
Deadlocked with host and non-league opponent Upper Dublin late in the second half of Thursday’s match, the Knights exploded for four late goals to turn a 2-all tie into a 6-2 runaway.
North Penn, currently ranked second in the district, looked to be headed for trouble when the Cardinals jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first half, and then tied the match at 2 in the 60th minute.
But the Knights finished with a flurry, notching four goals in the final 20 minutes to land the decisive victory.
Carter Houlihan, Mike Chaffee, Matt Farrell (twice), Aidan Jerome and Ryan Stewart notched the goals as the Knights lived up to their No. 2 district ranking.
“It was a good game for the first 50 minutes,” said Knights head coach Paul Duddy. “I think we put a lot of pressure on them and had good possessions.
“They broke us down and got two early goals, but we played better in the second half,”
That would be the second half that saw the visitors outscore their foes, 5-1, and take command over the match’s final 30 minutes.
Knotted at two following the second goal of the game by the Cardinals’ Jerry Bardol early in the second half, the Knights simply shifted into another gear, and the home team had no reply.
“Once they tied it, we were just trying to hunker down and try and get some points,” said Upper Dublin head coach Andy Meehan. “We were missing a couple of guys today (Max Adams and Quinn Middleton), due to injury, but give North Penn credit. They’re a terrific team.”
Houlihan and Bardol swapped first-half goals to take the teams into the break knotted at 1.
Then Chaffee and Bardol swapped goals in the second.
But from then on it was all Knights, as Farrell, Jerome, Stewart and Farrell again stuffed their names into the scoring column in the final 20 minutes.
‘This was a great game to play because we knew if we came out and won, it would help us in the power rankings,” Houlihan said. “When we began working as a team in the second half, we knew we’d be able to wear them down.”
NORTH PENN 6, UPPER DUBLIN 2
North Penn 1 5 — 6
Upper Dubln 1 1 — 2
Ist Half Scoring — 1. Upper Dublin. Jerry Bardol; 2. North Penn, Carter Houlihan.
2nd Half Scoring — 3. North Penn. Mike Chaffee; 4. Upper Dublin, Bardol; 5. North Penn, Matthew Farrell. 6. North Penn, Aidan Jerome. 7. North Penn, Farrell. 8. North Penn. Ryan Stewart.
Shots — North Penn 8-9 — 17; Upper Dublin 4-3 — 7
Saves — Alex Goldberg (UD) 6; Jake Millevoi (NP) 2.