DOWNINGTOWN — North Penn had seen its share of success against Ches-Mont teams this season. The Knights had an overtime win over Downingtown West in the regular season and they also ousted Bishop Shanahan in the first round of the District 1 Class AAA field hockey tournament.
Wednesday afternoon at Kottmeyer Stadium, fifth-seeded Downingtown East made sure they wouldn’t be the latest casualty, and made the statement emphatically with a 6-0, second-round shutout of the No. 12 Knights, dominating them in every facet of the game.
The victory sets up a quarterfinal showdown on Friday with crosstown rival Downingtown West, a 3-0 winner over Central Bucks West on Wednesday.
“We wanted to come out hard and set the pace,’ said East coach Stephanie Bullock. “We struggled a little bit towards the end of this season, so it was great to see them come out the way we did today.’
The Cougars set the pace early on, outshooting the Knights, 8-2, over the course of the first 30 minutes of play. They notched the first goal of the game a little over 10 minutes in when Kallie Gray took a pass from Laura Dutzman and deposited it in the back of the cage.
Barely two minutes later, the Cougars struck again. This time around, it was Dutzman’s turn with an assist to Kathryn Scheerer. Elizabeth Farrell found the back of the cage with 12 minutes to play in the half to give Downingtown East a 3-0 going into the break.
“We did a great job communicating and moving the ball in and out all day,’ said Dutzman. “It was big to get out to the early lead and set the pace. It took a little pressure off the defense. The defense was great today, too.’
North Penn didn’t get a shot off in the second half and forced only three penalty corners all day — just a single one in the second half.
“We did a really nice job with our transitions today,’ said Cougars’ defender Katie Kalady, who, in addition to her solid defensive play, was credited with an assist. “Obviously Laura (Narcum) played a great game in goal. We play with a lot of short and quick passes, and that helps keep everyone’s heads in the game.’
Downingtown East scored three more times in the second half. Farrell had her second midway through the half and Claire Webb lifted a penalty stroke over the stickside shoulder of North Penn goalie Brunne Schopp to make it 5-0. The last score came with 4:32 to play when Kalady passed to Jenn Wilcox, who slammed it home.
“All day long the defense was doing a nice job in moving the ball to the outside, and our offense took things from there,’ said Dutzman. “We know when we’re playing well, we can score, and today we were playing well.’
Now the Cougars are just one win away from a berth in the state tournament, but will have to try to get a second win over a Downingtown West team that hasn’t lost since the Cougars won the first go-round in September.
“No matter who won the second game, it was going to be a good one for us Friday,’ said Bullock. “It was CB West that knocked us out in the second round last year, but it’s always fun to play Downintown West. It’s just really nice to see how well the Ches-Mont is playing in District 1 this season.’