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Pak goal, assist helps Wissahickon hold off Upper Dublin

UPPER DUBLIN >> Sammi Pak received the penalty corner at the top of the corner, but her swing just did not connect with the ball the way the Wissahickon field hockey senior intended.

“I think I was kind of just nervous, so I didn’t really get to set up and get as low as I wanted to, but it happens,” she said.

But the end result was more than satisfactory for the Northeastern commit. Pak’s effort sent the ball in the air towards the Upper Dublin goal then took a bounce to a waiting Ellen Kane, whose redirection found the back of the cage for the first goal in Monday’s afternoon Suburban One League American Conference contest.

“I was like ‘Oh sorry guys’ and then it ended up working,” Pak said. “So I was like, ‘I guess a goal’s a goal.’”

Park doubled the lead a few minutes later on a penalty stroke and the Trojans found a way to hold off the host Cardinals in the second half and come away with a 2-1 victory.

“I took us a while to get into the game. And then they were really, really good in the middle and then they kind of were a little disorganized towards the end,” Wissahickon coach Lucy Gil said. “But I have to give it to Upper Dublin, they came out really hungry and really wanting it.”

Upper Dublin (3-1-0, 2-1-0 conference) tested the Wissahickon (2-1-0, 2-1-0) defense with 19 shots and seven corners but could only find one goal in the game — Emma Mead striking off a Maddie Templeton assist with 12:04 left in the second half.

“We certainly had a lot of offensive opportunities, we need to capitalize on them, so that is definitely the takeaway,” Cardinals coach Heather Boyer said. “That was a very well-played hockey game. The tempo was high, the skill level was good. It was fun to watch for sure. And I agree, I did think we controlled a lot of the possession and had more offensive corner opportunities and more time in the circle and didn’t really make anything of it.”

Looking for the tying goal, Upper Dublin earned a corner but could not get off a shot. In the final minute, Mead tried to make a run at the net, but Trojans goalkeeper Meghan Reilly came out and disrupted her — Mead corralling the ball but sending a shot out of bounds.

“I’m super proud of our defense,” Gil said. My goalie comes through every time but our defense always cleans up everything in there and really, really tight today, so that was great. We needed it.”

Reilly made 11 saves while Caroline Burkhart made a pair of defensives saves for Wissahickon, which bounced back from a 1-0 loss to Plymouth Whitemarsh last Friday.

“PW’s always a hard game and we really we upset after that cause we worked hard. So I really didn’t want everyone getting upset over it,” Pak said. “So I think we came back and getting this win is definitely going to be good for the rest of the season.”

UD goalies Sarah Herchenroder and Meghan Muth each finished with three saves.

Both teams are on the road for SOL American matchups Wednesday. Wissahickon visits Hatboro-Horsham while Upper Dublin look to rebound for its first loss at Plymouth Whitemarsh.

“We definitely have a challenging week and we knew that coming in,” Boyer said. “But that’s the way it is, if you want to be the best you have to beat the best so you have to bring your best game against competition so that’s what we’re going to try to do.”

Kane’s goal to make it 1-0 Trojans came on Wissahickon’s first corner, which was given after UD did not give the proper five yards on a restart at the dotted line. Pak mishit still went forward to the goal and Kane was their for the redirect at 4:44 in the first half.

“We practice corners all the time and even on our off times we try to get out there and practice just cause the corners, the more you practice the better they are,” Pak said. I know Ellen’s been working a lot on getting those balls in so I’m really proud of her for doing that, like scrapping up my bad hit.”

Wissahickon kept the lead despite a large scrum in front of its net and two UD corners then went up 2-0 at 1:18 as Pak ripped a penalty stroke — called after the Cardinals covered the ball in the circle — into the left side of the cage.

“I think mostly for me it’s a mental thing just because when I get in my head I missed little things like that,” said Pak of taking the penalty stroke. “So I was kind of like, ‘Stay calm, you know you practiced this, you can get it in,’ kind of thing.”

Pak made it 2-0 with 1:18 before the break as Wissahickon was awarded a penalty stroke when the Cardinals covered up the ball in the circle and ripped her shot into the left side of the cage.

Upper Dublin could not converted two corners early in the second half but finally score with 12:04 to go as Templeton saved a ball from gong out on the end line then found Mead through traffic for a one-timer that rolled in.

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