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Souderton tops Abington for much-needed win

Souderton's Jess Gabriel advances the ball during the Indians' game against Abington on Monday, Oct. 9, 2017. (Gene Walsh/Digital First Media)

ABINGTON >> Don’t doubt a defender.

Souderton senior Jules Borisow’s job is to help keep the ball out of her team’s goal cage, and it’s a job she and her fellow defensive players have done well at this season. While defenders don’t often score, Borisow showed that she can do that when asked as well.

Borisow’s first career goal sealed up a 2-0 win over Abington as Souderton’s field hockey team picked up a needed win as it pursues a District 1-AAA playoff spot.

“I’ve never scored in my high school career, so that was a huge deal for me,” Borisow said. “I guess as a defender, people underestimate you taking any kind of shot. I’ve been practicing strokes any chance we get and during indoor, so I felt pretty confident in where it was going.”

With highly-important games against North Penn, Central Bucks West and Methacton coming up, the Indians (7-7-0, 3-6-0 Suburban One League Continental) hoped Monday’s effort would propel them to at least one more big win this week. Big Red entered play Monday as the No. 25 team in the District 1 power rankings, with the top 24 making the cut for the postseason.

Abington’s Paige Doyle dribbles up field near Souderton’s Jess Schmidt during their game on Monday, Oct. 9, 2017. (Gene Walsh/Digital First Media)

Abington (6-9-0, 4-6-0 SOL National) is also entrenched on the bubble, sitting No. 26 entering Monday’s game. While the Ghosts put forth a good effort, they couldn’t find many chances against Borisow and the rest of the Souderton defense.

“We stepped to the ball,” Borisow said. “No. 10 (Natalie McNamara) was one of their strongest players, so we focused on her and tried to shut her down early on before she got into the circle.”

The first half was a bit of a grind for both teams as they navigated each other and a slick turf surface after Monday morning’s rain. Prior to halftime, both teams’ best scoring chances came on breakaways.

Souderton’s Randi Hess had the first opportunity, but she was unable to get a shot off when Abington goalie Mackenzie Greiner stepped up and disrupted the run. Courtney Kenah had another shot for the Indians off a long run, but Greiner was ready for that one as well and turned it away.

Greiner had a good game for the Ghosts, making 10 saves. Likewise, McNamara had a solid game offensively and it was her breakaway run that forced Big Red goalie Jordan Michalak into her only first-half save.

Abington’s Alainna Swift passes the ball near Souderton’s Randi Hess during their game on Monday, Oct. 9, 2017. (Gene Walsh/Digital First Media)

Souderton was otherwise slow to get going offensively and that was the main focus of the team’s halftime talk.

“We weren’t playing stick-to-stick so we talked about that and in the second half, passing to space more and finding each other in our width,” Souderton coach Nicole Bauer said. “They always need some more motivation for the second half.”

For the Indians, the game was another in a familiar pattern this season.

“That has been how most of games have been, we’ve been earning more corners and out-shooting most teams, it’s just been about getting it in the goal cage,” Bauer said. “Today we got a couple lucky breaks with (penalty) strokes to get a couple 1-on-1 opportunities, so we’re lucky for those.”

The game was essentially decided on two whistles in the second half. McNamara made a fantastic run down the left sideline, using her stick to first save a pass from going out, then getting into the circle where she was taken down. The official on that end of the field whistled for a penalty corner that ended with a shot wide of the cage.

Souderton’s Jess Schmidt works to control a pass as Abington’s Olivia Geissler defends during their game on Monday, Oct. 9, 2017. (Gene Walsh/Digital First Media)

A few minutes later, Souderton’s Anna Gwiazdzinski was also taken down in the circle. The game’s other official whistled for a penalty stroke, with Gwiazdzinski stepping to the spot and putting it away with about 17 minutes left.

“We’ve tried four people and this was her first try at a stroke,” Bauer said. “She stepped up and hit a good shot.”

Borisow also got her first crack at a penalty stroke with about four minutes left after an Abington defender committed a foul trying to clear the ball off the goal line.

“I always look to the one side of the cage and shoot to the other side,” Borisow said. “It was really exciting to score and be able to celebrate.”

ABINGTON 0 0 – 0
Goals: S – Anna Gwiazdzinski, Jules Borisow. Shots: S – 12, A – 2. Saves: S – Jordan Michalak 2, A – Mackenzie Greiner 10. Corners: S – 10, A – 4.

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