Although the Monsignor Bonner & Archbishop Prendergast field hockey team was undefeated in the Catholic League, the Pandas were a mere one game over .500 after a 5-1 loss to Merion Mercy Oct. 14.
They’ve been on quite a ride since then.
The District 12 Class 2A champions take an eight-game winning streak into Tuesday’s showdown with Berks Catholic in the first round of the PIAA Tournament.
The Pandas (15-6) and Saints (18-4) square off at 2 p.m. in the first game of a double header at the Germantown Supersite. Cardinal O’Hara faces Owen J. Roberts in a Class 3A first-round game at 4 p.m.
Not only have the Pandas won eight in a row, they’ve done so convincingly. MBAP has outscored its opponents 49-9, and it’s been a team effort. Allison Martin has scored 13 times during the winning streak. Carly Brosious, who scored the winning goal to beat Archbishop Carroll in overtime in the Catholic League final, has 10 goals and seven assists. Maeve Finnegan had seven goals and four assists. Alexis Eagan (four goals, one assist), Reagan Dolan (three goals, five assists) and Hailey Horan (three goals, one assist) have been key contributors, too.
This is MBAP’s second straight appearance in the PIAA tournament and fourth overall. The Pandas knocked off East Pennsboro in the first round last year, 4-0, before falling to Merion Mercy, the eventual runner-up, in the quarterfinals.
Berks Catholic enters state play with losses in its last two games by a combined score of 11-0. The Saints fell to Donegal, the defending PIAA 2A champ, 10-0, in the District 3 semifinals and dropped a 1-0 decision to East Pennsboro in the third-place game.
The winner advances to Saturday’s quarterfinals against the winner of the game between District 1 champ Villa Maria and New Oxford, the No. 6 team out of District 3.
Cardinal O’Hara vs. Owen J. Roberts >> The Lions (11-10) are making their sixth straight appearance in the PIAA Tournament. However, they’re still looking for their first win. All those losses were to teams that finished third or fourth in District 1. O’Hara claimed is sixth straight District 12 title with a 2-0 victory over Central. Bunny Ripp had both goals.
Owen J. Roberts (15-6) is the No. 4 team out of District 1. The Wildcats enter the PIAA tournament on a two-game losing streak. They lost to Conestoga, 6-0, in the semifinals and dropped a 3-2 decision to CB East in the third-place game. This is OJR’s fourth PIAA appearance in the last seven years.
The winner moves on to Saturday’s quarterfinals where it takes on the winner of the game between District 11 champ and two-time defending PIAA champ Emmaus and Unionville, the No. 5 team out of District 1. Emmaus has won the PIAA title 11 times and reached the final 15 times.