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Kenah collects hat trick, Souderton rallies past CB South for PIAA berth

Souderton's Courtney Kenah receives a pass as Central Bucks South's Melanie Dunton defends during their District 1-3A playback game on Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018. (Gene Walsh/Digital First Media)

FRANCONIA >> Courtney Kenah got mad. Then she got the Souderton field hockey team even.

“I think I hit a foot at one point and it didn’t get called and I’ll be honest I was mad about that,” Kenah said. “I think I had some anger built up and just kind of ripped it.”

On a penalty corner, Kenah cracked a hard shot from the top of the circle that found the back of the cage, pulling the Indians level with Central Bucks South 2-2 at the 13:08 mark of the second half in their District 1-3A fifth-place semifinal Tuesday afternoon.

“Every goal helps momentum and I just think that evening-out goal we had momentum on our side,” Kenah said. “And that just kind of helped us get another goal after that.”

Kenah and Big Red may have gotten a tiny bit angry, but one emotion they never felt was panic. The junior committed to Penn followed her tying goal by tallying the go-ahead score with 6:37 remaining to complete her hat trick as eighth-seeded Souderton rallied to earn its first PIAA berth in 12 years with a 3-2 victory over the No. 12 Titans.

“We’re a team that we’ve been down, we’ve been down three goals and we’ve come back in like 10 minutes or so. So, we’re never out of it,” Kenah said. “And by that time, having that happen three times or so now we know that. So I think now it’s just in our minds that we’re never out of it and we just all kind of rallied together, got it done.”

Kenah collected her second hat trick of the postseason – her first coming in the 5-2 second-round win over Neshaminy – as Souderton (17-3-0) bested its Suburban One League Continental Conference rival for the third time this year and qualified for states for the first time since 2006 when it placed sixth in Class 3A.

“There was only a couple things that needed to be tweaked. They had talent, we just were able to turn the corner this year,” Souderton coach Sue Casciato said.

Souderton’s Lauren Kenah looks to pass as Central Bucks South’s Melanie Dunton defends during their District 1-3A playback game on Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018. (Gene Walsh/Digital First Media)

Souderton visits No. 6 Downingtown West in the fifth-place game 3 p.m. Friday. The Whippets topped No. 10 Downingtown East 6-0.

Friday’s winner faces the District 11 champ in the first round of states while the loser takes on the District 3 champ.

“This is just awesome,” Kenah said. “Actually at summer camp we told our coach that if we made states that we were going to let her know and she’d come to our games. And, I don’t know, I just think that now that this actually happened it’s crazy because back then I don’t know if any of us really though that we’d be here right now and it’s awesome that we all came together this season.”

Casey Reilly and Annie Brady scored 1 minute, 24 seconds apart to give Central Bucks South a 2-1 lead but Kenah’s final two goals kept the Titans (11-8-2) from reaching PIAA play for a second consecutive season.

“They’re very good and very fast and everything,” said CB South coach Pat Toner of Souderton. “The first time we played them they kind of surprised us and we were down 5-0 before we started to come back and it was 5-3. Second time, we were missing one of our top players, Mel Dunton, and we ended up losing 2-1. So I thought we could maybe hold our own and we did and I thought we played very well today.

“Did the best that we could and it’s unfortunate that we are not moving on. I wish Souderton the best of luck.”

On her winning strike, Kenah tried to replicate her second goal but her shot from the top of the circle was stopped by South goalkeeper Jillian Heilig. The rebound, however, was corralled by the Indians’ Jessica Schmidt, who brought it back into the circle then sent the ball to the front of the cage, where Kenah slid in a shot for the 3-2 lead.

“We’ve done that corner a couple times. That wasn’t exactly how it’s supposed to go,” Kenah said. “But I just knew from exactly where I was standing I knew exactly where to put it to get it in the goal and that’s just exactly what I did – it was textbook.”

Central Bucks South’s Casey Reilly dribbles forward at during the Titans’ District 1-3A playback game against Souderton on Tuesday, October 30, 2018. (Gene Walsh/Digital First Media)

The Indians could not convert on any of their five first-half penalty corners – Caitlin Lennon denied on the first by Sofia Sonnet’s defensive save– but broke through on their first corner after halftime, Kenah scoring off a give-and-go with Lauren Kenah at 21:36.

“We probably, as a team, played much better in the first half, they were really packing it in in their circle so we had trouble scoring the first half,” Casciato said. “But we got lucky and had enough goals at the end, I guess.”

Reilly tied the contest at 19:08, receiving the corner’s insert then blasting a shot into the cage from the right side of the circle.

South proceeded to take a 2-1 lead after keeping the ball in the circle after a corner. In a crowd, Brady sent it over the goal line at 17:44.

“I think they scored on a corner first, so I said our corners are good, too,” Toner said. “We got back down there and we scored two and then holding them is another story. And they read our corner defense and adjusted to it very well so we switched our corner defense but it was a little bit of a game of chess trying to figure out what the other team was going to do.”

But the Titans only held the advantage for 4 minutes, 36 seconds before Courtney Kenah collected her second goal of the afternoon.

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