FRAZER – Pennsbury got a goal in each half to capture its second District 1 girls soccer championship in four years with a 2-1 triumph over Spring-Ford, though the ninth-seeded Rams did not go quietly into the night Saturday evening at Great Valley High School.
Trailing 2-0, Spring-Ford (17-4-1) pushed its players forward the final 20 minutes. With 14 minutes left, the Rams hit the post. With 12 remaining, they hit the crossbar.
Finally with 8:11 left on the clock, S-F senior forward Kelly Franz pushed a ball into the left side of the net, drawing the opponent within a goal.
While the Rams kept the pressure on the Falcon goal the rest of the way, even getting a free kick from the 20 yard line with 22 seconds left, they could not come up with the equalizer.
“Spring-Ford threw everything at us, especially in those last few minutes,” said Pennsbury head coach Kaitlyn Battiste. “We were prepared; we knew what was coming in those last 30 seconds.”
What came in the final minute was this: a shot off a throw-in from S-F freshman Hope Flanagan that forced Falcon goalkeeper Kerry Phillips to make a two-handed swipe save. Seconds later, Phillips had to catch a slicing looper on the right side of the box.
Keeping a handle on things was Phillips, who says it’s all about keeping your composure.
“My coaches were talking to me about keeping my composure throughout the game because I used to lose my composure really quickly.
“They gave us a packet at the beginning of the season and my chapter was about keeping composure. After I read that, I knew that I just have to settle in and I have to do this for my team.”
Fifteen minutes into the contest, Pennsbury junior Christine Cataldo-Smith put the Falcons on the board first when she got onto the end of a corner kick from senior Hope Drewes.
Up 1-0 at the half, No. 3 seed Pennsbury (19-1-2) took a two-goal cushion when senior Jenna Peters tallied on a header off a throw-in, from, you guessed it, Hope Drewes.
“I’m really happy with the way the girls played today,” said Battiste.
“It wasn’t perfect by any means but they were two beautiful goals – people just going up for the ball, working hard.
“Both of those goals just left me speechless, just the work rate that the girls put forth to get them in.”
In addition to her contributions on offense, Drewes works the back line along with junior Taylor Mueller, junior Ella Palmieri and senior Riley Young. In four playoff games together with Phillips, the group has yielded just two goals while notching 1-0 shutout wins over 14th-seeded Downingtown East and No. 6 Council Rock South.
Spring-Ford missed a golden opportunity to score when senior KK O’Donnell elected to pass the ball to sophomore Ella Curry on a free kick from 20 yards out on the right flank.
Coming with 22 seconds left in regulation, it gave Pennsbury senior Dani Cady time to intercept the ball and push it out of bounds. By the time the Rams threw the ball back into play, time had expired.
Pennsbury 2, Spring-Ford 1
(Nov. 4 at Great Valley)
Pennsbury (19-1-2) 1 1 – 2
Spring-Ford (17-4-1) 0 1 – 1
FIRST-HALF GOALS: P – Christine Cataldo-Smith; S-F – none.
SECOND-HALF GOALS: P – Jenna Peters; S-F – Kelly Franz.
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