Gwynedd Mercy scores early and often, tops Upper Perkiomen

RED HILL — Last season it took a 7-1 thumping at the hands of North Penn to send Upper Perkiomen to its winning ways, eventually claiming its first PAC-10 and District 1-AA title since 2006.

If history were to repeat itself, Tuesday afternoon’s 7-0 throttling by Gwynedd Mercy could only be seen as a good omen.

National U-17 member Megan DuVernois registered two goals and an assist while Nicole Catalino added two goals and two assists as the Monarchs rode a five-goal second half en route to a 7-0 victory over Upper Perkiomen at Indian Stadium.

“They (Gwynedd Mercy) played well together, their forwards and mids were strong,’ Upper Perkiomen head coach Jamie Warren said.

“We let two goals in at the beginning of the game, that’s the same mistake we made against Souderton (a 2-1 loss). After that, we held our own, we mounted some attack. We are still forming as a team, we have a bunch of new faces out there.’

Hannah Mack made 18 saves in net for the Tribe (0-0 PAC-10, 0-2 overall), who were outshot 26-8 in the contest. Gwynedd Mercy also held the advantage in corners, 6-4.

“I thought Hannah had an outstanding game even though the score didn’t represent it,’ Warren added. “She kept us in the game when we needed to be kept in.’

Mack started shaky in the cage as she weathered a Gwynedd barrage from the get-go, allowing a Catalino goal stemming from a DuVernois insert four minutes in before misplaying a strike from Corinne Persichetti four minutes later.

However, facing a 2-0 deficit, Mack stood tall, making a terrific stick save off a Catalino shot before sprawling out on a Catalino break two minutes later to push the ball away before the senior had an opportunity to sneak one past.

Unfortunately for Mack and the Tribe, the Monarchs’ attack was just too much to handle.

The Monarchs stifled the Tribe in the second half, limiting the team to one corner and two shots on target.

DuVernois added her first goal 43 seconds into the second half as she let one rip from the top of the circle, blazing past a sprawled out Mack to make it 3-0.

Seven minutes later it was Hailey Durkin adding a tally to the scoresheet as she split three Tribe defenders at the right of the cage before finishing at a highly improbable angle.

The Monarchs poured it on late, highlighted by an Olivia Celoni tap in after Catalino’s shot rebounded off Mack and onto her stick, followed by DuVernois’ second of the contest coming off a 2-on-1 with Catalino.

Catalino finished off the scoring with 18 seconds left as she displayed some nifty stickhandling, eluding an oncoming Mack before depositing it in the back left of the cage.

“For half of our girls this is the first time they’ve played a Catholic Academy team and the inexperience showed,’ Warren said. “Our experience showed at the goal and at the mid and we just have to keep plugging away. This game’s over, we know when it matters and we’re going to be working toward our goals.’

Warren hopes that this game will spark a fire under the team similar to the North Penn loss a year ago.

Following the 7-1 loss to the Maidens, the Tribe went on a six game winning streak and finished the regular season with a 12-1 PAC-10 record, eventually producing their best season since 2006.

Now with 13 seniors lost to graduation and only three returning starters, Warren believes that this game can get them rolling in the right direction.

“I’m hoping this is our North Penn game and we move on,’ Warren said. “Each game we’re going to get better and better, we just have to keep working.’

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