Ammendola’s four assists help North Penn top Central Bucks South

TOWAMENCIN — Without Matthew Ammendola, it could have been a very different soccer game for the North Penn boys team.

The senior midfielder, who also kicks field goals for the football team, ignited North Penn’s offense on Tuesday, assisting on all four goals in the Knights’ 4-1 victory over Central Bucks High School South.

Ammendola was relentless throughout the entire game, winning the one-on-one battles for the ball and outworking his opponents to set up key scoring chances for his teammates — four of which resulted in goals.

“I couldn’t be happier with the addition of Matt to this squad,” said Knights coach Chris DePeppe. “He is doing a lot this fall but he has been really committed. He has made so many practices and we are starting to get him more and more minutes, and it’s only going to add [to our team].

He certainly added to the effort on Tuesday, and did so before most players on the field had even broken a sweat.

Less than two minutes into the game, Ammendola used crafty footwork to dance his way around a defender deep in the Titans’ end. A burst of speed put him down near the right corner, where he sent a cross right along the goal line to Matt Richardson, who easily tapped it in.

“We would prefer to score in the first two minutes every game,” DePeppe said. “Especially on our home field against a team that had a rough [game] last night. That was our goal — to go out and go after them and keep the pressure on.”

With the win — its seventh straight — North Penn’s record improves to 8-2-0 (7-1-0 conference), while Central Bucks South falls to 4-6-1 (3-5-1).

Ammendola set up another goal in the first half when he found a streaking Brad Deckel downfield for a breakaway on goalkeeper Billy Gorman. Deckel stutter-stepped, catching Gorman off-balance before he netted the Knights’ second goal of the game.

Deckel scored another goal late in the second half to make it a 4-1 game, all but ending Central Bucks South’s chances of mounting a comeback.

The other Knights goal, which was scored in the 48th minute, went to Colin Jerome, set up by none other than Ammendola yet again.

Ammendola and Deckel put forth a yeoman’s effort, combining for two goals and four assists on the day.

It could have been four goals and four assists with a bit of luck.

Twice Deckel hit the left post — once with a booming shot that hooked on him, and the other time from a header in front of the net that just missed from hitting the inside of the post and ricocheting in.

“A lot of credit goes to our midfielders today,” DePeppe said.

Not only did the midfielders attack on offense, they attacked on defense as well, meeting the ball at midfield and often stripping it away from the opposing attackers before they could get it deep into the zone.

“When we are committed in the attack all over the field we can be a tough team to beat,” DePeppe said. “When we don’t it changes the game. That’s what high school soccer is really about. You could see it in the center of the midfield the last 20 minutes of the first half.”

That stretch of 20 minutes was the only time during the game that North Penn was not dominating play, and it was then that the Knights’ chances of a shutout came to an end.

Prior to that point, North Penn had recorded seven shots on goal. Central Bucks South had just two. But a North Penn defensive lapse allowed a two-on-one rush towards the Knights’ net, which finished with an easy goal for sophomore forward Giani Goss.

“We started losing some of those challenges and they took the game back to us,” DePeppe said.

But that goal was all the Titans would score, as they were held in check by a re-energized defense in the second half and sound goalkeeping from Jordan Katz that allowed North Penn to cruise to the victory.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply