Pennridge, Wissahickon play to 1-1 tie

EAST ROCKHILL — Nobody likes to settle, nobody wants to settle. But sometimes in soccer, walking away from 100 minutes of back-and-forth action without a loss comes with an overwhelming amount of positives.

Sometimes they don’t.

Wissahickon walked up to the newly-decorated Helman Field, home of the undefeated Pennridge girls soccer team, confident it could compete with the Rams. The 1-1 double overtime tie gave the Trojans (7-2-1, 6-2-0 Suburban One League American Conference) a lot of encouragement to take home.

“Our strategy worked out for us,’ Trojans coach Shannon Creamer-Franke said. “We wanted to come at them with pace. It was nice to come out here and prove ourselves. This tie we will take. Other ties, maybe not.’

The Rams (8-0-3, 6-0-2 SOL Continental) were not satisfied. They know satisfaction is what can eventually send a team packing for the season prematurely. So even in the non-conference game just preserving the perfect record was not enough. They are glad to still be unbeaten this far into the season, but the Rams still want to see more.

“My expectations for the girls is to play as hard as they can for as long as they can,’ Pennridge coach Audrey Anderson said. “They said themselves they could have done better. As long as they recognize that we will be okay. They are a good group and every team has there ups and downs.’

The Rams offense eventually found its stride in the second half when reality set in that the Trojans were not going away. Junior captain Jess Milligan capitalized on a loose rebound off the goalie and scored in the 64th minute. Milligan made a few more dangerous attempts at a sudden death winner in extra time.

“Wissahickon played hard, came prepared, and wanted to win,’ Anderson said. “We could have done better, but this is a good learning experience. Just because we don’t have a loss does not mean we cannot be beat. Today we came pretty close to losing the game.’

Overtime came in thanks to part of the play of the Trojans senior captain Alyssa Ryan, who helped her team answer in the 67th minute with a goal of her own. Each goalie — who played well for the majority — would love to have another shot at stopping the goal. Unlucky bounces led to rare scores for both sides.

“Alyssa is a great voice, great leader on the field,’ Creamer-Franke said. “She takes a lot of our set pieces and that goal was beautiful. There was not a lot of time between the two goals. They pulled themselves up.’

In each of coach Creamer-Franke’s four seasons the Trojans have gotten closer to taking down the Rams, who have been one of the best teams in the area for the better part of the decade. In the first two seasons, Wissahickon lost by three goals and last year the Trojans lost 1-0 in overtime. This year they still did not beat the Rams, but at least for Wednesday’s effort, they will settle.

“It’s baby steps,’ Franke said. “Maybe next year we will beat them.’

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