Not a Stretch to say Bonner-Prendergast is a contender

MARPLE — Although Sierra Stretch is three goals shy of breaking her sister Brooke’s career record in that category for the Bonner-Prendergast field hockey team, the quest for the record has not created a rivalry between the siblings.

If anything, the opposite is true. Brooke is Sierra’s biggest fan.

“She texted me before the game and told me to go out and break it today,’ Sierra Stretch said.

Sierra would have had to score five times against archrival Cardinal O’Hara in a key Catholic League matchup Monday to break Brooke’s career mark of 62 goals, a tall task even for a player of Sierra’s caliber.

The younger Stretch did give it her best shot, though. She scored two goals and handed out one assist as the Pandas rallied for a 4-1 triumph over the Lions in a steady rain.

The loss was O’Hara’s first in the league and moved Bonner-Prendergast (8-2 overall, 5-1 Catholic League) into second place, a half-step ahead of the Lions (9-3, 4-1). It also extended the Pandas’ winning streak to three games since a 2-1 setback to league-leading Archbishop Carroll.

“We were kind of angry that we lost to Carroll and we wanted to show people that we’re better than that,’ said Stretch, who earned second-team All-Delco honors and was second in the county in goals scored as a junior with 37. “We worked too hard to let this game slip away from us. We had to win this game.’

Bonner-Prendergast had to overcome an early 1-0 deficit, courtesy of a goal by O’Hara’s Makayla Gallen in the sixth minute, and 15 corners by the Lions in the second half to pull off the victory.

Stretch had a lot to do with the comeback from the offensive side. She scored the first two goals to help the Pandas open up a 3-1 halftime lead. Stretch put home an unassisted goal in the 10th minute and then tipped a drive by Riley Dolan off a corner in the 21st minute for the winner and No. 60 of her career.

She was quick to share the credit for her offensive success.

“It think it’s just the position (Dolan) put me in,’ Stretch said. “She’s really put me in a good spot and my teammates set me up for goals. Like the second goal, Riley drove it in and I tipped it. It was just being in the right place at the right time.’

That was the idea. Dolan put Stretch in the middle of the field to take advantage of her strength and ability to see the field.

“She’s staying where she belongs on the field, which is a nice thing because everyone else can work around her,’ Dolan said. “She has a beautiful stick and if you get the ball on her stick, it’s going in. But she’s a smart player, too. If she doesn’t have a shot or sees an open teammate, she’ll dish it.’

Stretch proved that point when she turned from goal scorer to facilitator late in the first half, feeding Jess Campbell to give the Pandas a two-goal cushion at the break. Alyssa Monaghan converted a pass from Campbell with 1:12 left in the game to close out the scoring.

“They’re all tough,’ O’Hara coach Marie Murphy said of Bonner-Prendie’s front line. “They’ve really come on strong the last couple of years. We knew this was going to be a tough game.’

It wasn’t easy for the Pandas, either, even though they did have that two-goal advantage at halftime. O’Hara pressed the issue in the second half and was awarded 15 corners. The Pandas, though, were equal to the task. When goalie Maggie Baldini wasn’t making one of her 19 saves, Olivia Keenan, Maura Spellman, Kacie Farrell, Mary Anne Young and Casey Rafferty led a defensive effort that kept the Lions off the board in the second half.

“They saved us,’ Stretch said. “They saved our butts.’

“The defense has really, really played very well,’ Dolan said. “They’ve really stepped up. We’ve had a couple of games where the defense has carried us. They position themselves well in the circle. They don’t go man-to-man because you’re outnumbered. We teach them to play certain spots and keep their sticks down. That’s what they’re doing so when that ball comes in, they get it out.’

The result has been six wins in the last seven games for the Pandas, and that means more to Stretch than any individual record.

“We’re really meshing well,’ Stretch said. “All of our individual talents are coming together as a team and I think people in the league are starting to take notice. They’re starting to recognize us as a good field hockey program.’

Elsewhere in the Catholic League:

Archbishop Carroll 3, St. Hubert 0: Gracie McClatchy collected two goals and one assist to keep the Patriots (7-2, 5-0) in sole possession of first place.

McClatchy converted a pass from Sam Swart for a 1-0 lead, fed Grace Midgley to make it 2-0 and put home a pass from Alyssa Lemons in the second half to close out the scoring. Meanwhile, the defense came up big again. The Patriots did not allow a shot on goal.


Chichester 2, Upper Darby 1: Amanda Focht put home a pass from Meghan Wimmer with 3:30 left in the game to win it for the Eagles (5-3-1). Alex Rybak scored in the first half to give Chi a 1-0 lead, while goalie Sara Morrison made eight saves to get the win.

Bridget Johnson tied the game in the second half for Upper Darby.

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