Pennridge, Fischer find twine, blank CB West

PERKASIE — Bending one past Central Bucks West goalie Grace Bendon is no easy task, but the Pennridge girls soccer team welcomed the challenge on Monday at Helman Field.

The coaching staff urged the Rams to let one rip if the ball comes to your foot and you have enough space to get extension and drive. Midfield Katie Fischer was given eight yards by the Bucks defense and from 30 yards out found a way to notch the only goal needed to give the Rams a 1-0 win and increase the cushion atop the Suburban One League Continental Conference.

“I don’t no if you can prepare for playing Grace,’ Rams coach Audrey Anderson said. “We were not successful up top, so we went to our midfield. We don’t see enough midfielders shooting. They are very good at seeing the field.’

Bendon denied shots before Fischer’s footwork helped her connect in the 57th minute. She punched a direct high in the 36th minute to keep the game scoreless at the half. Down the stretch the Bucks (9-3-1, 6-3-1) put her on the offensive end to see what the keeper could come up with. Bendon took the direct in the 71st minute and pushed up into the box for the final attempt in the 78th minute.

“The idea was to bring Grace in and create a little more of intense environment,’ Bucks coach Jorge Rodriguez said. “Maybe it would cause them to make a mistake.’

While coach Anderson’s hand was shaking with nervousness, sophomore goalie Kaitlyn Moran stayed calm. She communicated with her defenders to make sure she had a good look at the ball being delivered into the box. Mackenzie Carroll took a crack a late equalizer, but Moran made the save the to secure the win for the Rams (9-0-3, 7-0-2).

“My heart was pounding,’ Moran said. “I was not nervous, but I felt the energy. I knew my defense and everybody on the field was going to play hard. We positioned well, my defense did not allow them to get in my view and I felt confident and was able to make the save.’

The stop in the final minutes will stand out, be she made several stop along the way to help preserve the shutout and undefeated record. Another one of Moran’s major saves came in the 30th minute on a direct kick from the Bucks Maddy Shaw. Moran finished with six timely saves on the afternoon.

“The girl is a sophomore, did not play one minute of varsity last year, and she is ready,’ Anderson said. “The girls believe in her and she believes in the girls. It’s a good setting for the entire team to have a young keeper and everybody trusting her.’

Direct kicks is what the Bucks wanted, but they were unable to figure out the Rams defense for the second time this season, a 2-0 loss at War Memorial Field. Coach Rodriguez saw several opening against his former club, but his team was never able to organize, attack, and strike in time.

“We had confidence in our set pieces and it was something we were hoping to capitalize on,’ Rodriguez said. “There were some looks that we talked about and we skipped. Every time we play Pennridge it gets intense. I still have a ton of respect for that bunch, even if at times it comes at our own expense.’

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