Pennridge holds off late surge by Souderton

FRANCONIA — Pennridge built a commanding lead early and then survived a tense final six minutes to earn a 3-2 victory over Souderton Area in a Suburban One League Continental Conference battle Tuesday night.

The first-place Rams improved to 8-1-2 in the conference while Souderton, still in the playoff hunt, dropped to 5-6 in the Continental.

Trailing 3-0, Souderton scored twice in the final six minutes — one goal coming from Mellanie Witter off a rebound and the other by Siobhan McKenna off a PK — but Pennridge held on, thanks to a overwhelming first-half effort on this cool night on the turf.

“Souderton is a good team. They’re moving the ball real nice, they’re creating opportunities, and in high school soccer, you play long balls and something is bound to happen,’ Rams coach Audrey Anderson said. “This is a tough week for us. There is no easy game in our conference. Coming here, we knew we had to get this game done before we start thinking about North Penn (4-4-2, on Thursday).’

All three of Pennridge’s first-half goals came off corner kicks.

“That was our offense tonight,’ Anderson said with a smile. “Thank God for three corners.’

A well-placed corner by Carissa Manero bounced through the box before Kennedy Peace knocked it in to put the Rams ahead less than 17 minutes into the contest.

Before Souderton could regroup, Pennridge was on the attack again, and less than three minutes later, Olivia Fernandez got hold of another Manero corner and booted it into the far left corner to increase the margin to 2-0.

With the Rams dominating possession, Pennridge scored again with 11 minutes and 34 seconds to go in the half, as a corner by Erin Stevenson set up Rachel Velez, who drilled a hard ground ball into the far left corner to stretch the Ram advantage to 3-0 at the break.

With the Rams generating several scoring chances, Pennridge may have had a bigger lead had it not been for a pair of outstanding saves by Souderton keeper Jaclyn Parry.

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