Phoenixville tops Avon Grove 4-3 in dramatic fashion

PHOENIXVILLE – This Phoenixville field hockey squad has a propensity for dramatic victories. Or so it seems that way.

“I guess they want me to get old age and lose my voice,’ said Phoenixville head coach John Tornetta following the Phantoms’ 4-3 victory over Avon Grove in the second round of the District 1-AAA playoffs Wednesday afternoon in the rain at the Upper Turf Field.

Rose Moore’s goal with 1:23 remaining in regulation time lifted Phoenixville to victory over the Red Devils and into Friday’s quarterfinal round against No. 2 seed Central Bucks South, a 2-0 winner over Mount St. Joseph on Wednesday.

The seventh-seeded Phantoms (19-2) are guaranteed at least two more games since there will be playbacks to determine the top six teams to qualify for the PIAA Tournament.

Phoenixville trailed 1-0 and 3-2 against Avon Grove (13-8) in a duel in which the teams were tied three times before the Phantoms finally prevailed.

Lexi Battista, Katie McErlean and Bailey Quinn also tallied goals for the Phantoms, who held a 17-6 advantage in penalty corners and 21-8 cushion in shots. Kim Rutherford made nine saves to help Phoenixville protect the win.

“It comes down to the last second there,’ said Moore, a junior forward who has had a few game-winners this season. “I wasn’t thinking. I just went for the ball. We really wanted to win this game.’

Olivia D’Antonio scored a pair of goals for the Red Devils while Lexie Dixson had the one that put the visitors in front at the 27:07 mark of the first half. Abigail Pinto, Sophie Werner and Caroline McCulley provided assists for 23rd-seeded Avon Grove, which had ousted another Pioneer Athletic Conference foe, Methacton, 1-0 in overtime, in the opening round Monday.

Senior goalie Emily Carroll helped keep Ches-Mont League National Division entry Avon Grove close by producing 13 saves.

“We kept the pressure on most of the game,’ said Tornetta. “We had a good tempo and got some nice corner shots that we didn’t get at the post to hit them in. Katie (McErlean) had some nice shots and TJ (Jefferis). Haley White was big bringing the ball up and gave us a lot of nice opportunities to send it across. There at the end, after we scored, I called the timeout and told the girls we just have to keep our composure and play the ball.

“We’re just finding ways to win right now.’

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