Kane’s goal with 3 seconds left lifts Spring-Ford over William Tennent

ROYERSFORD — Spring-Ford and William Tennent were destined for overtime.

Except, the Spring-Ford girls soccer team has been manipulating destiny on a nearly every game basis for the better part of a year.

Freshman Gabby Kane made destiny smile on the Rams when she rolled in the game-winning goal with 3 seconds left in regulation to make Spring-Ford a 1-0 winner over William Tennent in a District 1-AAA first round game Thursday night at Coach McNelly Stadium.

Junior Sarah Johnson assisted on Kane’s goal, playing a short pass centrally that Kane hit left-footed from just inside the 18, rolling it past Tennent goalkeeper Lauriel Krouse (five saves), who was pulled toward the near post as the play built down the left side.

Kane herself wasn’t sure it was going to touch twine.

“Sarah got the touch right by the defender — the William Tennent players played great — it went just by her and I just got my left foot on it,’ she said. “I thought it was going to hit the post.’

Fortunately for the Rams (15-3-3), it didn’t as the No. 8 seed moves on to a meeting with No. 9 Strath Haven — a 3-2 winner over No. 24 Henderson Thursday night — set for 7 p.m. Saturday night at Spring-Ford.

Rams goalkeeper Jenna Griggs was flawless in net on the way to six saves, none bigger than the rebound header by Lynne O’Connor she recovered to save after junior forward Shea Conway’s long-range shot hit the crossbar in the first half.

“It was a whole team effort,’ Griggs said. “Our lives are on the line at this point — it’s one and done.’

Griggs is no stranger to big games after being in goal during the Rams’ playoff run to the PIAA final a year ago, but didn’t mind avoiding overtime.

“Gabby (Kane) made a great run. She had the strength and the will to help us out and take us to the next game, the next level. We’re all excited,’ Griggs said.

Griggs’ shutout had quite a bit of help from dominant junior sweeper Laura Suero, along with outside backs Amy Roth and Missy Moore (who came on for the injured Tessa Nykanen) and a rotation of stoppers that included Taylor Newhart in her first game back from injury.

Tennent (11-7-1) was a more than game opponent, the fourth-place team from the Suburban One League National Division performing much better than its No. 25 seed would indicate.

The entire game was played at a torrid pace, back-and-forth throughout. The Panthers may have had the better of the first half but the Rams worked their way into the game. Until the closing stages, a Kane cross to Libby Andrews, whose low shot forced Krouse into a difficult diving save in the 42nd minute, was Spring-Ford’s best chance. But two chances in the 72nd minute by Gabrielle Vagnozzi, the two-goal star of last week’s PAC-10 championship game, the first forcing a save off the goal line by Tennent defender Erin Thompson and the other hitting the crossbar had the game in the Rams’ favor.

But not officially until Kane, who had a standout game even without the goal, completed her last-minute moment.

It’s a tough act to follow last year’s historic run, but the encore is in tune thus far

“At the start of the season we weren’t sure how things would be coming off of last year,’ Griggs said. “But we’re already doing very well and showing everybody what we’ve got — that we’ve still got it.’


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply