North Penn knocked out of Districts by Rustin

TOWAMENCIN — The grass stains were deep and the cuts were deeper. But North Penn’s 1-0 loss in the second round of District 1-AAAA boys’ soccer tournament cut the deepest.

The 80 minutes of effort wwas not rewarded against 10th-seeded West Chester Rustin (16-4). The seventh-seeded Knights (16-4) believed they had the answer on multiple occasions, but instead they left the field Saturday with a lot of questions.

The first question came rhetorically to goalkeeper Jordan Katz.

The junior had a beat on the ball while it was in the air, delivered 40 yards out from the Golden Knights Ryan Fincher. However amongst the jostling in the box, Katz let the ball slip into the back of the net. Several outstanding saves were not enough to erase the season-ending mistake.

“It was pretty even,’ Knights coach Paul Duddy said. “Jordan has been great in goal all year. Unfortunately it looks like his feet came out from under him when he came out for that ball.’

The own goal was a wake-up call and the Knights pressure had to be taken to the next level. As the time dwindled, senior midfielder Drew McMenamin continued to creep up toward the net. The captain played a defensive center for the first half, but eventually he and everyone who saw the ball come to their foot had to start firing away.

“From Day one we have talked about high pressure,’ senior Kevin McKenna said. “That’s how we play our best game, but unfortunately it ends here. We had a great season.’

The ball did not come to McKenna’s foot, but he used his hip to nudge the ball into the net. However from midfield came a ref running to refute the goal, calling it a hand ball.

One call is understood as soccer refs have to make a lot of quick and judgemental calls, but as a second and third did not go in the Knights favor, frustration boiled over.

“We scored two goals and they both got called back,’ McKenna said. “We had two possible penalty kicks not get called. The game could have gone either way, but you have to give credit to Rustin. They fought hard and played well.’

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