Wissahickon falls to Great Valley in District 1-AAA semifinals

FRANCONIA — When Great Valley’s Mike Carrigan scored just eight minutes into Thursday night’s District 1-AAA semifinal it didn’t seem like it would stand as the game winner, especially given the scoring power of the Wissahickon boys soccer team, which collected eight regulation goals in its first two postseason games.

Carrigan’s tally, however, held up and the No. 15 Patriots edged third-seeded Trojans 1-0 at Souderton Area High School.

“We got a lot of possession, got them moved around and we just couldn’t find the final ball at times to put the ball in the net to get that goal back,’ Wissahickon coach Stuart Malcolm said. “It was a very frustrating and silly goal to give away at the beginning of the game and I honestly didn’t think it would hold up.’

Great Valley advances to face No. 4 Central Bucks East — a 4-1 winner over No. 1 Unionville in the opening game of Thursday’s doubleheader — in the final 4 p.m. Saturday at Souderton. Wissahickon at Unionville play for third place on the same field at 2 p.m.

Wissahickon came out of halftime looking determined to tie the game up. The Trojans registered three excellent scoring chances with in the first two minutes of the second half including a rip from Cole Kropnick that was deflected over the goal by the Great Valley keeper.

“We played very sloppy,’ Malcolm said of his message to his team at halftime. “We basically gave them that goal and we basically did a lot of giving the ball away.’

Great Valley did an excellent job defending the entire night. Nick Payter anchored a solid back line for the Patriots. A particularly good effort was put up against Kropnick who at this point everyone knows Wissahickon wants to run its offense through.

“He came as advertised, he’s an excellent player,’ Great Valley coach Dave Moffett said. “We knew his danger and we saw right away they tried to run everything through him.’

It’s rare that a team can lose in the postseason and the loss not end its season. That is the situation that now faces the Trojans. Their hopes for a district title are done, but the Trojans still have the state tournament to look forward to. Wissahickon will have to regroup and learn from the disappointing semifinal loss.

“I think we learned a little bit tonight about players,’ Malcolm said. “We called them out. We said this was not a time to hide, this is a time to want the ball. Seven or eight wanted the ball and the other three when they got it they did something with it but they didn’t really want the ball and you can’t have that.’

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