North Penn edges Spring-Ford on Lear’s late goal

TOWAMENCIN — Even on a cold and windy Monday afternoon with most of the sidelines bundled, Sydney Lear and a few of her North Penn girls lacrosse teammates decided to play without long-sleeved shirts or tights.

“I never play with stuff,’ Lear said. “I’d rather be cold and fighting through it than hot and ‘ Oh my God I can’t stop thinking about taking this off.”

Lear was comfortable with the elements and just as fine stepping up late for the Maidens in their season opener with Spring-Ford, scoring in the tiebreaking goal with 1:31 remaining in the non-league contest to earn North Penn a 9-8 victory — the first for coach Heather Mellow.

“That was stressful,’ Mellow said. “Because it starts off the season, it was a way to get the momentum going. So, it was nice to get a ‘ W’ on that one.’

Lear finished with three goals and two assists while Emily Schulze scored a game-high five goals for the Maidens (1-0), who led 6-3 early in the second half before the vising Rams rallied with four straight goals to go ahead at 11:52.

Kat Connelly put Spring-Ford up 8-7 off a restart at 5:11, but 71 seconds later Schulze drove in to pulled the Maidens level. Lear provided the game-winner by charging to the net then releasing a low shot that bounced over the shoulder of Rams’ goalkeeper Sam Walters and in.

“When Emmy was coming down, I knew, I saw it — this is now or never,’ Lear said. “I knew that was going to be it and we were going to win or it was going to be a fight to the end.’

North Penn picked up the loose ball off the ensuing faceoffs, but Spring-Ford earned possession in the final minute and moved down the field. With six seconds left, a whistle against the Maidens in the NP zone allowed the Rams to get a shot off right before the buzzer, but goalie Michelle Dyck made a stick save to seal the win.

“I think we came away feeling awesome because it was a very even game and we still came out on top,’ Lear said. “Spring-Ford’s a great team and we knew that coming in, so we knew it was going to be a fight. But the fact that all of our plays were hustle plays, every single one, everyone was doing 100 percent. I can’t be anymore proud of everyone.’

Connelly paced Spring-Ford with two goals, while Anja Sweeney found the back of the net twice.

North Penn takes on Hatboro-Horsham — the defending Suburban One League American Conference champ — on the road 7 p.m. Wednesday. Spring-Ford starts PAC-10 play 3:45 p.m. Wednesday at Perkiomen Valley.

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