Fast start sends North Penn past Pennridge

TOWAMENCIN — If you were running a little late to Thursday’s matchup between North Penn and Pennridge by the time you made it to the field the game was pretty much already over.

North Penn scored five goals in the first three and a half minutes of the game, including the opening tally just 37 seconds in, as they beat their SOL National Conference foes 13-9 on this chilly April afternoon.

“The first half I think we were taken by surprise by them,’ said Pennridge head coach Karen Schnurr. “They came out and scored four goals right away and then all of a sudden, we’re in the hole 10-1 at half.

“We can’t continue to start off the game slow. We need to start off with running feet and then work on draws because that’s the key.’

A large part of North Penn’s success was due to the dominance of midfielder Chloe Novak showed taking faceoffs. Novak won the opening draw, allowing her team to quickly sprint down the field and find Sydney Lear for the opening score of the game.

Novak then won the ensuing faceoff as well and moved the ball to Kaitlyn Pfifer, who sprinted down the length of the field and tallied her first of three goals for the game, giving her team the 2-0 lead less than a minute in.

It was a team effort as far as North Penn’s scoring was concerned. Usually their stat sheet is dominated by Emily Schulze, but tonight they had six different players score goals for them.

“It was a great team effort,’ said NP coach Heather Mellow. “A lot of times our games are Emily scoring, with other people contributing, she’s our main scorer. In this one it was nice to see such a variety of people get a chance to score.’

Novak only lost one draw the entire first half, which allowed her teammates to control the pace and tempo of the game and never really let Pennridge come up for air

“If you control the ball you control the game. Possession is the main key to this game, if you can keep possession you’re going to win and Chloe came up huge for us in that regard. At the end we fell apart a little bit, trying to force some situations offensively that weren’t there but that’s stuff that we can work on.’

Pennridge never even managed to carry the ball over to the North Penn side of the field until they were already down 4-0.

Eventually the two teams went into half with the score 10-1 in favor of North Penn. With Pennridge showing no real signs of life, it would have been easy for them to just rollover and surrender but they were determined to see this one out until the end.

“We told them ‘ one goal at a time’, we just had to play our game and relax,’ Schnurr said. “North Penn is a great team and I think we got a little intimidated at the beginning and instead we have to play our game and step up.’

With Novak out of the game, Pennridge controlled the opening faceoff of the half and took the ball down to their opponents end. After cycling the ball a few times through the zone they found Jennifer Rodzewich making a break towards the goal and she let go of a shot that found the back of the net and gave her team a little much needed momentum.

Jess Czasar was a big part of that effort for Pennridge. She finished with a hat-trick of her own to match Lear on the other end.

From there, they just picked away at the North Penn lead, and while it wasn’t enough to ultimately win the game, it was enough to impress their coach.

“We regrouped them at half and told them we had to eat away at the lead one goal at a time,’ said Schnurr. “And they did, so we ended up losing by four goals so all things considered I’ll take it.’

On the other side, Mellow was happy with her team’s effort in the first half, but says she needs to see them do it for the entire game in order for who to think they’re where they should be.

“In the first half we looked great, In the second half I think we looked a little sloppy,’ she said.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply