Owen J. Roberts stays on course for perfect PAC-10 season with 16-8 win over Pope John Paul II

RED HILL — Pressure is nothing new to Kerry Huzzard and her Owen J. Roberts teammates.

After posting an undefeated regular season in the Pioneer Athletic Conference, the Wildcats have spent the last two months under pressure to keep their record unblemished.

“The pressure has been on us all season,’ said Huzzard. “Everyone comes out and plays their best game against us, hoping to be the one that knocks us off. I think all the pressure has been pushing us to work even harder all season.’

The Wildcats again thrived under the pressure on Monday evening as they defeated Pope John Paul II 16-8 in the PAC-10 semifinals at Upper Perkiomen’s Indian Stadium.

With the win, Owen J. Roberts (13-0 PAC-10, 17-1 overall) will face Methacton on Thursday night for the PAC-10 title after the Warriors defeated Phoenixville 14-11.

“I know everything these players are capable of doing,’ said Owen J. Roberts head coach Joe Tornetta. “That’s what we’ve been looking for all season. We’ve been looking for the kids to achieve all that they are capable of achieving. They’ve done a tremendous job up to this point.’

Although PJP (6-7, 8-10) suffered the loss, it was the first time in school history the Golden Panthers made it to the PAC-10 semifinals while they also posted the most wins in school history.

“We knew (PJP) would come into this game hungry for a win,’ said Huzzard. “Last time we played them, they fought hard; we knew this time they’d fight even harder. So we needed to control the game and keep them from dictating what was happening out there. I think the way we controlled the tempo really made a difference.’

Huzzard led the Wildcats with a game-high seven goals to go with an assist while Morgan Stone had a hat trick. Anna Dempsey and Frankie Carroll both chipped in two goals apiece to go along with single tallies from Maddie Gebert and Alli Bevivino.

“We were definitely nervous and feeling the pressure as we got here,’ said Gebert. “We didn’t come out as strong as we would have liked to, but as the game went on, we gained our composure and kept it the entire way.’

Sara Maute made just three saves in goal, as the OJR defense limited the Golden Panthers’ scoring opportunities.

For Pope John Paul II, Kate Cressman scored four goals while Monica Rapchinski and Ang McMonagle both scored twice. Charlotte Williamson made seven stops in net.

Despite the loss, head coach Maureen Burger and the Golden Panthers, who finished the season second in the Frontier Division, will look back on their PAC-10 season with pride.

“I’m proud of the girls, especially our seniors,’ said Burger, adding that the seniors had come a long way since winning zero games during their freshman season.

As the Wildcats look to cap off their undefeated PAC-10 season with the conference title, Tornetta believes his team shouldn’t be satisfied just yet.

“Right now, I couldn’t be more proud of how far the team has come,’ said Tornetta. ” I couldn’t be more proud of the way they’ve played this season and the things they’ve accomplished.

“But we’re not done just yet. We’ll need to bring everything we have on Thursday and play our hardest game all season.’

The pressure will be at an all-time high on Thursday night, although as this season has shown, that may not be a bad thing for the Wildcats.

NOTES — Just one day after Methacton handed Boyertown its first PAC-10 loss in 152 games to start the season, Owen J. Roberts also defeated the Bears, who had won the PAC-10 title the past 11 seasons. The Wildcats defeated Methacton both times they played this season — 16-7 in late March and 11-8 at the end of April.

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