Wissahickon hangs on, downs Abington for SOL American title

LOWER GYWNEDD — The Suburban One League American Conference title came down to the final 3.4 seconds Thursday afternoon between Wissahickon and Abington. Trailing by one, Abington had a free position opportunity to tie the game. Wissahickon’s defense got in front of the net quickly, forced the shooter wide and raised its hands high as the horn sounded.

“The defense was kind of able to slow it down,’ Wissahickon coach Patty Kovacs said of the final play. “And then double team her and waste the time off the clock.’

The Trojans were league champs with a 9-8 win over Abington.

“We’re all really excited,’ Wissahickon’s Emily Vervlied said. “I think we all deserved it because we tried really hard this year — this was our end-goal and we reached it.’

The turning point in the game came at the end of the first half. Two minutes remained in the opening 25 minutes and the Ghosts, trailing by two, had possession deep in Wissahickon territory. Abington coach Mary Kate Lomady was trying to call timeout to set up a play. The refs didn’t hear her and Wissahickon forced a turnover.

“That was huge,’ Lomady said. “That’s very frustrating as a coach. This game is all about momentum and they definitely went on a run.’

The Trojans’ (15-4, 9-0) Lana Doskicz turned it into a goal at the other end and, with just 0.3 seconds remaining in the half, Mary Matthews added another goal to turn a 5-3 game into a four-goal edge for Wissahickon.

“It really brought us into the second half with a lot of momentum,’ Vervlied said, “It got us all pumped up to take control.’

Even that swing wasn’t enough to knock out the Ghosts (13-4, 8-1). Abington came out in the second half and scored the first four goals to tie the game at seven with 13 minutes remaining.

“I just told them if we want to win this game, it’s their’s for the taking,’ Lomady said of her halftime message. “I think that in the second half our attack settled in.

“I’m so proud of my girls,’ Lomady added about how the Ghosts didn’t give up. “They played their hearts out tonight and I couldn’t be more proud of them. They played very well.’

“The girls just weren’t intense right off the bat in the second half,’ Kovacs said of Wissahickon. “They came out a little slow, but then realized they had to pick it up.’

That’s when Wissahickon’s Vervlied stepped up.

The sophomore midfielder scored two goals in the next three minutes to give the Trojans a lead and small cushion.

“I knew somebody had to step up and take control and put us back in front,’ Vervlied said.

Abington scored with two minutes remaining to cut the lead in half, but couldn’t get the game tied at the end.

Wissahickon goalkeeper Julie Silverman made eight saves in the victory.

“She played a great game today,’ Kovacs said of Silverman. “Abington took a lot of shots on her… Julie worked really hard today. I’m really proud of her.’

Abington used two goalies in the game, who combined for six saves, and Lomady gave a lot of credit to the defense for keeping the game close.

“Our defense played out of their minds today,’ she said. “They worked like a well-oiled machine. They were outstanding.’

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