Spring-Ford holds off Harriton, 8-5, in District 1 first round

ROYERSFORD — Spring-Ford coach Kevin Donnelly feels like the season just began, literally and hopefully. And senior defender Parker Hartline hopes the Rams just passed halftime.

“(Coach Donnelly) says it all the time, we want to have four seasons — PAC-10 regular season is one, PAC-10 championship playoffs is two, and this is the start of our third season. And hopefully states is our fourth season,’ Hartline said.

Tuesday night, Spring-Ford afforded themselves more time to decide what phase of the season they’re in by ensuring it isn’t over.

No. 5 seed Spring-Ford put on a balanced performance and kept No. 28 Harriton at a distance throughout en route to an 8-5 victory in the first round of the District 1 playoffs at the Rams’ Coach McNelly Stadium.

Spring-Ford (20-1) got three goals from Kevin Todd and two goals and an assist from Danny Cassidy to lead the way. The Rams will meet No. 12 Central Bucks South, a 12-6 winner over fellow Pioneer Athletic Conference team Perkiomen Valley also Tuesday, on Thursday night at home.

Harriton closes its season with a 10-9 record, giving itself a chance to make a game of things when Patrick Stewart gave the Central League’s Rams back-to-back goals to cut it to 8-5 with 5:43 to play.

“Our team plays with a ton of heart and has been in every game. I’m really proud of our guys,’ said third-year coach Joe Proud. “They fought the whole way, we would have liked to have executed a little better, shot a little better and taken care of the ball on the clears a little better.’

Senior Jack Veasey had a goal and an assist while goalie Victor Fink made a number of point-blank saves on the way to 11 total.

The PAC-10’s Rams got themselves realigned after winning a fifth straight league title last week in a 8-7 overtime win over Owen J. Roberts and put on a confident display.

Jake Hvazda (one goal, one assist) and Todd seized a pair of quick chances early in the game for a 2-0 lead and the defense led by Hartline, Connor Crawford, Liam Hare, midfielder Zach Hare and goalie Chris Morgan was stable, not allowing Harriton to cash in on a few long possessions in the first half.

“Their defense was strong enough where we weren’t getting in close enough so shooting from the outside on a good goalie we were shooting for the pipes. With a kid like him (Morgan), he’ll eat anything up so we wanted to keep it way from him,’ Proud said. “We liked the way we were chipping away.’

Spring-Ford carried a 5-2 lead into halftime and stretched it to 8-3 at the start of the fourth quarter on Carter Gensler’s rebound putback.

Harriton battled back on goals by Stephen Saul and Stewart and looked ready to mount a serious charge.

But Morgan made the finest of his 14 saves from close range in transition with 2:46 left to effectively seal it.

“The win was what we hoped for but the way we won is not exactly how we pictured it. There are ways we can change for the better and clean things up,’ Todd said. “We know that no team is bad in districts. Harriton gave us a great run. We’re just looking forward to the next game.’

Spring-Ford doesn’t want to allow for any nervous moments going forward.

“We can’t let teams hang around, Donnelly said. “We need to be more focused if we want to continue to play. We have to come out ready to play against whomever the nest guy is every game we get a chance to play. Right now we’re in extra minutes, we’re in the bonus. We have to take advantage of that.’

NOTES — Rounding out the scoresheet for Spring-Ford was Ray Orcutt with two assists and Zach Hare with a goal. For Harriton, Charlie Veasey, Will Stahl had goals and Hakan Atillasoy had two assists.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply