Shue’s 2OT goal sends North Penn past Souderton

TOWAMENCIN >> The North Penn boys soccer team rallied to force overtime Monday afternoon, but a draw with visiting Souderton would not do the Knights any good.

“Where we are in the (District 1) power ratings and stuff, we still have a chance at making it up some, a tie wouldn’t have helped us,” North Penn coach Paul Duddy said.

The Knights, however, did not have to share a point with the Indians thanks to some hard work in front of the goal by Kyle Shue. After a corner kick in the second overtime, the senior defender did not get enough on his first shot, but given a second try calmed popped the ball into the back of the net for the 3-2 Suburban One League Continental Conference win.

“It’s a great feeling. Honestly, it’s a morale booster definitely for us,” said Colin Jerome, who delivered the corner kick before Shue’s winner. “We needed (this), because we haven’t been scoring much recently and to score three goals in a league game is pretty important for us.”

Consecutive losses to Pennridge and La Salle saw North Penn (11-4-2, 8-3-2 conference) drop in the latest District 1-AAA playoffs rankings from third — a seed that comes with a first-round bye — to seventh. And when a headed by the Indians’ John O’Keefe found the back of the net to break a 1-1 tie in the second half, the Knights were in peril of perhaps dropping even farther.

But Owen Nakatani pulled North Penn level, catching Souderton goalkeeper Kevin Dustin out of the net and floating a ball just inside of the far post.

“That was huge. Just making any offensive play there was just huge for us,” Jerome said.

Geoff Patton--The Reporter Evan Peters of Souderton, left, challenges North Penn goalie Bobby Dean, right, and defender Noah Kwortnik in first half of game Monday, October 19, 2015
Evan Peters of Souderton, left, challenges North Penn goalie Bobby Dean, right, and defender Noah Kwortnik in first half of their game on Monday, Oct. 19, 2015. (Geoff Patton/The Reporter)

The Knights had few chances in the first extra period — Lucas Bennett had an open look, but shot straight to Dustin while a pair of headers went wide — before Shue ended it in the second OT. A North Penn free kick was deflected out for a corner. Shue tried for a header on Jerome’s cross, then could not get enough on a shot, but a clearance came back to him and he flicked a shot past Dustin.

“Kyle won three straight balls in a row,” Jerome said. “He won the header, then kicked it at the goal and then shot another one and got in.

North Penn, which played Monday without Mike Kohler and goalkeeper Jordan Katz — both out with injuries — ends the regular season 3:45 p.m. Wednesday at Hatboro-Horsham.

“We have not played well in three straight games and so it bothers me for sure,” Duddy said. “But maybe just getting a big win in overtime will turn it around a little bit.”

Spencer Nice also scored for Souderton (2-13-1, 2-10-1) which lost its fourth straight. It was second time this season the Indians forced North Penn into double overtime, with the teams having settled for a 1-1 draw at Souderton Sept. 25.

“I know their record doesn’t say it, but they play us as hard as anybody,” Duddy said.

Geoff Patton--The Reporter Scott Kohler of North Penn, left, and Thomas Sonn of Souderton Area Monday, October 19, 2015.
Scott Kohler of North Penn, left, and Thomas Sonn of Souderton Area during their game on Monday, Oct. 19, 2015. (Geoff Patton/The Reporter)

Souderton hosts undefeated Central Bucks East 6:30 p.m. Wednesday on Senior Night then ends the season 5:30 p.m. Thursday on the road against Abington.

North Penn spent most of the first half putting pressure on the Souderton backline, but the Knights could not stay onside and when they did get a chance, Dustin came off his line to grab the ball or knock it away.

But North Penn did got into halftime up a goal as Matthew Richardson’s free kick from midfield bounced into the net. Richardson sent the ball into the 18-yard penalty box in front of the charging crowd and at the six-yard box, it took a hop past Dustin for a 1-0 lead.

Souderton made it 1-1 after the break as th Knights could not clear after a corner. One shot by Big Red was blocked, but Nice ripped a shot that went into the low left of the goal.

“They took advantage of the elements, that sun is just extremely tough this time of day,” Duddy said. “We know it, I mean it’s our home field and we had it, we were facing it the second half and caused us some problems and to their credit they found a couple goals.”

O’Keefe put the Indians up on a free kick, as Nick Marculo sent a ball into the box the senior forward headed it in for the 2-1 advantage.

“We didn’t convert on a lot of our chances, like breakaways and such, and we were getting with offsides. So, we just kind of let our guard down and they just scored two lucky goals.”

Nakatani made it 2-2 when he beat Dustin for a loose ball at the left edge of the penalty area and with the Souderton keeper out of the net, lofted a shot that went in off the bottom of the left post.

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