Knights and Maidens strong at Knight Invite

TOWAMENCIN >> Shannon Quinn snuck a shot into the corner to push the Maidens up by one, and after the defense came up with a big stop moments later, Quinn raced down the middle of the pool on a breakaway and rifled in another to stretch the Maiden advantage to 6-4.
Like they had done many times before this season, North Penn overwhelmed its opponent in the second and third quarters on Saturday afternoon, and pulled away to a dominant victory, this one a 13-5 win over state rival North Allegheny.
“We really started to get into it, started to flow more as a team,” said Quinn, who helped her team turn a 4-4 tie into a 13-4 lead. “In the second quarter, we realized we needed to pick it up.”
The Maidens’ strong afternoon showing against North Allegheny was part of an impressive performance at The Knight Invitational, as NP — with earlier victories over Wilson and Cumberland Valley — improved to a perfect 23-0.
As the Maidens gain more steam heading towards what they hope is a second straight run to the state crown, this weekend provided a pretty good sneak preview of what lies ahead in the big tournament.

Mark C Psoras--The Reporter North Penn's Aimee Baur ,4, fires a shot past North Allegheny defenders for a goal.
Mark C Psoras–The Reporter
North Penn’s Aimee Baur ,4, fires a shot past North Allegheny defenders for a goal.

“We all get a feel for each other,” Quinn said. “It’s a lot different playing these teams now, as compared to playing them in the beginning of the season. Not everyone was ready, and it was a lot different.
“But you can totally see the difference and the progression in the teams as the season goes on.”
The Maidens’ victory was followed up by a 13-7 win for the North Penn boys, over North Allegheny, improving the Knights’ record to 18-5.
“We’re all very anxious for states,” Quinn said. “This is like our last big thing before states so we’re all really excited.”
Excitement despite some fatigue.
Playing several games in very few days, the North Penn girls continue to look sharp, and ran their overall win streak to 28 in a row dating back to last year. Going into Saturday night’s 8:30 contest with Cumberland Valley, North Penn’s offense was both smooth and balanced, led by a four-goal effort by Erin O’Neill while getting contributions from several others.
“Our driving and our passing is on point right now,” Maidens coach Katie Grunmeier said, “and we just have to stay strong, keep looking forward to the postseason and keep the streak alive.

Mark C Psoras--The Reporter North Penn's Andrew Dunigan ,2, fires a shot on goal past North Allegheny defenders.
Mark C Psoras–The Reporter
North Penn’s Andrew Dunigan ,2, fires a shot on goal past North Allegheny defenders.

“Our girls are super tired at this point, which is good,” the coach said. “I want them to play tired so when we get to the postseason, when they get rest, they’ll be a lot stronger.”
The North Penn boys continue to shape a lot of young talent into a winner. The Knights lost 15 seniors to graduation, returned just two starters, but have just four in-state defeats this fall, all by two goals or less.
“Our team is a work in progress right now,” coach Jason Grubb said. “Overall, for having a brand new team, we’re starting to learn and we’re playing a lot of close games with some good teams out there.”
The Knights gained a slight edge going into halftime and then pulled away after the break. Three different players — Corey Smith, Mike Sisko and A.J. Patterson — each scored three goals, as North Penn battled past its state rival.
“We have some guys who can throw the ball,” Grubb said. “We’re actually a little bit bigger than we were last year. We’re trying to get some of those guys a little bit more confident in their shooting. When they have confidence, they’re hitting corners and shooting well.”

Follow Kev Hunter on Twitter @khunter10

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply