Conwell-Egan Catholic ousted by Dock a third time in states

PHILA. – Three years ago, Conwell-Egan Catholic defeated Christopher Dock and made a run at Keystone State gold, as the Lady Eagles paved their way to the PIAA championship game.

Tuesday night in a state playoff opener with the Pioneers played under a steady mist at the South Philadelphia Super Site, it ended suddenly for CEC co-captain Bailey Brown and a half-dozen of her classmates.

In the 2012 PIAA tournament, the Lady Eagles got past District 11 champ Minersville, District 2 runner-up Mountain View and Dock on their way to the title game.

The District 1 champion Pioneers got the best of Egan this time around however, pumping a pair of goals into the net in the last 10 minutes of the first half to win 3-1 and advance to the PIAA quarterfinals where they’ll face D-3 champ Trinity.

For the District 12 champion Eagles, they end their 2015 campaign at 10-9, having lost to Dock in state openers now for the past three seasons.

“I think it’s the end of an era,” said Brown, who scored the only goal for CEC. “We started at Hershey and we wanted it to end at Hershey.

“But you can’t always get what you want so it’s the end of our season.”

Brown did all she could to turn the tide in her team’s favor, notching an equalizing goal midway through the first half after Dock junior Megan Swintosky put the Pioneers (17-3) on the board first when she connected with a corner kick from CD senior Niki Clements.

In the 21st minute, Bailey caught up to a through ball along the left corner and just blasted a ball from 30 yards out. The shot ricocheted off the top of the right corner and into the back of the net past a startled Audrey Schweizerhof, the Pioneers keeper.

“It was phenomenal,” said Eagles head coach Andy Adamiec. “She has seven or eight (goals) and she has scored a couple that way.

“She’s a central midfielder so she doesn’t get inside the box all that often. But she can hit it. You have to hit it just right and she got it on the sweet spot and she just ripped one.”

Ignited by Bailey’s goal, Egan played inspired soccer for the next 10 minutes.

“When they scored initially, everyone just kind of dropped their heads and let down,” said Bailey. “Once we got that goal, it was a spark – it was a hope that we were in this.

If not for the final 10 minutes of the first half, the fate of the Eagles may have turned out differently.

With 7:50 remaining in the first period however, Clements gathered in a feed from junior Marissa Campo to the right of the goal and raced to the 20 yard line where she let go of a rolling shot that seemed to handcuff CEC sophomore goalkeeper Maddy Terry. With CD senior Maddison Landis streaking up through the middle, maybe the keeper thought Clements would go for a cross.

She didn’t and the ball went into the left side of the goal for the game-winner.

McKenzie Swartley, sophomore midfielder for the Pioneers, just made matters worse when she poked home a feed from freshman Brooke Bozarth with three minutes left in the half.

From there, the second half became a poke-and-run game with Dock sitting on the two-goal lead and Egan frustrated by the number of Pioneers on the back end of the field.

“Trying to get the ball up to our offensive people was difficult,” admitted Brown. “Once they got three (goals), they were just shoving the ball right back down our throats.”

Winners of the last three meetings between the sides, Dock advances to face District 3 champ Trinity, which eliminated the Pioneers from states last season. Since falling to the Eagles in the 2012 state semis, CD’s season has ended in the quarterfinals for the past two campaigns.

After falling 3-2 to Trinity in overtime last year in states, Sharon Curtis, senior backfielder for Dock, says this group is looking to change that this time around. While she acknowledged the Pioneers could do little to stop the goal by Brown, she said her team looked to take control before the intermission.

“It was a wakeup call when they scored,” admitted Curtis, who was suspended for the team’s District 1 championship win over The Christian Academy. “We said, ‘this is our game’ and we wanted to put the ball in the back of their net and put us up by halftime.”

The game-winning strike off the foot of Clements was her 29th of the season. The senior forward for CD is a force to be reckoned with, said Curtis.

“She is one of our best players and she is just amazing up top,” said Sharon. “She puts the ball in the back of the net in almost every game.”

“But we had three different people score today and I think that’s the strength of our team.”

For Egan, its season ends with a fourth straight District 12 trophy, this one earned with a 6-0 win over Philadelphia Public League champ Masterman, captured a week earlier. But it also ends with a third consecutive loss to Dock in states.

“We beat them the first time and that was in the (state) semis so I know how it feels (to win), said Adamiec.

“It’s a game of inches which makes the difference between a good team and a great team.

“Today, it’s not about the inches between what my girls did on the field because I think they played their hearts out.

“It’s a shame because the girls work so hard; they never quit.”

The future looks bright however, the coach added.

“I’m graduating three seniors (starters) but a lot of my girls are coming back – Carly (Bonfig), Maddy (Terry) and Chloe (Grabowski); most of these girls are coming back.”

In addition to Brown, Conwell-Egan waves goodbye to defender Maddy Wojton, Molly Corrigan and Tess Konovitch along with midfielders Emmi Eltz, Amy Meyer and Alexa Pospietch.

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Christopher Dock 3, Conwell-Egan 1

(Nov. 10 at South Phila. Super Site)


CONWELL-EGAN            1 0 – 1

FIRST-HALF GOALS: Megan Swintosky (CD) from Niki Clements, 9th minute; Bailey Brown (CEC) from Chloe Grabowski, 20th minute; Clements (CD) from Marissa Campo, 32nd minute; McKenzie Swartley Swartley (CD) from Brooke Bozarth, 37th minute

SHOTS: CD 11, CEC 10

SAVES: Audrey Schweizerhof (CD) 4; Maddy Terry (CEC) 9

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