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Boccella’s 4 goals lead Gwynedd Mercy past Lower Moreland in District 1-A semis

LOWER MORELAND >> Gwynedd Mercy continues to dominate and the winner was basically decided in the first half as the No. 3 seed Monarchs crushed the No. 2 seed Lower Moreland Lions 6-0 in the District 1-A field hockey semifinals Wednesday.

With the win, the Monarchs move on to Friday’s district championship against No. 1 seed New Hope-Solebury, a 2-0 winner over Springfield-Montco.

Gwynedd Mercy Academy, the defending District 1 champ, was off and running just 12 minutes into the game when Alden Boccella scored her first of four goals.

It was the second straight game Boccella scored four goals and had one assist — doing just that against Dock Mennonite in the district quarterfinals Monday.

“I was just more focused on shooting from the top of the circle and passing from the outsides,” said Boccella. “I wasn’t expecting four goals because it was a bigger game.”

Boccella scored her second goal five minutes later then her third goal five minutes after to put the Monarchs up 3-0 with seven minutes remaining in the first half.

Gwynedd Mercy did not stop there as Boccella and Jamie Fruncillo both scored within a minute as the Monarchs led 5-0 heading into the second half.

Monarchs head coach Alex McMahan was thrilled with the way Bocella scored against the Lions.

“Alden is dangerous in the circle whenever she gets involved,” said McMahan. “She had a great game and she’s on a roll.”

The Monarchs had a total of 17 penalty corners in the first half, scoring on three.

Lower Moreland showed signs of better defense in the second half, holding the Monarchs to just one goal in the final 30 minutes.

GMA’s Hanna Saxon scored the lone goal of the second half with just nine minutes left.

Lower Moreland head coach Jess Ashenbrenner was actually pleased with the way her team performed despite the outcome.

“Going into this game we knew we had very tough competition because Gwynedd Mercy is a great program,” said Ashenbrenner. “Despite the score, we’re happy with the way the girls played defensively.”

Lions goalkeeper Grace Laudenslager had 11 saves despite giving up six goals in the loss.

Monarchs goalkeeper Zoë Rogers gave her team the shutout victory with five saves.

The Lions still have a shot of clinching a spot in the District 1/12 regional tournament, but will have to beat Springfield-Montco at home Friday.

(3) GMA 6, (2) Lower Moreland 0
Gwynedd Mercy              5 1 — 6
Lower Moreland              0 0 — 0
Goals: GMA-Boccella 4, Fruncillo 1, Saxon 1.
Assists: GMA: Boccella 1, Gilmore 1.
Saves:  GMA: Rogers 5.  LM: Laudenslager 11.



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