LOWER GWYNEDD >> Opportunity seldom blew either team’s way Saturday afternoon, but less than two minutes into overtime, Sean Finneyfrock settled things for Council Rock North.
“I knew I wasn’t gonna let anybody beat me to that because I wanted to do it for the team and get us into states,” the junior said of the loose ball he tracked down and knocked into the promised land for the Indians. “I just tried to stay composed and get it in a spot where the goalie couldn’t get it.”
Going against the wind in OT, Finneyfrock drove home the only goal of the afternoon to lift the 19th-seeded Indians to a 1-0 victory over 11th-seeded Wissahickon in the quarterfinal round of the District 1-4A Playoffs.
The win clinches a spot in states for Rock North and a match-up in the district semifinals against either Lower Merion or Central Bucks West. Wiss’ season still has life — the Trojans will enter district playbacks and need a pair of victories to secure the fifth and final states spot.
“It feels great working with the entire team to get to states,” said Finneyfrock. “We wanted it a lot. It was a big work-ethic year and we all depended on each other.”
Wiss goalie Jun Yuh was otherwise unscored upon for nearly 82 minutes. He went into crowds to grab dangerous balls and made six saves to keep it 0-0.
At the other end, Ed Mancinelli stopped eight Wissahickon shots. The Trojans controlled the ball for most of the first half, the Indians the second half. But quality scoring chances were few.
“We really hadn’t done a great job of testing the goal keeper in the first half,” Wiss senior Jacob Cohen said, “or throughout the game to be honest. And we really wanted to start taking more shots because we felt at some point, if we continued to shoot and shoot, we’d get a lucky bounce, a rebound, and make something happen.”
The Trojans felt they didn’t play with the level of intensity that helped earn them this home quarterfinal contest.
“I think the biggest problem today was our attitude,” Cohen said. “I don’t think we came out with the right attitude. It seemed like we were going through the motions. We weren’t able to generate too much through build-up play, which is something we needed to try and do a little bit better.”
It was a day of defense, goaltending and a climactic goal by Finneyfrock that won the day. But there is a tomorrow for Wiss.
“We really wanna get to states,” Cohen said. “We’re gonna take the loss today and move forward. We didn’t take the right attitude today and we were still able to hold Council Rock North to a scoreless draw for 82 minutes.
“I think that speaks volumes. If we come out with the right attitude in playbacks, we can cause some damage and hopefully advance to states.”