UPPER DUBLIN >> It is in the final seven minutes of a contest in which Upper Dublin finds that extra gear.
“Our fourth quarter is our strongest,” said Sydney Menszak. “Usually, we’re a second-half team. We really just pulled it together by the end.”
The Cardinals broke open a tight game, pulling away to a 9-5 victory in a Suburban One League battle Tuesday afternoon. The Souderton boys would follow with a 20-9 win over Upper Dublin, making it a split decision between the two rivals.
Menszak poured in five goals and led a second-half surge that allowed the Cardinals to finally gain separation.
“We were able to get the assists, make the plays and score all of the goals,” she said.
The two teams battled back and forth for three quarters. Souderton drew even at five apiece until Upper Dublin used its final push to get the win.
“In the beginning, I was missing a little bit, but by the end, I felt alright again and was hitting the corners,” Menszak said of her shots. “(Where we are now is) a really good starting point where we’re at. I’m excited to see where we go from here.”
Emma McCarthy added a goal for Upper Dublin and Rachel Bilger had a hat trick.
The Upper Dublin boys bolted to a 2-0 lead over Big Red before Souderton’s defense found its stride.
“We’ve been working on the press defense a lot,” Big Red coach Joe Hay said. “We talked tonight about really trying to execute our press defense. That really is the best we’ve executed it this year.”
Which made it easier for the offense to find its way, and Will Leyland hit his mark six times for scores. Kristian Stanczewski added four goals and Luke Hess added a hat trick.
“(The defense) really got the momentum going in our favor,” Hay said. “The defense has improved dramatically. On the press, you have to defend the passing lanes and it makes players nervous. They feel like someone’s gonna go back door on them. They have to learn to trust each other.
“We’re getting there. It’s a process, step by step.”
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