TOWAMENCIN >> Like Wissahickon coach Greg Beyer said, it’s as big a win as it gets.
“Defending State Champs five years in a row,” Beyer said of North Penn. “They’re our measuring stick. With their level of success every year, they are the standard.”
With rock-solid defense and an offense that flowed through Becca Valentine, Wissahickon earned its first ever win over the Knights, prevailing 8-7 on Thursday night at a packed Rick Carroll Natatorium.
“To come out and beat them really showed me where our team is right now,” Beyer said. “Our defense was stellar and our goalie (Paige Benning) played great. We took away a lot of their ball-side drives and really held them out of their transitions, which fueled our offense.
“That’s what we pride ourselves on is defense first. To take away what they’re trying to do offensively just led to easier goals for us in transition.”
In the second half of the doubleheader, the North Penn boys earned an 14-7 victory on Senior Night. Led by seniors Sean Faikish and Chris Killion, the Knights jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the first quarter and led 7-2 by the half. Back-to-back Faikish breakaway scores provided the five-goal advantage at the break.
Valentine scored five goals and added three steals for the Wissahickon girls, some of whom were in tears at game’s end.
“It’s amazing. I can’t believe we did it,” said a smiling Valentine. “At halftime, we realized we weren’t losing to them, for the first time ever…(This win) means good things for states. So I’m so excited.
“In the fourth quarter, we knew we had to have it. We had to get that win.”
The Trojans came through in the fourth and final quarter, breaking a 7-7 deadlock. Their defense then clamped down in the final minute to prevent overtime.
“We talked about it. We knew it was gonna be a fourth-quarter game,” Beyer said. “North Penn has such good depth that they bring everybody off the bench and they’re just fresh. Our girls just played tough. They’re high-character girls. They have a lot of fight and you saw it.”
Maggie Krieger, Chloe Lovensheimer and Jaclyn Staub added a goal each and in net, Benning made 10 saves.
Said Beyer: “I think this definitely gets us in the state tournament. North Penn is definitely a high seed for the state tournament and we want a high seed as well. So this will definitely help our case for that as well.”
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