Upper Dublin looks playoff-ready in shutout of rival Hatboro-Horsham

UPPER DUBLIN >> Mother Nature supplied the playoff weather and Upper Dublin brought its playoff soccer, looking impressive from start to finish in a 3-0 shutout of rival Hatboro-Horsham on Wednesday in the regular season finale for both squads.

“I think it was a mentality thing,” said Miles Bondi, who scored twice in the divisional battle. “We underperformed the last two games. We knew we had to come out and finish the season off strong before we go into the playoffs. We wanted to get some momentum going in. Otherwise, it’s gonna be a short season.”

The Cardinals scored twice in the first half and added a clincher midway through the second. Upper Dublin, currently seventh in District 1-4A, raised its overall record to 13-2-2 and finished 12-2-2 in the Suburban One League Liberty Division.

“It feels good. The team’s really coming together. We’re looking good for the playoffs,” said catalyst Chris McMeel.

Upper Dublin’s (l-to-r) Tommy Clayton, Chris McMeel and Miles Bondi were all instrumental in the Cardinals’ win over Hatboro-Horsham on Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2022. (Kev Hunter/MediaNews Group)

The Hatters, also headed to the postseason, are currently 17th in District 1-4A. Hatboro-Horsham is now 12-6 overall and finished 11-5 in the Liberty.

On a cold, windy day on the turf at Upper Dublin, the two squads battled back and forth for some time, looking to find the right combination.

It was 0-0 deep into the first half.

Hatboro-Horsham huddles before its game with Upper Dublin. (Kev Hunter/MediaNews Group)

But Upper Dublin pressure yielded the result the Cardinals were looking for.

In a crowd outside of the Hatter net, Tommy Clayton got to a ball and knocked it home, putting Upper Dublin in front, 1-0, with 12 minutes, 1 seconds left in a blustery first half.

Said Clayton: “Our team had a loss (against Abington), a tie (against PW), and now we’re gelling back together as a team again. It’s really nice to see.”

Hatboro-Horsham’s Jake Freedman controls for the Hatters, with Upper Dublin’s Tommy Clayton (11) defending. (Kev Hunter/MediaNews Group)

A 1-0 lead at the half would have provided a nice edge for the Cardinals, but Upper Dublin was able to strengthen its lead with 6:27 to go.

Miles Bondi headed home an insurance goal, doubling the margin to 2-0.

Keeper Gabriel Copley was solid in net for UD, ensuring the lead stayed at two.

Upper Dublin huddles before its game with Hatboro-Horsham. (Kev Hunter/MediaNews Group)

Upper Dublin put the game out of reach midway through the second half, when Bondi took it all the way in and drilled a line drive into the left corner.

Upper Dublin is 8-1-1 in its last 10 contests.

“These boys are capable of anything,” McMeel said. “We have a lot of talent on this team. We just have to perform.”

Upper Dublin talks strategy prior to its contest with Hatboro-Horsham. (Kev Hunter/MediaNews Group)

Upper Dublin 3, Hatboro-Horsham 0

Hatboro-Horsham 0 0 – 0

Upper Dublin 2 1 – 3

First Half

UD-Tommy Clayton, 12:01; UD-Miles Bondi, 6:27.

Second Half

UD-Bondi, 25:19.

Shutout: Gabriel Copley.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply