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North Penn can’t solve Central Bucks South

TOWAMENCIN — It was a sensational way to cap off a sound first half of action on Tuesday afternoon. The North Penn field hockey team kept Central Bucks South off the scoreboard, even after South was awarded an un-timed corner chance.

The stop was suppose to help the Maidens make it four straight wins and take down the Titans, something nobody has accomplished yet in the Suburban One League Continental Conference.

But it was not meant to be.

The Titans (10-2, 8-0 conference) remained a thorn in their side and were able to escape North Penn High with a 1-0 victory. Some Maidens (7-4, 5-3) did not believe the goal should have even counted, but the referees concluded the goal in the 36th minute by the Titans Alexa Milanesi was a legal shot.

“It is a shame there was a disputed goal that ended up being the difference,’ Maidens coach Shannon McCracken said. “South is a great team. They do the fundamentals really well and go hard. But we went hard to ball as well. I thought we had a great game today.’

Titans’ Steph Litz lifted the ball right off a Maidens’ stick at midfield and pushed ahead. She fired a strong, smooth pass to Milanesi and the Maidens goalie, senior captain Marissa Elizardo, was unable to stick her leg pad out in time. Coaches argued the legality of the play to no prevail.

“We did a good [job] marking in the first half,’ Elizardo said. “Us keeping the corner out at the end of the first and going into halftime tied definitely helped us stayed pumped up. We were ready to come out. South is always a tough game, we were ready for them, but it did not go our way.’

The Maidens had more chances in the second half than the first, but were unable to unleash a shot of significance and challenge the Titans defense. Senior captain Amanda Laessing made a few good runs toward the circle only to see the Titans collapse and clog up the passing lanes.

“We had some opportunities, but we did not finish,’ McCracken said. “Their goalkeeper had a good game and we did not have that extra drive today in the circle to put it in.’

Elizardo and the defense did all they could to keep the Maidens in the mix. The stopped un-timed corner chance by the Maidens goalie was her eighth save of the first half and she finished with well over double-digit denials, giving the Maidens a chance to redeem themselves from their 3-1 loss to the Titans three weeks ago.

“I think we definitely played hard and played the hard the entire game,’ Elizardo said. “Things did not go our way and we cannot control some of those things. We have a lot more games coming up, so hopefully we can take what we learned from this one.’

In that loss in Warrington, the Maidens learned to force the Titans to use the width of the field and not allow them to split the defense right up the middle. The adjustments from the first meeting clearly made a difference in the second showdown. Now North Penn can only hope to make more adjustments as the season progresses and have a chance to see South one more time in a playoff setting, ready to pull that thorn out of their side.

“We tried to capitalize on what we knew about them,’ McCracken said. “We executed a good game plan today. We are a very talented team with great senior leadership. We will move forward from this and get our next opponent.’

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