FAIRLESS HILLS – When Pennsbury took the field this season, it entered the season without the services of twin sisters Emily and Sarah Zazzu as well as goalkeeper Wictoria Gocal.
While some might have thought 2015 would be a rebuilding season for the Falcons, that hasn’t been the case. With just two games remaining, the Orange and Black is currently tied for third place with Council Rock North in the Suburban One League (SOL) National Conference.
“You would think that with all the seniors, especially all of the forward line leaving that we would have a lot of holes to fill,” said senior Marguerite Salamone, one of three co-captains on the team. “It’s really a testimony to the underclassmen that have stepped up in their place.”
While Pennsbury had trouble finding the back of the cage yesterday (Oct. 14) at home in a 4-0 loss suffered at the hands of SOL National leader Neshaminy, the squad is having a solid campaign.
“We have a lot of talent on this team,” stated Falcons head coach Jamie Parell. “We have really good depth in all our positions all the way around.
“We’re working as a team; we just have to work together a little more to finish.”
Pennsbury has a tandem team in goal in place of Gocal this season – senior Kate Faulcon and sophomore Michelle Deodati are working to keep the balls out of the cage.
Three sophomores are positioned up top in place of the Zazzus, who were both forwards. Kate Chesney leads the team in scoring with 18 goals and classmates Olivia Mauro and Nell Webber have 11 goals apiece.
Stepping up in the midfield this season are senior captains Salamone and Missy Frankil, freshman Mia Geller along with junior Amelia Sharp. Anchoring the Falcon defense are seniors Isabel Glace, captain Worada Sanghanphet and Caroline Siekierka.
Playing Wednesday afternoon Oct. 14 on their home pitch under dark, cloudy skies and a brisk and blustery wind, Pennsbury poured it on strong, especially early on, outshooting the visitors 7-3 in the first half and out-gaining them on corner opportunities, 8-1.
“It’s really frustrating because we were inside their 25 (yard line) the whole first half,” said Salamone.
“We didn’t have that fight; once that first shot got deflected, we really needed to keep pounding it into the cage and we kind of didn’t do that.”
“I don’t think we had enough layers up there. Once it came off the goalie and it would come out, we didn’t have that layer to push it back in and that hurts.”
As did the team’s recent lost to CB West. In a battle that took place Oct. 10 at home, the Falcons led the SOL Continental Conference leaders 3-1 in the second half on goals by Frankil, Chesney and Webber. However, Bryn Boylan netted three goals in less than seven minutes time to help keep the Bucks unbeaten in a 4-3 win for CB West.
While Pennsbury lost 5-3 to CR North the first time out this season, they came back to beat the Lady Indians in the rematch. Mauro and Salamone scored for the Falcons with the sophomore recording the winning strike in a game Rock led 1-0 at the half.
“I think we’ve gotten better as we’ve gone along,” said Salamone. “We need to bring the pressure that we put on CB West and bring it with us the remainder of the season.”
Taking the field for the first time this season was a challenge, admits Salamone.
“That was a loss to our forward line because they were so connected and they really contributed as senior leaders up there,” she said.
“But I also think the sophomores have stepped up that are playing up front. They really filled the slots that we needed.”
While Pennsbury lost to CB West and to Mount Saint Joseph’s in another non-league matchup to start the season, Salamone believes the tough schedule will serve the team well when districts begin when the District One-AAA field hockey tournament begins Monday, Oct. 26.
NOTES: Pennsbury hosts second place CR South (10-2) Friday, Oct. 16 then travels to William Tennent (2-7) on Tuesday, Oct. 20. After winning a district opener in 2014, Neshaminy lost to eventual champion Unionville 2-0 in round two. CR North was a D-1 quarterfinalist and PIAA qualifier last season.
Neshaminy 4, Pennsbury 0
(Oct. 14 at Pennsbury)
FIRST HALF GOALS: Christen Pennington 2
SECOND HALF GOALS: Maria Palmieri, Pennington
ASSISTS: Emily Alexis, Pennington, Palmieri
SHOTS: P — 12; N — 7
CORNER-OPS: P — 10; N — 3
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