Barrow, O’Donnell send North Penn past PW, into District 1-3A quarters

WHITEMARSH >> Years from now, when North Penn’s second-round District One Class AAA field hockey playoff win over Plymouth Whitemarsh is recalled, Mikayla Barrow’s penalty stroke with 7:06 remaining will be remembered as the game-winning goal.

But for those who were there, there’s little doubt the 11th-seeded Knights won Wednesday’s game some 3:48 earlier when Bri O’Donnell found the Colonials cage with a goal that came just 14 seconds after PW had taken the lead.

The Knights grabbed back whatever momentum the Colonials established, got the match tied and 3:48 later advanced to the quarterfinals when Barrow snapped a shot past PW goaltender Katherine Houghton to give the underdogs the unexpected 5-4 win.

“We’re very confident right now,” Barrow said. “We trust each other and we’re playing very well as a team.”

North Penn’s Bri O’Donnell reaches for a loose ball as Plymouth Whitemarsh’s Meghan DiGiacomo defends during their District 1-3A second round game on Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2017. (Gene Walsh/Digital First Media)

That was obvious from the start, as North Penn (14-5-1) shot to a 1-0 lead on a goal by Barrow.

Then, after PW came back to tie the game, the visitors roared back to score the game’s next two goals and take a 3-1 lead into halftime.

“We’ve worked all year for a game like today,” said North Penn head coach Shannon McCracken. “All that work prepared us for a game like this one.”

The Colonials (16-3-0) roared back in the second half, however, and ultimately took a 4-3 lead when Ava Borkowski snapped a shot past goaltender Anissa Gardizy to put North Penn up, 4-3, with 11:08 to play.

But just 14 seconds later, O’Donnell capped a bevy of action around the Colonials net with a goal, and the Knights were on their way.

Plymouth Whitemarsh’s Ava Borkowski receives a pass as North Penn’s Bri O’Donnell defends during their District 1-3A second round game on Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2017. (Gene Walsh/Digital First Media)

It still took Barrow’s stroke to win it, but the Knights were never threatened again, save the last 30 seconds.

“This will take a while for us to get over,” said PW head coach Charise Halteman. “We didn’t expect to lose in the second round.”

“We’re just going to play our game,” Barrow said of North Penn’s immediate future, which includes a quarterfinal matchup against third-seeded Conestoga, a 5-0 winner over Downingtown East on Wednesday. “We haven’t played against any of those other teams, but we believe in each other.”

(11) North Penn 5, (6) Plymouth Whitemarsh 4
North Penn        3 2 — 5
Plymouth Whitemarsh  1 3 — 4
First-Half Scoring: 1. North Penn, Mikayla Barrow. 2. Plymouth Whitemarsh, Ava Borkowski. 3. North Penn, Barrow. 4. Bri O’Donnell.
Second-Half Scoring: 5. Plymouth Whitemarsh, Julia Fiddler. 6. Plymouth Whitemarsh, Sam Spera. 7, Plymouth Whitemarsh, Borkowski. 8. North Penn, O’Donnell. 9. North Penn, Barrow (PS), 7:06.
Shots: North Penn  15; PW 10.
Corners: North Penn  11; PW 4.

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