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Methacton handles Pennridge in District 1-3A opener

Methacton's Elise Dewan passes the ball as Pennridge's Abby Ludlow defends. (Ed Morlock/MediaNews Group)

WORCESTER >> Methacton jumped out to an early lead and kept the ball away from an inexperienced Pennridge team in the first round of the District 1-3A playoffs Monday afternoon.

The 13th seeded Warriors scored the game’s first three goals and cruised to a 4-2 win over the 20th seeded Rams at Methacton High School.

The first goal came less than three minutes into the game. Elena Snodgrass carried the ball through the circle and ripped a shot to the goalie’s right and into the back of the cage.

“We really like to go by the two-minute rule,” Methacton coach Amanda Fuertsch said. “The first two minutes of the game, the first two minutes after a goal is scored either for us or against us, the last two minutes of the game — that’s really what we’ve gone by this year and we’ve pretty much stuck to it. That’s why we came out with that mentality.”

The Warriors doubled their lead 11 minutes later. On a penalty corner, Snodgrass inserted to Alexa Kratz, who place her shot in the bottom left corner of the goal.

It was Methacton’s first of three goals on penalty corners. Rachel Alderfer scored the other two — both in the second half and both assisted by Snodgrass.

“Recently (corners) have been horrible,” Fuertsch said of her team going 3-for-15 on corners. “We’ve barely scored on any corners. It was really nice to see us execute corners. Even though we had a lot of corner opportunities today, even if we didn’t score on all of them, I think we executed our corners well and we got shots off the corners. That hasn’t even been happening recently. I think we did a really good job with that.”

“I just try to be aggressive,” Alderfer said. “We just look for the open pockets and try to place people in them and shoot as much as we can. We’ve been having a real problem trying to get the ball in the net.”

Methacton put 12 shots on goal to go along with its 15 penalty corners.

Pennridge totaled three shots on goal and three penalty corners — all coming in the second half.

“We came in nervous,” Pennridge coach Becky Spahr said. “(Methacton is) a team that has a lot of playoff experience. We’ve been getting more the last few years, but we came in nervous. Once we got that figured out we got ourselves a lot more offensive chances, which is what you need in a game like this. I was really happy with our younger players getting some experience so we can carry this on in the future and win some of these games.”

The Rams got on the board with 17 minutes remaining in the game when Emily Amsden scored on a penalty stroke. She lifted the ball to the goalie’s left to cut her side’s deficit to two, 3-1.

“We just said, ‘There’s nothing to lose, let’s just go for this,’” Spahr said. “Methacton is very strong offensively. They get a lot of shots on cage. We knew we had to match that. We do have a lot of youth up front, so they got some experience today getting some shots on cage, which is important.”

Pennridge’s final goal came in the game’s final minute. Macy Price found the back of the cage on a penalty corner.

Methacton advances in the District 1 tournament and will face No. 4 Perk Valley in the second round Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. at The Training Center in Pottstown. The Pioneer Athletic Conference rivals split their regular season meetings, with Methacton winning 3-2 at Perk Valley and Perk Valley winning 2-1 at Methacton.

“We’ve been rivals for a few years now,” Alderfer said. “It’s very important to both teams. Getting back and trying to get a win is very important to all of us. I know we all really want it.”

Pennridge’s season ends with the 4-2 defeat.

“Good year,” Spahr said. “The goal is get in playoffs. The goal is get into the second round. We’ve got stuff we still want to work for, but a good year, great girls, good team.”

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