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Drabick’s hat trick lifts Wissahickon over Souderton in District 1-3A first round

LOWER GWYNEDD  >>  A playoff hat trick was more than Aiden Drabick could have asked for Monday afternoon.

“I’m just happy I scored to be honest,” the Wissahickon senior said. “That’s crazy to me that even that happened.”

The Temple commit proved to be the difference in the District 1-3A field hockey first round matchup between the No. 8 Trojans and visiting No. 9 Souderton, scoring her third goal to break a 2-2 tie off a corner early in the fourth quarter and Wissahickon held on to edge the Indians 3-2.

“I don’t know if she told you she wasn’t feeling all that well when we started but I think adrenaline kicks in and she just turns on some lightbulb or something inside of her,” said Trojans coach Lucy Gil of Drabick. “She’s the real deal. I think she’s that good.”

The teams played in the rain seven days earlier at Souderton and needed overtime before the Trojans came away with a 1-0 win. A week later, it was cool and clear on Wissahickon’s faster turf and while there was more offense, the matchup remained a tight affair and again went in the Trojans’ favor.

“This was a very different game because it was so much faster,” Souderton coach Sue Casciato said “Our field’s like a lot slower and then in playing in the rain that really slowed it down so it was a different game today. We played them hard last time too but I felt today we had a better team effort, but like I said we couldn’t shut Aiden down when we needed to.”

After scoring the opening goal at 3:12 in the first quarter, Drabick gave Wissahickon (12-4-0) a 2-0 lead just 40 seconds into the second quarter. Lauren Kenah, however, pulled Souderton within a goal 1:44 before the break with Big Red tying things at two as Jose Doughty put in an Autumn Hunter cross with a minute left in the third.

“We were in control of the game — we weren’t in control of the score,” Casciato said. “So I don’t think they were down at all. They know we have the ability to score and we have good team speed. But hats off to Aiden she’s a great player.”

Drabick collected the game-winner on the Trojans’ fifth and final corner – sending a ball into the cage with 11:10 remaining to give Wissahickon a win in their district opener for the second straight season.

“We did stop a little bit — we weren’t as aggressive as they were,” Drabick said. “I think us getting those two goals we thought we were OK and we didn’t keep playing as strong as we were. But then once we realized they were scoring, we were like OK, no, we want to win, we’re going to next round of playoffs.”

The Trojans move on to the quarterfinals Thursday to host No. 16 Central Bucks South, which knocked off top-seeded Downingtown West 2-1.

“I’ve never been this calm for a district game,” Gil said. “Usually my stomach’s going, I’m shaking and today I was like, ‘You know what, it’s great to be out here and we’re just happy and it’s great that we have one more game at least.”

Souderton, which reached the PIAA tournament the previous two seasons by placing sixth in districts, finishes the year at 6-5-1.

“The good thing is we have a fairly young team,” Casciato said. “With the way things are right now hopefully we’ll have some opportunities to play offseason which we didn’t get to do last year. I think it kind of just hurt us a little bit more maybe than some teams because we were so young and there were a lot of things we wanted to accomplish in the summer or scrimmages and we just didn’t get to it.”

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Drabick tallied her hat trick to make it 3-2 on the second of back-to-back corners for the Trojans. Sophia Havrilla took the insertion pass and sent the ball left to Drabick, who drove towards the cage then flicked a shot through traffic and in at 11:10.

“We did our one corner where that side was open for us and I guess I just got lucky with the goal going in,” Drabick said. “It wasn’t really any type of strategy — it was just luck I think. “

Looking for the equalizer in the fourth, Souderton earned consecutive corners but Kenah’s shot on the first was blocked by goalie Alli Wood with a try on the second corner was stopped by Drabick’s stick.

“Obviously a little frustrating but I told the kids I can’t ask for anything more — we played super hard,” Casciato said. “We probably dominated the ball but their best player’s really good and she had three nice shots. We dominated the ball we just didn’t get enough shots off.”

Kenah cut the Indians’ deficit to 2-1 just before halftime, getting into the circle from the right flank and lifting a shot into the cage at 1:44.

Souderton knotted the game late in the third, Hunter crossing a ball in from the right side towards the front of the cage with Doughty there to put it in at 1:00.

“That was beautiful,” Casciato said. “And that’s what we keep saying, like we need more of those. Just cross the ball hard. Good things happen sometimes if you just get the ball hard into the circle. We can’t expect to dribble into the goal cage every time.”

Drabick gave the Trojans a 1-0 lead at 3:12 in first quarter off an Ella Hummel assist — Drabick driving to the top of the circle then ripping in a reverse shot.

“I just saw the top of the circle wide open and I just knew I had to take a shot whether it was going to go in or not,” Drabick said.

Drabick made it 2-0 at 14:20 second quarter, breaking down the field before knocking a shot into the far right corner at 14:20.

“I saw they were passing in and as our coach was saying step to every ball,” she said. “So I stepped to the ball and then I just went for it and I used my speed to try to get up there and try to score.”

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