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Emily Thomas scores two quick goals in Hatboro-Horsham’s win over Plymouth Whitemarsh

WHITEMARSH >> Emily Thomas isn’t left-footed, but you wouldn’t know that from watching her against Plymouth Whitemarsh Tuesday afternoon.

The Hatboro-Horsham junior used her left foot to score two goals in the first 6:34 against the Colonials. Her two quick scores were the difference in a 2-0 Suburban One League Liberty Division win at Plymouth Whitemarsh High School.

“In practice I try to use both (feet),” Thomas said. “That was weird to score two left-footed goals.”

The first goal came in the first minute. Set up by senior Maggie O’Neill, Thomas took her shot along the left wing and gave the Hatters (6-1) a lead just 28 seconds into the game.

“Maggie was just taking it up the field and we were kind of confused,” Thomas, who scored the only goal in the Hatters 1-0 win over PW at Hatboro-Horsham Monday, said. “I thought she was going to take it but then her touch was a little in front of her so I just stepped up and shot it. I didn’t even expect it to go in.”

The second goal was nearly identical. In the seventh minute, she carried the ball up the left side before sending it into the back of the net with her weaker foot, though the velocity of the shot showed no signs of weakness.

Neither of the SOL Liberty rivals could score over the final 73:26 of gameplay. The Hatters generated plenty of chances, but PW’s freshman keeper Caitlyn Dinh made 11 saves, including a leaping grab on an O’Neill free kick in the first half and a diving stop to keep Thomas from tallying a hat trick in the second half.

“They did a really good job,” PW coach Ryan Zehren said of his team. “After the second one went in, they really rose to the occasion a little bit more and really improved their play as the game went on, which is great – it’s what we ask for. They didn’t give up. They fought hard until the end of the game. A couple bounces here or there it’s a 2-1 game and it’s a different story. We didn’t take advantage of some of the opportunities that we had. Hatboro did and that’s that.”

The Colonials (2-4) played without nearly 10 of their regular contributors, but they aren’t using that as an excuse.

“The girls that are playing are stepping up and doing a good job,” Zehren said. “When we can get the team back together – we take it one day at a time. Everything is one day at a time. We’re just coaching up the girls we have here and they’re doing a great job of listening. They’re wanting to learn and they’re stepping in and doing a good job. There are a lot of positives from that. I’m glad that the girls getting the opportunity are making the most of it. We’re not trying to use anything as an excuse. It’s just ‘Who’s up next?’ They’ve done that and I couldn’t have asked for more from the girls than that.”

With just over a week remaining in the regular season, the SOL Liberty picture is taking shape. Hatboro-Horsham will face Abington for the league’s top spot Thursday afternoon at Hatboro-Horsham.

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