LOWER POTTSGROVE >> Boyertown had advanced to the second round of the District 1-3A field hockey playoffs each of the last two years, only to suffer a season-ending loss on both occasions. The third time turned out differently, however, as the Bears got past that roadblock with a 6-2 win over Kennett on Wednesday afternoon at Pottsgrove’s Falcon Field.
Six different players scored for No. 4 seed Boyertown (17-4), which advances to a quarterfinal contest on Friday at the same location against Methacton, a 5-1 winner over Haverford, in a rematch of the PAC title game. The quarterfinal winners will clinch spots in the the PIAA Class 3A Tournament.
“We got past the game we weren’t able to get past the last two years,” said Bear coach Alicia Terrizzi. “But it’s a different team. We’re significantly better this year.”
“It feels amazing,” said Bear junior Peyton Shellaway, who had a goal and two assists. “I don’t think we were expected to get this far. It shows we belong here.”
The Bears dominated the play in the first quarter as they racked up six penalty corner opportunities to none for the No. 13 seed Blue Demons (12-7-1). But Kennett junior goalkeeper Marta Tresoldi made seven saves to keep the score at 0-0.
Boyertown, the Pioneer Athletic Conference runner-up, finally broke the ice with 5:58 left in the second quarter when Taylor Havrilla scored off a pass from Shellaway. Then Emily Ulrich scored with 3:33 remaining until the half on an assist by Sarah Rothenberger to make it 2-0.
“We were there the whole time,” said Shellaway. “We knew we had to keep going until we finished it.”
“I think we struggled with the speed of the turf or lack thereof,” said Terrizzi. “Overall, we did some really nice things.”
A goal by Kendal Gilbert off a rebound made it 3-0 eight minutes into the third quarter. Then Ches-Mont League American Division champion Kennett got on the board on a score by Morgan Carter with 56 seconds left in the period.
But the Bears put the game away in the first five minutes of the fourth on goals by Maya Brunner (on a rebound), Hannah Ulrich (assisted by Shellaway) and Shellaway (assisted by Gilbert). Margo Schwarz slapped home a shot for Kennett to complete the scoring.
The Blue Demons’ strongest play came in the early stages of the second quarter as they earned four straight corners and seemingly took a 1-0 lead on a corner play five minutes into the period. But the goal was waved off because the ball never left the circle before the shot.
“We started to come alive in the second quarter,” said Kennett coach Meghan Shumway. “We started to figure out the play in the second quarter. I think they started to wear us down after the second quarter. They passed the ball really well.”
“We had a lot of nice passes and combinations,” said Terrizzi. “And a lot of nice cuts up field.”
The Bears wound up with 14 corners to five for Kennett. Tresoldi, in her first season on the varsity squad, finished with 14 saves and Boyertown goalkeeper Addison Galianese made four stops.
“We were just trying to use all of our options and start converting on our corners,” said Shellaway. “We have a lot of threats.”
Kennett had downed Central Bucks South 2-1 in double-overtime on Monday while the Bears had earned a bye by virtue of being ranked in the top eight in the 24-team district bracket.
“We’re pretty young,” said Shumway, who had five seniors on the roster this season. “We lost 10 seniors last year. We had almost a brand new team this year, but we were able to reach the same position as last year.”
Friday’s quarterfinal losers will have two more tries to earn one of the district’s seven berths in the state field.
“It just feels good to get past that game,” said Terrizzi. “We told the players this is the fun time of the year.”