Pennsbury vs. Central Bucks South

Pennsbury Comments
The scheduled game between Pennsbury and CB South had to be postponed twice due to field conditions. It was a home game for PHS so the grass field caused complications when the rain hit each time they were supposed to play. It was a good thing that the weather cooperated today because the PIAA deadline had arrived and we had to play or like Cinderella and her glass slipper fiasco, we would have turned into pumpkins and the game would have just disappeared. There is always a heightened anticipation for me when facing PT and her South team, explained head coach, Traci Curtis. Pat Toner is a huge mentor in the field hockey world and is someone I admire tremendously. She is full of endless knowledge of the game and has been successful for so long, but even better she is just a great person. What I love most is that as she guides her own team through a season she never hesitates to listen and share ideas with me about anything and everything. All I have to do is ask. I can reach out to her and she is always willing to talk and help, said Curtis. It is still surreal that I played against her when she coached at Council Rock back in the day and I was a player for Neshaminy. Now here we are standing on the sideline coaching opposite one another as SOL peers. It makes me both terrified and excited at the same time. Combine that crazy combo of feelings with the fact that it was our final game of 2022 and there I am aboard an emotional rollercoaster leading me out of the season, admits Curtis. Despite the feelings of "finality" that hung in the air, our girls came ready to play and leave it all on the field. South stuck first on a scrappy corner play putting them up 1-0 four minutes into the first quarter. The game went back and forth much of the time with both teams making great plays in all layers of the field. I feel like we forced them to alter their game a bit and react to our playing, which gave us the confidence to go with strength and take risks. The score remained 1-0 into the second quarter until the Titans connected on a cross and tip with five minutes left before half time. The energy was high and very positive in our halftime huddle, said Curtis. The girls were proud of themselves and excited to get out and battle back from the 2-0 deficit. They weren't allowing the losing score to harm their game and that was great to see. The Falcons had offensive opportunities that just missed by inches, but they never let down. Five minutes into the third quarter, Mia Popovich and Meg McClure did what they do so well and cleaned up after a corner shot to put it past the goalie. They are such sparks for us and work so well together with their combined speed, skill, and grit. It was a 2-1 game and getting more exciting by the second as PHS kept pushing forward and earning a few corners along the way. It was still a one goal game as the final fifteen minutes began. We were so proud of how everyone was playing and we could see it in their faces that the whole season of hard work had come together in that moment. It was happening right before our eyes - the "work in progress" mentality made sense. South is not a team that is going to just roll over and make it easy for anyone. They came out harder and more determined to protect their lead. You could sense their frustration with the flow of the game on grass, but their skill and game IQ far outweighed any lack of momentum. The Titans put in their third goal with eight minutes left in the game and that is where the score would stay. It was another great showing by PHS goalie, Jordan Vradenburgh, who tallied 11 more saves to add to her impressive career total. Liv Graebner, Riley Henderson, Reagan Ward, Gabby Darling, Angelina Kenney, Rylie Borgman, Ava Jordan, Kaylin Flannery, and Molly Murray battled hard and won many small moments as individuals and as a unit. We called a timeout with five minutes left and put all ten of our seniors into the game. It was the perfect way to finish - watching them all play together one last time was really special, said Curtis. Our season theme, #workinprogress, played itself out perfectly today. So many things came together and the growth of our team was palpable. When we look back starting at August and think of the story of the past two months, it is awesome and written the way only we can write it. We are grateful for the time we had to coach our seniors - Graebner, Martin, McClure, Murray, Patel, Stein, T. Vazapphilly and I Vazapphilly, Vradenburgh, and Ward. We stand behind them always as we send them off to finish out their senior year. Congratulations to a very talented CB South team. We wish them and all other teams the best of luck in playoffs. Thank you also to all of the refs who called our games and kept us playing safely. Until next year...
Central Bucks South Comments
CB South 3 - Pennsbury 1

Q1 11:07 Lily Haag (CBS)
Q2 4:43 Rebecca Zakrzewski (Megan Reilly) (CBS)
Q3 10:20 Mia Popovich (PHS)
Q4 7:45 Marielle Mauri (CBS)

Shots on Goal:
CBS 14

GK Saves:
Jordan Vradenburgh (PHS) 11
Emma Kraft (CBS) 1

Penalty Corners:

We were in a must-win situation in order to get into the playoffs. Knowing we had to play a very tenacious Pennsbury team on grass was a daunting task as we only practiced on turf this entire season. Lily Haag put us on the scoreboard early, but with Pennsbury's style of play, we knew that would probably not be enough. Rebecca Zakrzewski added a second goal on an assist by Megan Reilly. In the 3Q, Mia Popovich (PHS) scored to cut the lead to 2-1. As the momentum began to shift, we had to slow Pennsbury's quick transition and look for an opportunity to score. Marielle Mauri provided an insurance goal in Q4 and we held on for the win. We had trouble adjusting to the grass, but I am so proud of this team for finding a way to make it into the playoffs by winning all three games this week. Megan Reilly played very well this week, as did Rebecca Zakrzewski and Kaeli VanderSluis. Congrats to both teams on a hard-fought game.