By: James Williamson
CONSHOHOCKEN, PA--In a match up with major Philadelphia Catholic League implications, Archbishop Carroll managed to narrowly defeat Bonner-Prendergast 1-0. With this win, Carroll (6-1) now sits second in the PCL behind Cardinal O’Hara(7-0). Bonner-Prendie is now (4-2 ) in league play.
After both teams lost to O’Hara the previous week, this game became a must-win in order to keep pace in the PCL. A loss would make the uphill battle of winning a Catholic League title all the steeper.
“[This win] was very important,” said Archbishop Carroll junior Karli Dougherty. “We were all mad about the O’Hara game, but having this win, it lifted us up to keep going.”
A chilly Conshohocken Battle Grounds saw both teams compete in a fiery first half, ending in a scoreless draw. Athleticism on both sides were equally paralleled and it showed throughout the contest as both teams played intense defense.
“We had opportunities to get the ball in the net with corners and play, but with it being so evenly matched, it was a battle on both sides,” said Carroll head coach, Christina Elisio.
“It was going this way, it was going that way, but we persevered - especially on our corners - and just didn’t back down.”
Coming out of the break, both teams picked up where they left off with evenly matched back and forth play. Then, about halfway through the second half, Dougherty broke up the tie and scored what would eventually be the game winning goal. Dougherty assisted by Carly Bateman, tipped the ball off of her stick in the middle of a scrum finding the back of the cage.
“I knew my teammates were where they’re supposed to be, and I was where I’m supposed to be. It was just good luck. It tipped off someone’s stick and because I was there and able to get it, and hit it right in," said Dougherty.
With plenty of time left in the game, Bonner-Prendergast had several opportunities to score. The Pandas were awarded several corners in the game’s waning minutes and came within inches of tying the game, but ultimately, Carroll’s defense prevailed with goalkeeper Grace DiMascio sealing the shutout with 4 saves.
“We were penetrating the ball on the right side and getting it down there. We just could not capitalize in the circle,” said Bonner-Prendergast head coach, Joanne Dolan. “You have to capitalize on your corners - I think we ended with eight corners - but you have to score on a corner.”
This win also holds special meaning for the Patriots. Two years ago, Bonner-Prendie defeated Carroll in overtime to win the PCL Championship and several members of the Patriots haven’t been quick to forget.
“It feels really good just because we’ve had such a rivalry through the years,” said Bateman.
“Two years ago, we played them in the championship and lost in overtime, and that’s really fueled the fire since then, just back and forth between us, but it’s always a really fun game to play against them.”
There are still two weeks of regular season to go before playoffs begin so, things are not over for the Pandas.
“We just need to keep working hard,” said Bonner-Prendergast defender Della George. “We’ve been working hard all season and there’s no reason for us to stop working hard just because we have a couple of loses. I think we still have a shot.”
“Prendie is a fierce team, they’re a fighting team, and they do not give up; as was evident today,” said Elisio. “They will continue to play their hearts out through the season and I’m sure, as the season goes on, we will see them again in the playoffs. They’re a great team.”
“[Our team] played a phenomenal first half and that’s what I hope they remember about this game; they’ll forget about the second half,” said Dolan. “We’ll see [Carroll] again, so we’ll be ready for them the next time for a full game.”
League play continues this afternoon as the Patriots host Archbishop Ryan.
Bonner-Prendergast will also play today at home against Lansdale Catholic.
Other League Action October 9, 2019
Archbishop Wood vs. @ Cardinal O'Hara
Bishop McDevitt vs. @ Conwell-Egan
St. Hubert's vs. @ Little Flower