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PCL Field Hockey: Bonner & Prendie Hoping for Repeat Playoff Success & In this Week's RU Inquiring Minds Want to Know...Did You Say Bluey?

By Mark Zimmaro (Photos by Mark Zimmaro), 10/15/23, 8:30PM EDT


By Mark Zimmaro (Photosn & Video by Mark Zimmaro)

PHILADELPHIA - Melanie Standen remembers that feeling of dramatic playoff hockey and she wants more of it.

The Monsignor Bonner & Archbishop Prendergast junior was a part of the hysteria last year as the Pandas upset Lansdale Catholic in a shootout in the quarterfinal round of the playoffs. And there’s nothing more she’d like than a repeat of that excitement.

“That was amazing against Lansdale Catholic,” Standen recalled. “That was the best game ever. Double overtime. It was crazy. I’m so excited for the next game against them because of how intense it was last year.”

That regular season matchup against the Crusaders on Monday should give each team a good sense of where it stands heading into the playoffs. Bonner & Prendie started its season with losses to Archbishop Carroll and Cardinal O’Hara before taking down Conwell-Egan and Archbishop Ryan. The Pandas were stifled by Archbishop Wood on Monday in a 2-1 loss but rebounded with a 7-0 shutout at Little Flower on Friday as Standen scored the first three goals of the game, including one on the final play of the first half to complete her hat trick.

“I’ve been scoring pretty well lately,” said Standen, who also plays basketball and lacrosse at Bonner & Prendie. “I was playing in the midfield earlier this season and got switched to forward about two weeks ago but it’s been good. I’ve been trying to score every game.”

In addition to Standen’s hat trick, Samari Rodriguez scored twice for the Pandas, while Lola DelGiorno and Grace Edwards each added a goal. Bonner & Prendie is 3-3 in the PCL with Lansdale Catholic and St. Hubert remaining on the schedule. They’re now thinking about the postseason.

“It felt good,” Senior defender Leah Walker said of the win over Little Flower. “We keep working and we play to get to the playoffs and championship. We have to keep working hard and today was a good win for us.”

Bonner & Prendie Senior Leah Walker

Standen believes there’s more to come.

The Pandas have been playing a tough non-conference schedule and she believes the team is rounding into form. She's hoping the increased offense will continue. She also doesn't mind being the one contributing the goals in her new role as a forward.

“Today really showed that we’re coming together with our offense,” she said. “Our offense had been struggling but I think we’ve been working hard in practice to get balls across and it’s coming together.”

Bonner & Prendie Junior Melanie Standen

Hard-luck Sentinels still Swarming

There might not be a team working harder to score a goal than the group of feisty players at Little Flower. The Sentinels have faced their fair share of struggles in the tough PCL and have come up empty both in the win column and the scoring sheet in their first seven games. Normally, you’d see sticks thrown and frowning faces each day as the final horn sounds on another loss. Not this group.

“I’m never disappointed. We’re just trying to get them more enthusiastic about it, which can be hard to do when you keep losing games,” Little Flower coach Tim McCartney said. “But they’re good kids and they forget about it the way you want them to. They like being out here.”

Waves of cheering from the sideline build up each time they get close. Senior Allyssa Seifert had a couple of rushes against Bonner & Prendie that just didn’t end up in the back of the cage. Then Lily Mackin had a grand opportunity that was swatted away in tight. The Sentinels are only a year removed from a complete restart of their program, which shut down for two seasons under the pandemic. They’re trying to find that second gear.

“It really does become a matter of trying to get more practice in, playing a team game,” McCartney said. “We try to have them carry the ball and make the pass, but they’re new at it.”

Little Flower coach Tim McCartney talks to his team prior to facing Bonner & Prendie. Photo by Mark Zimmaro

Ask Me Anything

This week, we go at a rapid pace and share the results of what kids shows our PCL field hockey stars will still watch as a teenager.

I polled more than 20 players from Archbishop Carroll, Archbishop Ryan, Archbishop Wood, Bonner & Prendie, Cardinal O’Hara, Conwell-Egan, Lansdale Catholic and Little Flower.

There were some solid choices here. And apparently SpongeBob SquarePants ratings are still through the roof. This reporter approves this segment … not that I watch any of these shows personally or anything. #BlueyDad 

Ask Me Anything - What Kid Shows do you still watch?

Fresh Face in the Cage

Conwell-Egan freshman goaltender Kayla Distler appears comfortable blocking shots, and there’s good reason. She’s also an ice hockey goalie. Distler has been making the transition to field hockey and so far, it’s been smooth sailing.

Conwell-Egan freshman goalie Kayla Distler makes a save in a game against Pennsbury earlier this season. Photo by Mark Zimmaro

“She had no field hockey experience coming in and she told me she wanted to try it,” Conwell-Egan coach Jennifer Walsh said earlier this season. “She has all the technique and all the skills and the instincts that a goalie should have, and then some. Sometimes it’s even hard for me to know what to teach her because I feel like she has it all. It’s just learning the game. She’s taken that pressure on and just really improved every game.”

The Eagles are clinging on to the sixth and final PCL playoff spot and can punch their ticket to the postseason with a win over Little Flower on Monday. 

Playoff picture Shaping Up

With just six regular season games left on the entire PCL schedule and the playoffs slated to begin on Friday, things are obviously taking form for the postseason. Cardinal O’Hara and Archbishop Carroll appear to be in the driver’s seat in securing the top two seeds that are accompanied by first-round byes. 

O’Hara (6-0) can secure its second straight undefeated PCL regular season with victories over Archbishop Ryan and St. Hubert this week. The Lions have won 20 straight regular season PCL games dating back to a 2-1 loss to Carroll on Sept. 22, 2021. 

Carroll is 6-1 and needs to defeat Archbishop Wood on Monday to lock up the second seed. Lansdale Catholic and Archbishop Wood are in a dead heat to decide the third and fourth spots as both are 5-2. The Crusaders have the inside track as they won the head-to-head meeting this season and face Bonner & Prendie in the season finale while Wood will square off against Carroll. 

Bonner & Prendie (4-2) still has a chance to make some noise with games against Lansdale Catholic and St. Hubert left, while Conwell-Egan would likely finish sixth with a victory over Little Flower. 

St. Hubert (2-4) would need some help to qualify in addition to potentially beating Bonner & Prendie and O’Hara to make the postseason.

PCL standings through October 15

Cardinal O’Hara 6-0

Archbishop Carroll 6-1

Lansdale Catholic 5-2

Archbishop Wood 5-2

Bonner & Prendie 3-3

Conwell-Egan 2-5

St. Hubert 2-4

Archbishop Ryan 1-6

Little Flower 0-7

Top six teams qualify for the PCL Playoffs.