Con­estoga nabs dis­trict ti­tle

McGil­lis’ three goals lift Pioneers to first Class AAA ti­tle

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - SPORTS - By Bill Ru­dick bru­dick55@gmail.com @bru­dick55 on Twit­ter

Fifth-seeded Cen­tral Bucks West came into Satur­day’s Dis­trict 1 Class AAA field hockey cham­pi­onship off an emo­tional semi­fi­nal vic­tory over topseeded Unionville, that coach Court­ney Lep­ping called the most im­por­tant in her ten­ure.

They were rid­ing high and feel­ing con­fi­dent against No. 2 Con­estoga, and came out of the game fir­ing. But, the Pioneers found a con­nec­tion the Bucks couldn’t seem to stop, as Emma McGil­lis recorded a hat trick to help Con­estoga post a 5-2 win for its first dis­trict ti­tle.

“Yes, this is an amaz­ing feel­ing,” said Con­estoga coach Megan Smyth. “We just came in here tonight with the right en­ergy, and once they start mov­ing the ball the way we did, it’s a tough team to stop.”

West got out to the early lead, when Bryan Boy­lan scored the game’s first goal off a penalty cor­ner just over three min­utes into the con­test.

“Yes, this is an amaz­ing feel­ing. We just came in here tonight with the right en­ergy, and once they start mov­ing the ball the way we did, it’s a tough team to stop.” – Con­estoga coach Megan Smyth

Con­estoga was vis­i­bly mo­ti­vated by the early deficit, and be­gan to put se­ri­ous pres­sure in­side the cir­cle, forc­ing seven cor­ners over a 10-minute span. Awarded a cor­ner at the 12:55 mark, Kiley Allen put the ball in play on the in­sert, send­ing it in to Char­lotte de Vries at the top of the cir­cle. She moved to her left along the cir­cle, then un­leashed

a shot to­wards the cage, send­ing it in front of a drawn out Laura Ku­bit in goal. Wait­ing just beyond Ku­bit was Emma McGil­lis, all by her­self, to make the easy tap in.

Two min­utes later, Ryan Murray put the Bucks back on top, slip­ping a goal in a crowd for a 2-1 lead. The ad­van­tage couldn’t have been much more short-lived, as 16 sec­onds later, de Vries sent an­other cross to McGil­lis and an­other score to tie it at 2-2.

“We all just wanted this

game so bad,” said McGil­lis. “We know we have the tal­ent level to score on cor­ners, we prac­ticed our cor­ners all week, and ev­ery­one knew we had to take ad­van­tage of them tonight. We’ve got­ten a lit­tle fur­ther each year I’ve been here, so it’s great to fi­nally come out on top.”

The two found each other once again be­fore the end of the first half, this time with McGil­lis scor­ing de­spite tum­bling over Ku­bit, who came out ag­gres­sively to make the un­suc­cess­ful

at­tempt at a save.

“It’s al­ways great to be able to an­swer a goal with one of your own,” said de Vries. “We never worry too much about get­ting be­hind be­cause we know what we can do. This is a great feel­ing to know we are the first in pro­gram his­tory.”

The Pioneers notched an­other pair of goals in the sec­ond half, a rocket from about the 10-yard line from de Vries, and Kylie Allen with a de Vries as­sist iced it with a score 4:21 to play.

“They didn’t do any­thing that caught us by sur­prise,” said CB West coach, Court­ney Lap­ping, “We knew they were a strong team with a lot of de­fen­sive weapons and we would have to be at our best. I don’t think we played badly and these girls have noth­ing to hang their heads about. We just have to put this be­hind us and get ready for the state tour­na­ment next week, our sea­son is far from over.”

The Bucks will face Dis­trict 11 run­ner-up Strouds­burg, while the Pioneers move on to play Her­shey, the fourth place fin­isher from Dis­trict 3 in the first round of the state tour­na­ment Tues­day at a site and time to be an­nounced.

“This is just phase two of our goals, so we’re not done yet,” said Smyth. “We’re go­ing to en­joy this amaz­ing feel­ing for tonight, but then we’ll get right back to work on the next phase of our goals.”

BILL RU­DICK — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Con­estoga’s Char­lotte de Vries cel­e­brates as time runs out in the Dis­trict 1 Class AAA Field Hockey Cham­pi­onship against Lower Me­rion on Satur­day.

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