DeVries scores 4 goals, Conestoga ad­vances

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

WEST GROVE >> In Satur­day’s Dis­trict 1 cham­pi­onship game, Char­lotte deVries was cred­ited with an as­sist on four of the Pioneers five goals. Tues­day evening at Avon Grove, deVries opted to fin­ish things her­self, notch­ing all four goals in Conestoga’s 4-1 win over Her­shey in the open­ing round of the PIAA Class AAA field hockey tour­na­ment.

The Pioneers ad­vance to Satur­day’s quar­ter­fi­nal round, where they will square off against Dis­trict 3 run­ner-up Penn Manor, a 5-0 open­ing round win­ner over Pine Rich­land, at a site and time to be de­ter­mined.

“We were re­ally tested de­fen­sively in the first half,” said Pioneers’ coach Me­gan Smyth. “They

re­ally showed what they were made of, and car­ried that on to the sec­ond half.”

Un­like the last cou­ple of games for the Pioneers, they got to play with an early lead in­stead of erase an early deficit. Not quite three min­utes in, deVries got a ball just over mid­field, out­raced a Her­shey de­fender and un­leashed a shot from the top of the cir­cle to make it 1-0 Conestoga.

Over the next 12 min­utes, Her­shey amped up the pres­sure in­side the cir­cle, forc­ing six penalty cor­ners to just one for ’Stoga over that stretch. To make things more dif­fi­cult, se­nior cap­tain So­phie Grove went down af­ter be­ing struck by a shot on goal, and didn’t re­turn un­til the sec­ond half.

“We were all con­cerned to see So­phie go down,” said Pioneers’ goalie Ali Show­ers, who fin­ished the night with five saves. “But we also knew that Made­lyn (Weiss) was well-pre­pared to fill-in. We just had to stay pos­i­tive and keep play­ing our best.”

The Tro­jans fi­nally got on the board with a lit­tle over two min­utes to play in the first half when they were awarded a penalty stroke. Tay­lor Mas­sage took the stroke and banged one off the back of the cage to tie the game at 1-1.

Conestoga has had a habit all sea­son of an­swer­ing an op­pos­ing goal with one of their own, and in a fairly odd twist, were awarded a penalty stoke them­selves 30 sec­onds later. deVries took the stroke, and sent a rocket over the right shoul­der of Her­shey goalie Kit Olm­stead.

“I don’t think we’ve had a penalty stroke all year,” said deVries. “I was def­i­nitely ner­vous, but I just took a deep breath and got set. I didn’t re­ally try to read the goalie too much. I just took the shot and it went in. But this wasn’t just me, the whole team was great tonight. The de­fense in par­tic­u­lar was amaz­ing.”

The score made it 2-1 headed into the break, and Her­shey never seemed to re­cover.

“That was an im­por­tant part of the game,” said Smyth. “It was in­cred­i­ble to watch, but it was also a big turn­ing point in the game for us. We re­ally needed that to get a fire back un­der us. It did, and we car­ried that through the rest of the game.”

deVries would score twice more in the game, con­nect­ing on a back­handed bul­let from the top of the cir­cle with 13:43 to play, and one fi­nal time when Olm­stead cleared a shot, and deVries took the re­bound and slammed it home.

“She’s in­cred­i­ble,” said Smyth of deVries. “She’s just in­cred­i­ble. I couldn’t be more proud of her. She sets up her team­mates to score, but ob­vi­ously she can fin­ish if she wants to. I can’t say enough good things about her.”


Conestoga cel­e­brates af­ter Char­lotte deVries scored on a penalty stroke Tues­day night against Her­shey.


Conestoga’s Char­lotte deVries tries to get past Her­shey’s Tay­lor Mas­sage Tues­day night at Avon Grove.

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