Pen­nridge up­ends N.penn

North Penn Life - - SPORTS - By An­drew Marcus amar­cus@mont­gomerynews. com

Seven years of los­ing to the North Penn wa­ter polo team only made the 11-8 win that much sweeter for the Pen­nridge boys on Thurs­day. As the clock ran GRZn Ln WKH IRurWK TuDrWHr, the Rams felt like they were walk­ing on wa­ter.

The Rams spent years and count­less hours look­ing for the for­mula to knock off last yHDr’V (DVWHrn CRnIHrHnFH champs. They found it within the ded­i­ca­tion they put to­ward metic­u­lous de­fense. The Knights tried to use their speed to catch up to a 3-1 GH­fiFLW DIWHr RnH TuDrWHr, but never could pull even.

“There ded­i­ca­tion to one DnRWKHr KDV SDLG RII,” RDPV’ coach Ken Vin­cent said. “TKHy GLG HxDFWOy ZKDW ZH wanted to as far a de­fen­sive game. We could not let North Penn run away with the score and the guys SODyHG SrHFLVH GHIHnVH.”

It was se­nior Josh Ap­ple’s job to mark the Knights’ nuPbHr RnH VFRrLnJ RSWLRn, BrHWW (OVH. WKLOH (OVH WDFNHG on a few goals late to keep LW LnWHrHVWLnJ, WKH firVW WKrHH quar­ters were won by Ap­ple and the Rams’ de­fense. ApSOH, ZKR nRW RnOy DGGHG D JRDO DnG WKrHH DVVLVWV, PDGH fivH VWHDOV DnG rHFRrGHG IRur fiHOG bORFNV.

“They tried to beat us and JHW DrRunG uV, buW ZH VWDyHG LnVLGH,” ASSOH VDLG. “I KDvH been play­ing against Brett for a while and he is real good. I did my best to con­tain him and the rest of the WHDP VWHSSHG uS.”

The Knights were well aware the Rams were payLnJ HxWrD DWWHnWLRn WR WKHLr WZR-PHWHr RIIHnVH, buW ZHrH un­able to con­nect from other po­si­tions in the pool. They Knights con­nected with the cage’s cross­bar far too of­ten to keep up with the rapidly im­prov­ing Rams. The Rams’ of­fense was led by David Zur­muhl with four goals and 0LNH /DZVRn, ZKR VFRrHG three times.

“We are all get­ting betWHr HvHry GDy Ln SrDFWLFH,” Ap­ple said. “We are mesh­ing right now and it’s a great win to win against a team like this. Last year was the firVW yHDr IRr D bunFK RI Rur guys and now we are makLnJ LW KDSSHn.”

The Knights lost many var­sity play­ers from last year’s WHDP, ZKLFK ZHnW WR WKH VWDWH cham­pi­onship game. HowHvHr, RSSRVLnJ WHDPV GR nRW

know the names, just that the light blue caps are typ­i­cally seen as the mea­sur­ing stick around the area.

“We have one var­sity player that came back,” Knights’ coach Ja­son drubb said. “We DRH VWLOO WRyLNJ WR fiNG RuR LGHNtity. Ev­ery team is look­ing to beat us. Pen­nridge played a great game tonight and de­served to win.”

The Rams will cel­e­brate WKH NLJKW WKHy fiNDOOy fiJuRHG out the Knights, but then it is back to busi­ness for a busy week­end of tour­na­ments. sin­cent did not need this mon­u­men­tal win for the pro­gram to know he had the ath­letes to be in this po­si­tion.

“They now know this is a sport where we can com­pete,” sin­cent said. “We can play head-to-head with any­one in the state. I don’t be­lieve this win takes my ex­pec­ta­tions up any be­cause with this group my ex­pec­ta­tions were al­ready in the stars.”

The North Penn girls’ wa­ter polo deals with the same tar­get that the Knights deal with, but han­dled the hun­gry Lady Rams with some ease. It was the Rams’ sic­to­ria Redmond’s early goal the re­minded the Maid­ens they could not af­ford a slow start.

“I have been in this for many years, so I am used to the com­pe­ti­tion,” Maid­ens’ coach Bill Bar­tle said. “But all of the credit goes to the girls. We may have come out a lit­tle slow of­fen­sively, but they played strong de­fense and that is all you can ask.”

The Maid­ens did not al­low DNRWKHR JRDO DNG uVHG D fivH­goal third quar­ter to earn the 10-1 win. Jenn Hal­co­v­age scored three goals and Aspen Trautz tal­lied four scores in the vic­tory. The Maid­ens jumped on ev­ery loose ball and pad­dled the length of the pool for high per­cent­age scor­ing chances.

“There are things we need to im­prove on, but I am happy the way our girls played,” Bar­tle said. “We have al­ways had the phi­los­o­phy that you win with good de­fense. This year we have a bal­anced team, but a ways to go.”

The Rams were en­cour­aged by its de­fense dur­ing WKH fiRVW 14 PLNuWHV, ZKLFK had them within an arm’s reach at 4-1, but are still look­ing for the for­mula that works best for them. The Rams moved play­ers all over the pool and though they came up empty too of­ten, they re­main pos­i­tive about their bright fu­ture.

“We had a good half were a lot of our girls con­tin­ued to show im­prove­ment,” Rams’ FRDFK 5yDN GRLI­fiWKV VDLG. “We passed the ball well and had great team de­fense. lur lack of depth, where North Penn has 20 girls that can jump in hurts us. This is an eye-opener for our girls. These are the teams we need to beat.”

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