Un­for­tu­nate fin­ish costs Bears re­sult against district champs

The Community Connection - - SPORTS - By Austin Hert­zog ahert­zog@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @AustinHert­zog on Twit­ter

BOY­ER­TOWN » Games like Fri­day’s sea­son opener be­tween Penns­bury and host Boy­er­town typ­i­cally come down to one thing: who can avoid the big mis­take.

Penns­bury could. Boy­er­town couldn’t.

The de­fend­ing District 1 Class 4A cham­pi­ons got off to a for­tu­itous win­ning start when Penns­bury se­nior Chris­tine Cataldo-Smith cap­i­tal­ized on a Boy­er­town de­fender’s slip in the sec­ond over­time for a 2-1 OT win in the driv­ing rain at Boy­er­town.

It was Cataldo-Smith’s sec­ond goal of the game, a sparkling start for a player that showed a nose for goal dur­ing the Falcons’ ex­cel­lent run to a District 1 cham­pi­onship and place in the PIAA Cham­pi­onships. She was a fa­mil­iar foil to other Pi­o­neer Ath­letic Con­fer­ence op­po­si­tion in 2017, scor­ing in district play­off wins over Owen J. Roberts (semi­fi­nal) and Spring-Ford (fi­nal).

It was a hard-luck fin­ish for Boy­er­town, which led by a goal early in the sec­ond half on a Mag­gie Kiene header from a Mikayla Moyer cor­ner kick.

That goal came against the run of play with Penns­bury largely in charge in the sec­ond half, a change from the first half where the Bears had the bet­ter of the op­por­tu­ni­ties. The Falcons were de­serv­ing of their score with close to 10 min­utes left in reg­u­la­tion when a Boy­er­town at­tempted clear­ance was pinged right back into the area on the right for sopho­more Gianna Durle, who cen­tered to a wide open Cataldo-Smith for two touches and an easy fin­ish to make it 1-1.

“I told ev­ery­one, ‘Take a breath, we can come back from this.’ That’s what we did last sea­son, es­pe­cially in the be­gin­ning of the sea­son,” Cataldo-Smith said. “We would find a way to pull through in the end.”

De­spite los­ing nine se­niors from that cham­pi­onship side, in­clud­ing Lizzy Kirk (Se­ton Hall), Dani Cady (West Ch­ester) and Jenna Peters (West Ch­ester), Cataldo-Smith says she’s op­ti­mistic about main­tain­ing the high stan­dard set dur­ing last year’s 19-2-2 cam­paign.

“It’s ex­cit­ing ac­tu­ally,” Cataldo-Smith said. “Some peo­ple were a lit­tle wor­ried – peo­ple that aren’t on the team but knew all the se­niors that grad­u­ated – that we wouldn’t have a good year. But even in try­outs and be­fore, we knew there were peo­ple that can step in. We lost two great wingers who re­ally helped us out last year but we have four dif­fer­ent play­ers that are sub­bing in and they’re re­ally putting in the work. It’s re­ally help­ing us.”

Both sides had halfchances in the over­time pe­ri­ods, but the game looked des­tined and de­serv­ing of a draw.

It’s why the slip on a ball in be­tween the back line and goal­keeper Mat­tie Gal­lagher that led to Cataldo-Smith’s open-net win­ner stung for Boy­er­town, but still left them to take some heart in the fact that they were right with an op­po­nent with pedi­gree that is bound for a win­ning record.

“It was phys­i­cal, both teams mir­rored one an­other, were strong de­fen­sively where there weren’t very many chances for ei­ther side,” Boy­er­town coach Bill God­dard said. “I’m dis­ap­pointed with the re­sult – I didn’t think we de­served the re­sult we got.

“(As­sis­tant coach) Matt (Dan­ner) and I were talk­ing and he said, ‘This game is go­ing to be de­cided by who makes a mis­take.’ And sure enough, we did. But I loved the ef­fort our kids gave. A year ago we went down there and they pushed us all over the place. The girls played re­ally well and I like where we are.”

The Bears bring back a good bit of ex­pe­ri­ence with se­niors Ryane Bern­stiel, Au­rora Con­rad, Grace Conover, Cas­sidy Lan­dis, Mackenzie Ha­ley, Sierra Lan­des, Kiene, Mackenzie Fatzinger and Bria Smith, while ju­nior Emma El­well and sopho­more Sa­man­tha Gof­fice looked promis­ing in the opener.

“We have 11 se­niors, good lead­ers, the team chem­istry is good and we have a nice bunch of ju­niors and sopho­mores that have com­ple­mented things,” God­dard said. “I think we’re al­ways go­ing to be in the con­ver­sa­tion in the league and hope­fully in the district this year.”

AUSTIN HERT­ZOG - DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

oy­er­town’s Mag­gie Kiene (18) is con­grat­u­lated by team­mates af­ter scor­ing a goal against Penns­bury in the sec­ond half Fri­day.

AUSTIN HERT­ZOG - DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Boy­er­town’s Bria Smith, left, sends a pass for­ward as Penns­bury’s Rosie Bos­tian pres­sures Fri­day.

AUSTIN HERT­ZOG - DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Penns­bury’s Chris­tine Cataldo-Smith, left, goes in for a slide tackle against Boy­er­town’s Ryane Bern­stiel dur­ing their game Fri­day.

AUSTIN HERT­ZOG - DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Boy­er­town’s Mor­gan Kline (17) and Penns­bury’s Rosie Bos­tian bat­tle for the ball Fri­day.

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