Times Chronicle & Public Spirit

UM holds off Wiss’ rally

- By Andrew Robinson

Annalise Messina wasn’t going to let herself lose.

The Upper Moreland midfielder had come out on the wrong end of a few fourth quarter draw controls Friday night, those aiding a frantic Wissahicko­n rally. Messina does a lot for the Golden Bears, from scoring to passing to taking the draw, so she stepped up ready to fight for one more possession.

UM made enough plays in the fourth quarter to make sure its first three quarters of work stood up in a wild 14-12 win over the visiting Trojans on Friday.

“I lost two previous to that, so I just really wanted that one,” Messina said. “I wasn’t going to give up.

“They were using a draw stick, I just use a regular stick, so I had trust in my circle people to box out and let me go for it.”

Both teams donned green shirts for warm-ups in support of Morgan’s Message, a non-profit that promotes mental health awareness in young athletes.

Messina had five goals, three assists and 11 draw controls while pacing an Upper Moreland effort that had plenty of contributi­ons. Senior twins Molly and Olivia Meakim had the attack flowing, Molly picking up four goals and an assist while Olivia had two goals and two assists. Maggie Morrow, Keira Hess and Avery Adamski also scored, giving the Bears six different scorers.

Defensivel­y, goalie Addi Hurley made eight saves, including a crucial stop with 6:25 left in the fourth during Wissahicko­n’s comeback run. The Bears’ defense, featuring two freshmen in Leah King and Madeline Cox alongside Adamski and Cambrie Richmond was proactive and disruptive, especially in the third quarter.

“That was a little scary,” UM coach Kim Frantz said of the frantic finish. “Wissahicko­n did a great job of pouring it on and got the momentum on their side. We were able to hold them off, we luckily got enough of a lead early. If there were five more minutes in that game, I don’t know.”

While Wissahicko­n’s rally fell two goals short of erasing a deficit that was as large as 13-6 at the start of the fourth, the Trojans had plenty of contributo­rs as well. Alexa McCabe led the offense with four goals, Sam Farno had a hat trick and Lila Marciniak and Emma Greenberg each scored a pair of goals.

It was Farno and Marciniak, both freshmen, and Nora Ryan that helped fuel the comeback effort with their combined efforts on the draw circle. Elle Stein and Chloe Acuna anchored the Wissahicko­n defense.

“It’s just the girls having confidence in the game they can play,” Wiss coach Chuck Wurzbach said. “Sometimes in this game, there’s a little bit of self doubt about what you can do. (Upper Moreland)’s a very good defensive team and we

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