CONSHOHOCKEN, PA – When it comes to sporting events, time and time again we have all heard a coach explain to their teammates to never give up until the final whistle blows…that the game is not over until it’s over…that each player needs to give 110 percent no matter the odds of winning.
On Friday night, as the clock ticked down to 30 seconds left in regulation time of the Philadelphia Catholic League girls’ field hockey championship game, Archbishop Carroll’s field hockey team could see a vision of themselves hoisting the PCL trophy.
It just so happened that Bonner-Prendergast’s team had the same vision.
Under pressure, with the game on the line, in what seemed like an impossible feat, Philadelphia Catholic League most valuable player Carly Brosious passed a perfectly placed ball to senior co-captain Allison Martin to tie the game 2-2 with 17.3 seconds left in the game.
Silence…then an eruption of cheers from the Panda’s sideline.
On one side, emotions ranged from stunned and shocked to dazed and frenetic. On the other side, equaled reactions, with an added dose of excitement and willpower.
However, amidst the vast range of emotions, there was still more field hockey left to be played.
“I was really confident going into the overtime that we were going to win,” said Panda’s senior co-captain and first team All-Catholic selection, Meghan Sullivan.
Sometimes an extra boost of confidence makes all the difference.
“I said to the girls, ‘This is it, you will win this game. Get possession of the ball and you will win the game.’ I was that confident,” said Bonner-Prendie’s head coach Joanne Dolan.
As overtime began, the Panda’s spirit ignited a proficient offensive attack. Brosious proved why she has righteously earned the title as Catholic League MVP as she received a corner feed from Martin in which she instinctively struck into the goal just 1:39 into overtime. At that moment in time, Bonner-Prendie’s season long dream became a reality.
“We started out our season with two goals in mind, to go undefeated in the PCL, and to win the PCL plaque. Check, check, we did both,” said Dolan. “They never gave up and they never lost confidence in one another. Going into tonight’s game, they were confident, confident to the point where they just played unbelievable together. I just credit that they never wavered from their goal set in August and now we are in November. It was just awesome.”
Leading up to this point was equally as exciting.
Under a brightly lit November moon, the teams took the field and fans from each side cheered in the stands and along the perimeter of Villanova’s field hockey field at the Proving Grounds. Brosious got things started early for the Panda’s, scoring her first of two goals off an assist from Reagan Dolan just 7 minutes into the first half.
Although only a freshman, Dolan has been a dominant force on offense for the Panda’s this season. Must run in the family... After the game, Dolan expressed how much she wanted to win the PCL title for her older sister Riley, who graduated from Bonner-Prendie last year and now plays field hockey for Villanova University.
“I really, really wanted to win for her,” said Reagan Dolan. “She had two opportunities to win it too, but she didn’t. So, I really wanted to do it for her.”
After hearing her younger sister’s accolades, Riley Dolan had some props of her own to bestow upon her sister, mother and former teammates.
“I have never really seen my sister play before in grade school, and she just did awesome out there. I’m so proud of her. And under that pressure, she did amazing and the team did amazing and worked together. I’m just so happy for my sister and my mom [coach Dolan] because they really deserve it,” said Riley Dolan, who was the Catholic League field hockey MVP in 2016.
Carroll senior Sydney D’Orsogna scored her team’s first goal of the game off an assist from Maeve Riehman with a little over 5 minutes remaining in the first half to send both teams into the half tied 1-1. (See above highlight video for all goals scored throughout the game).
During the brief intermission, Carroll’s band provided spectators with enjoyable melodies to lighten the mood while fans of both teams paced along the sidelines to lessen their nerves.
As the second half began, it was clear that the Patriots tightened up their plan of attack on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball. Carroll used its late first half momentum to make an early push. Katie LaBella added the Patriot’s second goal off another assist from Riehman at the 28 minute mark in the second half.
“Bonner-Prendie is one heck of a team and we knew that coming into tonight,” said Carroll head coach, Christine Elisio. “Carroll really did well. They showed up, they tried their hardest. I told them you’re just going to want to come back and want it just as much next year.”
Carroll ended its season with an overall 9-2 PCL record. During their 11 league games, the Patriot’s offense averaged 6 goals per game, while its defense limited its PLC opponents to scoring just 8 total goals. Carroll’s goaltender MaryKate Kearney recorded 9 remarkable saves during the championship.
After the game, Patriot’s senior co-captain Hannah Bateman left a few words of advice for her returning teammates for next season. Bateman explained that everyone’s contribution on the field is needed to return to the PCL championship, regardless of age or experience.
“As a freshman on the field, you should think of yourself as a senior, always fighting and working your hardest regardless of your age because none of that should matter when you are working as a team,” said Bateman.
As for Bonner-Prendie, it was a perfect ending to a perfect league season. The Pandas finalized their 2017 PCL season garnering an unblemished 11-0 record. This is the first time since 2009 that the Panda’s received the coveted rights to the PCL plaque. The team went on to play in the PIAA AA District 12 championship on Saturday afternoon. The Panda’s cruised to victory defeating Franklin Towne Charter 9-0. Bonner-Prendie will move on to play Berks Catholic on Tuesday, Nov. 7 at 2:00p.m. at the Germantown Supersite in the first round of the PIAA AA state playoff race.
Tag(s): Home Schools Philadelphia Catholic Villanova University Field Hockey Philadelphia Catholic League Arch. Carroll Field Hockey Arch. Ryan Field Hockey Arch. Wood Field Hockey Bishop McDevitt Field Hockey Bonner & Prendie Field Hockey Cardinal O'Hara Field Hockey Conwell-Egan Field Hockey Lansdale Cath. Field Hockey Little Flower Field Hockey Saint Hubert Field Hockey