Late mojo from Jojo pushes Knights past Rams

The North Penn boys Soccer teams wins its 23rd straight game in a tight contest with Pennridge

NP senior Jojo Dalwadi takes the ball up field in the Knights victory over Pennridge on 9.24.2020. Dalwadi would eventually net the game winner in a 2-1 final.

NP senior Jojo Dalwadi takes the ball up field in the Knights victory over Pennridge on 9.24.2020. Dalwadi would eventually net the game winner in a 2-1 final.

TOWAMENCIN – With fans in attendance for the first time all year, it did not take the North Penn soccer squad long to find the back of the net in their second game of the young season. 

Just 6 minutes in, Junior Jiovani Gonzalez made an outstanding run that ended with him putting the ball past goalkeeper CJ Dimmick, for his second goal in as many games. North Penn (2-0) knocked off conference rival, Pennridge (0-2) by a score of 2-1 on Thursday, extending their winning streak to 23 games, dating back to last season.

“He’s just a natural goal scorer (Gonzalez). You have to be an optimistic striker to time such a run and to even think that that ball might squeeze through there. He’s got a great finishing touch, and he seems to be always in the right spot,” Coach Depeppe said.

Gonzalez is starting to create great chemistry with his teammates on the field which is leading to more chances on net, which will result in more wins.

“I love playing up top with Gio; I feel like me and him have built some good chemistry through training camp and we’re starting to always know where each other are on the field at all times,” Co-Captain Josh Jones said.

The Knights headed to halftime in a tight game, holding a slim 1-0 lead. Great defensive play in the back from Hunter Stites and Ryan Mindick helped keep the Rams off the board in the first.

However the lead did not last long in the second half. Just 4 minutes in, Rams Carlos Erazo was tripped up in the box, and was awarded a penalty kick. The Rams sent Senior Ben Scary to the line in hopes of tying the game. Senior goalkeeper Sawyer Meade guessed correctly on the shot, but was just a second late and the game was tied up at 1. 

Towards the 50th minute, the game took a slight physical turn. In just the span of 10 minutes the Rams found a way to rack up three yellow cards, all coming from different players.

“The short season makes every game feel almost like a playoff one, which draws a bunch of tight one goal games that are going to make you defend,” Depeppe said.

With just under 10 minutes to play, chances were starting to fly both ways. It seemed like it was only going to be a matter of time until somebody broke the tie and found the back of the net. That’s when Jones hit a nice ball up to Senior Dominik Gedek, who beat a couple guys and took a shot on goal. The ball bounced off the keeper and trickled back slowly to the right post. Senior Jojo Dalwadi followed up on the shot and won the foot race to the ball and netted the Knights second goal of the day.

When I saw Josh play that ball to Dom, I knew Dom had the ability to take it down and attack their defenders and get a shot off. So the only thing I could think of doing was to crash the goal just in case the goalie bobbled the shot. Lucky for us, that is exactly what happened”

— Jojo Dalwadi - NP Senior

“When I saw Josh play that ball to Dom, I knew Dom had the ability to take it down and attack their defenders and get a shot off. So the only thing I could think of doing was to crash the goal just in case the goalie bobbled the shot. Lucky for us, that is exactly what happened,” Dalwadi explained.

This marked the second game in a row where the Knights recorded the game winning goal with under 10 minutes left to play. Continuing to win tight games down the stretch is going to be crucial in the Knights success going forward this season.

“I think it’s just a matter of staying plugged in. Pennridge had chances all game, but we stayed true and knew we were going to get that second goal. We just have to keep plugging away and eventually we’ll get it done,” Jones said.

The Knights will face off against Pennridge once again on Tuesday, October 13th at 3:30.

The Boys will be in action yet again next Tuesday when they kick off a two game road trip by traveling to face rival Souderton at 3:30.