Knights fall to Neshaminy in District semi-final

The+Knights+soccer+team+ended+their+2020+season+with+a+tough+2-0+loss+to+Neshaminy.+

Tyler Hamer

The Knights soccer team ended their 2020 season with a tough 2-0 loss to Neshaminy.

TOWAMENCIN – Heading into Tuesday, the North Penn boys soccer team stood just 2 wins away from a trip back to the State tournament. However in order to get there and continue their quest of retaining the state title, they must first defeat a tough Neshaminy Redskins team without having their main offensive threat on the field with them.

The 6th seeded Knights (10-3) fell to the 7th seeded Redskins (11-1-2) by a score of 2-0 on Tuesday in a hard fought, down to the wire, district semi-final matchup. Neshaminy will head home to face off against Pennridge in the finals on Thursday.

Senior Co-Captain and Lousiville Commit Josh Jones was sidelined on Tuesday evening after being diagnosed with spondylolysis (A stress fracture of the bones in the lower spine, alongside the vertebrate) in his lower back over the weekend. The injury would sideline Jones for 1-2 months, officially putting an end to his senior season.

“As soon as I heard the news my first concern was his future. Back injuries are nothing to trifle with so the news he got today has to be tough for him. Hopefully it is just going to be a little bit of rest and he is back, but the timing is what the timing is…and we can not control that. His health always comes first,” said head coach Chris Depeppe.

“We forced some mistakes but we did not generate enough offense in order to win. We did not play the way we wanted to play in terms of keeping possession but they’re the kind of team that makes you play a different style. They are really disruptive with everything they do and are a very fast, physical, and athletic team,” Depeppe said.

The Knights were playing back on their heels for most of the night. Strong defensive play in the back from Ryan Mindick and Kevin Murphy helped keep the game in check for the boys in the first half.

Heading to halftime with the score still being 0-0 was more of a win for the Knights than it was for the Redskins. The boys were struggling to get the ball onto Neshaminy’s side of the field and were not able to generate any kind of offensive attack whatsoever.

“I was more confident coming out of halftime that we were going to be able to get more going. I thought we kind of started to but it was just that kind of day. We could not really recover,” Deppepe said.

In the second half, the Redskins offense turned out to be too much to handle for the Knights. Senior Gavin Rowen broke through the defense in the 50th minute to break the tie and gave Neshaminy the 1-0 lead. Rowen would eventually score again 20 minutes later to put the game away for the Redskins.

It may have not been the ending the Knights wanted for their 2020 campaign, but after piling up another winning season; bringing their record to an outstanding 36-5 over the past 2 years, North Penn still has plenty to look forward to in the years to come.

“Guys like Stites, Mindy, Alex, Jiovani, Kim, and Mckeever are all coming back next year. We have a lot of good things in store for the future so nobody should be hanging their heads. We look forward to next year,” Depeppe added.

Guys like Stites, Mindy, Alex, Jiovani, Kim, and Mckeever are all coming back next year. We have a lot of good things in store for the future so nobody should be hanging their heads. We look forward to next year”

— Coach Chris Depeppe - North Penn