Knights drive Fords out of districts, advance to quarters

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Molly Agriss

North Penn boys soccer team celebrating their first playoff victory.

Towamencin- After winning their sixth consecutive conference title, the North Penn boys soccer team had adrenaline rushing through their veins, giving them enough edge to secure a victory over Haverford last night. 

The North Penn Knights (13-3) stood their ground and knocked off the Fords 3-2 for a big 3-2 win. Haverford took a 2-1 lead in the middle of the first half, but the Knights came back putting two in the back of the net during the second half to advance to the District 1 Quarterfinals on Saturday against Lower Merion. 

“That team had the best of us in the first half, but we changed things up and put some of our big boys up top, but that was a really good team,” Knights’ head coach Chris Depeppe said.

Starting the game off strong with 32 minutes remaining in the first half, senior Jovani Gonzalez took a shot in the box and the ball blasted in, hitting the right side net with no shot of a save from Haverford’s keeper.

“Well obviously it’s not all me, but it’s the whole team that contributed to it,” Gonzalez said.

Throughout the game, goalkeeper and senior Gabe Kemp made a total of six saves. Although Haverford was able to tuck two away after winning a 1v1 and scoring off a corner, Kemp held down a strong defense making it possible for the successful outcome of the game.

I feel like we thrive off of each other and it shows after one good thing happens, another good thing happens then they snowball into a win”

— Gabe Kemp - NPHS Soccer

“I feel like we thrive off of each other and it shows after one good thing happens, another good thing happens then they snowball into a win,” Kemp stated.

Junior Nate Kim helped create many opportunities for the Knights after taking multiple free kicks and corner kicks. After a Haverford foul, Kim took a free-kick from 25 yards out almost resulting in a goal from senior Jake Myers. The outcome of this being a corner kick, taken by Kim, made it possible for senior Achilles Triantafyllos to deliver the Knights their second goal of the night, tying up the game.

“Achilles is a competitor. He’s a left-back and he’s got three or four goals for this season and he gets another one for us tonight to tie it up,” Depeppe said. “Sometimes you see guys raising their level this time of the year and he’s certainly doing that.”

 With 27 seconds left in the game, Gonzalez scored his second goal of the night assisted by Kim’s free-kick. The clock ran out and North Penn made it through their first round of playoffs. 

“I think that as a team we move the ball well and even when we were down 2-1 I feel like we never gave up. We knew we could come back and I think those last two goals that we had in the second half were purely just us wanting it more,” senior captain Alex Stewart explained.

Nate Kim takes a free kick. (Molly Agriss)

To say these guys were proud of their hard work would be an understatement.

“It’s beautiful. Winning the conference title was our first goal and now we move on in districts. This team played with heart today so it was really good to get that win,” senior captain Hunter Stites stated.

“It feels great. We are definitely pumped, but we gotta focus on the next round of course because Lower Merion is a big one. We are confident that we can get the win,” exclaimed Kim.

The boys will advance into the next round of playoffs playing Lower Merion this upcoming Saturday, hungry for another win. 

“It feels good to get this win today, but we were expecting to get the conference and make it far in districts, so I’m not really satisfied yet,” Stewart stated.