Knights blank Soudy in early season rivalry


Julia Shearer

Senior Kayla Balisalisa, a key player for the Knights defense last night dribbling up the field.

Conference rivalries sneak up quickly in the Suburban One League, but North Penn looked every bit ready for their trip to Souderton on Wednesday night.

Only four games into the season and the North Penn Knights took on their cross-town rival, the Souderton Indians. The Knights did not waste any time and started the game with intensity and put one after the other in the back of the net, defeating Souderton on their home turf.

The North Penn Knights (1-3) conquered the Souderton Indians (2-3) giving them a big 4-0 shutout win. The Knights started right off the bat keeping a closed defense on their end, giving the Indians little to no scoring opportunities.

“We’ve always played better and harder than some of the other teams so it feels good to finally win and get the results we worked for,” senior Kylie Holmes stated.

As the ball was on the Knights offensive side for the majority of the first half, they were given many scoring opportunities. After gaining possession from Souderton, Holmes played the ball back to senior Reyna Doherty in the back, giving her the chance to see the field and make a play. Doherty played a line-drive pass right down the sideline to Senior Andie Salmon who crossed the ball, making it possible for Sophomore Maddy Murphy to slot in the first goal of the night.

“Everyone works so hard on our team so we got the result we wanted and we are going to keep playing how we know how to play and everything will go well this season,” Murphy explained.

Taking a 1-0 lead into the second half, the Knights kept up the momentum on both offense and defense.

“Start the game how we finish the game, that’s what we say. We finish all our games with intensity but we don’t start them with intensity, so this whole game that’s what we did,” senior Abby Plaugher said.

Once the second half started, Souderton picked it up having a few breakthroughs, but North Penn quickly shut it down again, keeping the ball mainly in their offensive zone. At 13 minutes into the half, Doherty threw in the ball right to senior Lauren Blanch’s feet where she beat the defender one on one and took a touch past the goalie to score the second goal of the game.

North Penn Girls Soccer smiling for the camera after celebrating their big win. (Julia Shearer)

“We’ve struggled in the past trying to get goals. We get chances, we just miss so it was really fun to see the ball actually go into the back of the net this game,” Blanch stated.

Right after the second goal was locked in, Souderton forced a turnover which quickly turned into a breakaway. The ball was shot past the goalie, where defenders Plaugher and Junior Emily Patkos dropped back into the net to make a save that could’ve been fatal to the shutout.

With only 21 minutes left in the game, Murphy dribbled the ball down the sideline, out-running a defender just enough to give her an open cross at the endline. Senior Sydni Schorn crashed the net and was able to put her head on the ball, heading it right over the goalie into the net.
“It’s never a question of their effort, they are always playing very hard. It was just a matter of executing the things we wanted to do and tonight we really did that,” head Coach Mike Rio emphasized.

The Knights scored their fourth and final goal of the game with a breakaway from Holmes. They finished the game keeping possession of the ball, not allowing Souderton any chances.

“I think anytime you play a cross-town rival like Souderton and you go in and score four goals and win the game four nothing, they are gonna be feeling good and it should give them a lot of confidence to continue to play this way and continue to put balls in the back of the net,” Rio stated.

This Friday the Knights will play at Central Bucks South at 3:30, looking to keep their winning streak going.

“It’s a great win early in the season to definitely build that momentum and confidence as we go forward,” Rio said.