Evans’ four goals lead Knights past Trojans

The+Knights+make+a+splash+with+a+big+win+over+Wissahickon+in+a+tight+match+that+went+down+to+the+wire.+

Jess Wendowski

The Knights make a splash with a big win over Wissahickon in a tight match that went down to the wire.

TOWAMENCIN- An evenly matched game between the North Penn girls water polo team and the Wissahickon girls water polo team had the outcome of the game all depend on the last minute and a half. At one second left, the Trojans took a possible game-ending shot that was blocked by the Knight’s goalie, Zoe Welsh,  resulting in another win for the Knights.

Thursday night, the Knights (6-2 conference, 7-3 overall) played an aggressive and hard-fought game, defeating the Trojans (6-4 conference) 7-6 in a suspenseful match. While the game didn’t look too promising as it just kept going back and forth, the girls pushed through and came out on top.

Starting off with the sprint off in the first quarter, North Penn gained first possession of the ball. It didn’t take much time before a turnover and the ball was then in Wissahickon’s hands. Wissahickon scored the first goal of the game only a minute in, but North Penn matched that energy as senior captain Brenna Mancini scored a goal not even 20 seconds after.

“Our drives on offense were a really key strength during this game,” senior captain Anna Evans stated.

With only three minutes left, Wissahickon found the net again. The Knights defense and offense both worked to end the first quarter tied 2-2 after Evans drifted a goal right over the goalie’s head.

“I feel like we have been working a lot with transitions in practice and going back and forth. Honestly just swimming again at practice just really helped us a lot,” sophomore Maddie Faikish explained.

The second sprint off of the night resulted in Wissahickon possession. Two saves early on in the quarter kept the Knights goalie on her toes with one shot fired after another by the Trojans. The Knight’s defense continued to shut down the Trojan’s offense making it very difficult for them to get any shots in.

“I definitely feel like our defense was really strong. They have a lot of really good shooters and I feel like us being able to shut them down on the outside got in their head and then they started overshooting every ball,” Evans stated.

Halfway into the quarter, Evans scored two key goals. One hard, low line drive and another with two defenders trying to block her but yet again just drifting it right over the goalie’s head into the back of the net which ended the first half in North Penn’s favor with a 4-2 lead.

“We were really good with our press tonight. They have a couple of very good girls so we just have to make sure their main player doesn’t get a clean shot off and shoot it through the defender and through the goalie, so we did a really good job of eliminating that,” varsity head coach Jason Grubb emphasized.

Coming back fired up from halftime, the Knights won the sprint-off and maintained good possession for the first few minutes of the quarter. After a turnover by North Penn, Wissahickon took advantage and shot one ball after another giving them two more goals. Going for a third, the ball rebounded off the goal frame into North Penn’s possession. Evans swam with the ball towards the net, passed to Mancini who then assisted North Penn’s fifth goal of the night scored by Faikish.

We have some returners from last year’s team and now it’s time for the newer players to step it up and carry the tradition on”

— Jason Grubb, Head Coach

“We have some returners from last year’s team and now it’s time for the newer players to step it up and carry the tradition on,” Grubb said.

Wissahickon scored one more final goal ending the quarter with a 6-5 lead. As the whistle blew starting the fourth and final quarter, North Penn once again gained possession in the sprint-off. While Wissahickon’s offense consistently took shots, the Knights played a tough defense making it hard for them to get a clear view of the net.

“One of our strengths is toughness. They finally got a good tough win. We’ve had two tough losses this year so hopefully that gives them a little kick in the pants,” Grubb emphasized.

With two minutes and 26 seconds left, Evans scored a goal tying up the score. The intensity from both teams started to elevate as the clock ran down. While Wissahickon fought for that game-winning goal, their defense wasn’t able to stop Evan from putting one last goal in the back of the net to win the game.

With one second left and a wide-open shot, Wissahickon took a shot that was blocked by the Welsh as the buzzer went off.

Our mindset for this game has really changed. In the last minute we knew we had it, we knew we had to fight for it and there was no backing down.”

— Maddie Faikish, North Penn sophomore

“Our mindset for this game has really changed. In the last minute we knew we had it, we knew we had to fight for it and there was no backing down. I feel like our captains really pushed us to get where we were. There were no bad mindsets, it was just like let’s keep going,” Faikish stated. 

The girls dive in again this Monday, October 3rd, at Souderton.

“With all of us in the water, once we all had a connection, I feel like we all knew the game plan we just needed to take it out, fulfill it, and that’s what we did,” Faikish explained.