Cardinals eliminate Knights in first round of Districts

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Jessica Wendowski

The Knights take half time to have a team talk as they continue into the second half of the game.

The Knight’s hard-fought season all came down to this. One game to determine if they move on or if they go home. The North Penn Boys Soccer team started the game fired up but unfortunately, their early momentum was not enough to fight off the Cardinals and keep their season alive. 

Tuesday night, the Knights (7-6-3) traveled to Upper Dublin (12-3-2) to play the Cardinals in the first official round of districts. As evenly matched as the teams seemed early, the Cardinals edged out the Knights scoring four goals and winning the game 4-1 ending the Knight’s season.

“Tonight I just think we never really gave up. We never refused to stop working even when it started to turn not in our favor. We just really kept pushing, really kept trying to get the next goal and our underclassman did a really good job shaking off mistakes and keeping our heads held high,” junior goalie Troy Nine stated.

The game started off with the ball in the Knight’s possession and it stayed that way due to the persistent effort of the Knight’s offense. Only ten minutes into the game, the Knights took a shot that deflected off the Cardinals goalie giving them a corner kick and an opportunity to score. Kyle Mckeever took the corner and passed the ball to senior Nate Kim. Kim served the ball into the box perfectly, setting it up for junior Brian Scott to put his head on it and score a header goal.

“Tonight’s game balls would go to Brian Scott, who played his best game in a North Penn jersey and scored a fabulous header, and Nate Kim who crossed that ball and was our leader and field general all year,” head coach Chris Depeppe emphasized.  

Even though the teams shared equal possession of the ball, the Cardinal’s offense was able to take advantage of the lulls by the Knights. Despite the Knight’s best efforts, the Cardinals scored four goals putting an end to the Knight’s season.

Even with the loss, great efforts from seniors Kim, Mckeever, Matt Willis, and Hayden Wagner were shown on the field. The Knights’ underclassmen stepped up both physically and mentally to prepare for the big shoes they have to fill next year. 

“I thought we had some amazing underclassmen just step into the biggest spots. Caiden Myers, Ryan Miller, Ian Balisalisa, and Cody Perrin, all just had a fantastic season,” Kim said.

“Dmitri, Ian, Caiden, and Cody all grew up a lot this season and you could see that in their performances tonight. They all played with guts and confidence against a team with some big strong players. If Ryan Miller hadn’t injured his ankle early, with the form he’s been in lately, I’m pretty sure he would have found a goal tonight…but that’s not fair to Upper Dublin. They are a quality team and a tough nut to crack and their keeper Gabe Copley is a stud,” Depeppe added.

While the team didn’t make it very far into districts, even being there in the first place was considered a success. At the beginning of their season, the Knights had a rough start resulting in more losses than wins. Come the middle of the season, they picked it back up securing their spot in districts. 

“I think at the beginning of the year we kind of went south and we really turned it around in the middle of the season. We made playoffs and I don’t think anyone expected that so it was a great accomplishment on our part,” Willis stated. 

I think at the beginning of the year we kind of went south and we really turned it around in the middle of the season. We made playoffs and I don’t think anyone expected that so it was a great accomplishment on our part”

— Matt Willis

The Knights played a very hard-fought game, where they gave their all until the very last minute of their season.  

“We are a really young squad and I just thought we gelled together as the games went on and honestly I wouldn’t take anything for granted from this team. It was something that I will cherish and remember for the rest of my life honestly,” Kim said.