**Note: This article originally published in The Reporter and on PaPrepLive.com**
TOWAMENCIN >> For the first 29 minutes of its match against Central Bucks South, the North Penn girls lacrosse team executed the game plan to head coach Heather Mellow’s liking. It took less than a minute for that hard work to evaporate.
North Penn was ambushed by a three-goal CB South run in 34 seconds to see a one-goal deficit turn to four and eventually result in a 9-4 Suburban One League National Conference defeat Thursday afternoon.
“Our midfield just didn’t get back and it broke down all the way to the defense. They were able to fast break us and that’s what happens,” said Mellow about the South run. “They got possession, took advantage of the fact our midfielders were behind, and just capitalized on it.”
The loss was the Maidens’ first to Central Bucks South in 12 years.
North Penn (1-3, 0-1 conference) kept the game tight and slow-paced in the first half, which is exactly what Mellow was looking for. Despite the fact the Titans scored the first two goals of the game, goals from Julia Keffer and Kaitlyn Phifer tied the score at the 15:11 mark of the first half.
“We were trying to slow the pace of the game down because we knew that (run) could happen pretty quickly,” Mellow said. “So we were trying to keep the score on the lower end and take the speed out of the game for them.”
The score remained unchanged until a late goal from Sarah Poli gave South a 3-2 lead after 25 minutes.
The beginning of the second half started the way North Penn wanted as well, but the wheels began to come off at 20:56 with a Kasey Dietzel goal for CB South (3-2, 2-0). Poli scored again 20 seconds later, Dietzel netted her second 14 seconds after that, and in the blink of an eye the score was 6-2 in favor of the Titans.
“It doesn’t take long, and that’s what happens,” Mellow said. “This has kind of been an on-going theme for us. This has happened each game. We let up those couple minutes and it turns out to bite us in the butt.”
Poli added two assists in the game to lead all players with four points.
North Penn responded well, as the teams traded goals for the remainder of the contest. Unfortunately for the Maidens, they needed more offense than they could muster in the closing 20 minutes.
Phifer accounted for half the North Penn offense, scoring two of the four Maiden goals.
“Kaitlyn (has) been doing a nice job for us. She’s been stepping up,” Mellow said. “She’s been a little bit of fire for us when we need it…we’re hoping at some point here everyone else brings it up to the same level she’s playing at.”
Jenn DeLongis scored the fourth goal for North Penn. Sam Tossona registered the only assist of the game for NP.
On the defensive end, Michelle Dyck kept North Penn in the game the best she could. The goalie made 10 saves in the contest, including seven in the first half to keep the game as tight as it was.
“(Michelle) had an excellent game,” Mellow said. “We knew going in she was going to be a big part defensively helping us out…you can’t stop them all — this is lacrosse, there aren’t many shutouts — but she had a nice game.”
CENTRAL BUCKS SOUTH 9, NORTH PENN 4
GOALS: CBS – Berntsen (2), Poli (2), K. Dietzel (2), C. Dietzel, Reading, Wigand; NP – Phifer (2), Keffer, Delongis
ASSISTS: CBS – Poli (2), Taylor (2), Reading, C. Dietzel, K. Dietzel, Berntsen; NP – Tossona
SAVES: CBS – Putnam 9; NP – Dyck 10