Note: This article originally published in The Reporter and on PaPrepLive.com
SPRINGFIELD >> The Mount Saint Joseph field hockey team scored the opening goal 11 minutes into its District 1-AA second round match. It turns out that was all the Magic needed in a dominating 3-0 win over Penncrest Wednesday afternoon.
The Mount controlled possession throughout the match, allowing zero Penncrest shots and only one true attacking opportunity.
“We knew they outletted by going big ball…I think we were able to contain that and if you can stop that in your front line you have a lot of space to attack with,” Mount head coach Tina Reinprecht said. “I think that kind of helped us out.”
Junior Grace Willis got the scoring going for Mount with an unassisted goal from the center of the attacking circle 11:10 into the first half. Four minutes later Bridget Boyle redirected a cross from Julianna Kratz to make the score 2-0. That’s where it would remain after the opening 30 minutes.
“I think everybody just passed really well. We were able to get a lot of good connections and move the ball really well,” Boyle said. “It was just everybody working together.”
Mount came out in the second half and again dominated possession — despite the fact Penncrest adjusted its pace of play with some success. Natalie McNamara recorded the final tally of the match with an unassisted goal eight minutes into the second half.
“They really work off one another really, really well,” Reinprecht said about her offense. “We’ve got a couple of nice patterns working here.”
The Mount recorded 13 shots in the match en route to its three goals.
“We moved the ball like we would have liked to but we would have like to put a few more in with the amount of time we had in the attack circle,” Reinprecht said.
Mount Saint Joe was unable to put in a few more thanks to Penncrest’s star of the match, goalie Brielle McQuiston.
“She really stepped it up for us,” Penncrest head coach Caitlin Pettit said about her net minder. “She’s done a good job with that all season after a little pep talk…she leads our defense. She’s been huge this entire season and we’re gonna miss her next year for sure.”
The senior made saves of all types, including the denial of seven Mount penalty corners, in making her 10 stops.
“Their goalie had a phenomenal day in goal,” Reinprecht said. “She stopped a lot of misdirection shots and deflections. She did a really great job for them today.”
McQuiston is one of a group of seniors who accomplished something the Lions haven’t done during any of its player’s lifetimes.
“It’s been…roughly 20 years since we’ve even made playoffs and we made it past the first round,” Pettit said. “We’re building this program up. It’s a great group of girls to start with.”
Penncrest beat Upper Moreland in Round 1 before falling Wednesday to finish its season with a 10-8 record.
The Mount advances to the district quarterfinals, one win away from automatically qualifying for the PIAA state playoffs. The No. 2 seed hosts No. 10 Bishop Shanahan — a 3-1 winner Wednesday over No. 7 Strath Haven — Friday.
“These guys know it’s gotta be game-by-game. We gotta have a gameplan and improve in certain areas and they’re doing a great job,” Reinprecht said. “Only 10 play but we have, I think, 13 or 14 starters so that’s a really great place for us to be also.”
Mount Saint Joseph 3, Penncrest 0
Mount Saint Joseph: Goals: Grace Wallis (unassisted), Bridget Boyle (Julianna Kratz), Natalie McNamara (unassisted) Shots: 13 Saves: 0 Penncrest: Goals: None Shots: 0 Saves: Brielle McQuiston 10.
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