The Masters golf tournament uses a slogan to define the event – “A tradition like no other.” High school sports has a tradition as well, Senior night. It is a wonderful time to honor and put the spot light on graduating seniors. So it is fitting then that senior would score the winning (and only) goal of the game in tonight’s Pioneers match against “whooooo?” Oh yes, the Bensalem Owls. With excitement in the air Dock started the game with the speed of a greyhound released from the gate, trying but never to catch that elusive rabbit. With good ball movement and pressure on the opponent Dock held most of the play, allowing few opportunities for Bensalem to venture into their territory. But with all their effort, goals, even a shot on goal, was just as elusive as that rabbit.
Speaking of elusive, twenty minutes into the half, senior Mackenzie Swartely, doing what she does best – eluding and driving defenders mad – earned a free kick for the Pioneers, 25 yards from goal. There was only one choice as to who would take the kick. Bensalem could have put their entire team in the wall, and the results would have been the same. With all the skill of an experience senior, Swartley struck a beauty, with the ball sailing into the only part of the net the keeper could not reach. The goal would be the final exciting moment for the remainder of the half (and the game for that matter).
It would be the tale of two halves. After the halftime festivities where the seniors were honored, Dock started the second half like a sloth bear arising from hibernation. Slow, casual, careless in possession of the ball, shaky defending allowed Bensalem to start to get the upper hand. Neither team played inspired ball though. In fact the most exciting moment came when they got the score board working. This low energy play almost cost them the game as Bensalem took the upper hand. Bensalem had two golden opportunities to score. The first coming fourteen minutes into the half when Bensalem freshman Julia Murray hit a rocket of shot that was heading for the open side of Dock’s goal. Like a bride who had a last minute change of heart, the ball sailed just wide of the post. A second opportunity came just six minutes later when Murray crossed a ball to a wide open teammate, five yards from Dock’s goal, who by some miracle managed to miss the target.
All hands on deck defending by Brooke Bozarth, Mckenzie Gordon, and Jackie Halteman and a few magical saves by keeper Audrey Schweizerhof would be enough to preserve the win. The Pioneers now head to Delaware County Christian School tomorrow for their final game of the scheduled season (hard to believe). Wins, like goals, are hard to come by with this team. A win tomorrow would set a great tone heading into district play.
On behalf of the entire team and coaches, I would like to thank the seniors: Abby Nice, McKenzie Gordon, Mikayla Frederick and McKenzie Swartley for their years of hard work, commitment, dedication and leadership that contributed greatly to the success of the team. It has truly been my privilege to coach you in the sport of high school soccer. We wish you all the best in your future endeavors and we know you will do great things.
SOG: DMA = 4; Bensalem = 9
Saves: K Rivera (Bensalem) = 3; A Schweizerhof (DMA) = 7