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Sports Article
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Tribe Field Hockey Suffers Season-ending Loss
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer

            From the moment in July when Colleen Creneti learned that her senior year at Upper Perkiomen would start online, she worried every day about her final field hockey season. She attended each school board meeting on Zoom, waiting for the members to discuss the fate of fall sports.

Upper Perkiomen's Kylene Gooch battles to take a shot with the Gwyned

Mercy Academy goalie on the ground during the District One playff 

game last Thursday.

            "My anxiety was high all summer into early fall," said Creneti, a Pennsburg resident.

            Initially, she was content practicing with her friends. When the Indians began an abbreviated schedule, Creneti said she felt ecstatic.

            "That was the highlight of 2020, just playing games," she said.

            Near the end of the team's run to consecutive Pioneer Athletic Conference title, Creneti's expectations shifted. She said the Indians wanted to return to the final game of the District One Class 2A tournament and capture the title.

            Instead, the No. 2 seeded Indians fell one game short of their goal. They allowed three goals in the first quarter and suffered a season-ending 5-2 loss to Gwynedd Mercy Academy on Thursday, Nov. 5.

            "This was not the game we wanted to have," head coach Jamie Warren said. "Not the first half we needed."

            Alaina McVeigh finished with two goals and one assist for the Monarchs, who led 5-0 at halftime. She set up the initial goal, by Alex Wentz, less than four minutes into the first quarter.

            Approximately three minutes later, Meg McGill scored on a penalty corner. Positioned near the left goalpost, she redirected a shot from the right wing past Tribe goalkeeper Lynnsi Joyce.

            McVeigh struck with 70 seconds left in the first quarter by scoring in transition. After dribbling down the field, she found the back of the cage with a hard shot.

            "After the first goal, we got down on ourselves," said Creneti, a starting defender. "The third goal got us motivated."

            Gwynedd Mercy Academy scored twice more in the second quarter. McVeigh converted a penalty stroke with 4:55 remaining. Sydney Mandato added another tally in the final minute of the quarter.

            "I wish we would have started with more energy," Warren said. "Gwynedd Mercy has a lot of talent and is very strong on the offensive side. Their forwards are very fast."

            According to Creneti, the Tribe (10-2-2) was caught off guard by its opponent from the Catholic Academies League. She said the team struggled to match Gwynedd Mercy Academy's speed.

            "We only played them once or twice before," said Creneti, a three-year starter. "They were difficult to prepare for."

            According to Warren, the Indians raised their level of intensity and effort in the second half. They earned 10 of their 15 penalty corners in the final 30 minutes, but could not convert.

            Abby Rodenberger's goal early in the fourth quarter got them on the board. Bella Carpenter capped the scoring in the waning seconds.

            After the game, the coach spoke briefly with eight returning juniors in a circle near the bench. Warren said she hoped to build off the solid second-half performance.

            "We need to be able to match the level of intensity we showed during the second-half next season," she said.

            Warren lauded the contribution of six graduating seniors, including Carpenter, Sydney Crossin, Margo May, Summer Spence and Kate Rodenberger. The group helped the Tribe win consecutive conference titles, finish second at districts and reach the state tournament twice.

            "I'm extremely grateful for the opportunities I've had," Crenenti said. "Some days I wish the team could have delivered a little more effort."






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