Bucks County Herald

Patriots sweep Bucks

DAVID CAMPBELL

Cailey Lever had a day to remember.

The Central Bucks East junior scored four goals and assisted on the other as the Patriots stayed atop the Suburban One League (SOL) Continental Conference with Friday’s home victory over Central Bucks West, 5-2.

“I think my goals came from the drive and the will to win since this is obviously our No. 1 rival and I wanted to win for the seniors since this is their last time playing West,” Lever said. “I think that’s what really brought it together.”

The fireworks began early for head coach Michelle Finegan’s side. CB East led 2-0 before the contest was even seven minutes old. Lever found freshman Phia Mannino off a corner in the 3rd minute; in the 7th minute, Lever took it in herself. Lever would score the next three for the Patriots. Her tally off a Mannino assist only 80 seconds into the second half gave her a hat trick and her squad a 4-0 lead.

Sophomore Emma Donnelly assisted on half of Lever’s goals.

“The first time we played West, we had a lot of opportunities, [but] we weren’t able to capitalize,” said senior Mackenzie Boyle, referring to CB East’s 1-0 triumph at CB West on Sept. 13. “In practice, we’ve been working so much on shooting, a lot more on defense, so I think everything just kind of clicked today, finally.”

The setback for the visiting Bucks snapped a five-game winning streak.

“It definitely hurts, but this is something that we need to learn from,” junior Casey Reichwein said. “It’ll make us better going into the postseason, if we just learn from it. We’re hoping to finish the rest of our regular season strong, so when we go into the postseason, we’re [playing] the best we can be.”

CB West scored twice in less than 12 minutes at CB East. Seniors Taylor Mason and Dani Dundas connected 86 seconds after Lever’s third goal. Eighty-five seconds after Lever’s fourth, Reichwein banged one home.

“We started out slow,” Reichwein said, “and you have to give them credit. They came out ready to play and I think we just had trouble communicating and they capitalized on their opportunities and we just couldn’t pull it together.

“Again, we’re just going to learn from it,” Reichwein continued, “and hopefully, it’ll fire us up for the rest of our season and we’ll just improve going forward.”

At 12-4 overall and 8-3 in the SOL Continental, the Bucks remain in good position to earn a fairly strong seed in the upcoming District One Class AAA playoffs.

For the Patriots, it was their first sweep of the Bucks in ... well, a long time. In fact, for Finegan’s seniors, it was only their third win (3-6) over CB West in four years.

“It’s so exciting,” said Mannino, with now a pair of CB West games under her belt. “It’s really nerve-racking, especially as a freshman because I’ve never played them before this year. But it was really exciting and it was fun.”

“Phia’s been doing awesome, having so many goals,” Boyle praised. “It’s amazing. People probably can’t believe she’s a freshman, and then we also have Mackenzie Lever, who’s another freshman. She’s been playing midfield [and] has also been doing great.”

CB East is 13-3 overall and 10-1 in the SOL Continental. That lone loss came at North Penn, 4-3, on Sept. 27. The Patriots immediately responded by flattening Souderton and Pennridge by a combined 13-0.

“I think losing to North Penn was huge for us,” Cailey Lever said. “It was kind of a wake-up call.

“We really woke up from that game and realized that we needed to work harder and come back,” Lever concluded.

dcampbell@buckscountyherald.com

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