Bucks County Herald

CB East’s Donnelly reaches milestone

DAVID CAMPBELL



CB East senior and Maryland commit Riley Donnelly scored her 100th career goal in the Patriots’ 3-2 victory over Owen J. Roberts in the District One Class AAA third-place game on Friday.

In the second half of Friday’s game against Owen J. Roberts, two Patriots wheeled a whiteboard around the Central Bucks East track.

The whiteboard had a few messages on it, all for Patriots senior Riley Donnelly, whose goal with 16:28 remaining in the first half against the Wildcats was the 100th of her dazzling career.

“As the years progressed and the stats added up,” Donnelly said, “it became more and more of a goal for me.”
CB East needed Donnelly’s hat trick on Friday to down Owen J. Roberts, 3-2, in the District One Class AAA third-place game.

“It’s very exciting and it not only shows my ability, but that I have a great team,” Donnelly said. “If you don’t have the people around you, you’re never going to achieve that goal. So it’s been really exciting.”

The fifth-seeded Patriots (19-4) trailed the No. 7 Wildcats early as Sarah Garritano punched one in before the contest was even six minutes old. Donnelly answered with three straight in less than seven minutes to put the home team ahead 3-1.

“I don’t know if it was a wake-up call,” CB East senior defender Tara Harper said of Owen J. Roberts’ quick strike, “but it definitely gave us motivation. But the fact that they scored [only] one goal, it’s not like I doubted our team. I knew we would come back and then Riley took it into her own hands and scored.”

Jenna Kirby brought the Wildcats to within one late in the first half, but the Patriots held on in their final home game of 2017.

“We were sad to lose [in the district semifinals at top-seeded Downingtown West, 3-1, last Tuesday] and not be able to play in the championship game, but to be able to play on our home field one last time as seniors was really exciting and get to wear our new white uniforms that didn’t come in until week,” Donnelly said with a laugh, “was exciting, too.”

It’s been a steady climb for the Patriot seniors. They didn’t make districts as freshmen, went 1-1 in districts as sophomores, placed fifth in districts a year ago as juniors and ascended to third in districts this fall.

“We have been constantly growing since our freshman year,” senior Whitney Dietz said. “We’ve just gotten closer and the unity helps us come together and play as a team and play to our full potential. The improvement from last year is just basically because we have dug deep and wanted to get better.

“From sophomore, junior, all the way to senior year,” Dietz added, “we’ve one-upped ourselves and kept improving, so I’m excited for the team next year, but for this year, we can go even further than we did last year.”

Last year, CB East lost its opener in states. This year, the Patriots got out of the first round, blitzing District Two champion Delaware Valley, 9-0, on Tuesday. CB East will return to the pitch on Saturday for a tough one against District Three champ and undefeated Penn Manor.

“We’ve definitely progressed since the beginning of the year,” Harper said. “We’ve been working together a lot better and communicating.”
Donnelly has been en fuego in the postseason. She went for five goals in CB East’s district opener against Perkiomen Valley. She deposited the game-winner at Haverford. She scored the lone Patriots goal at Downingtown West. And she made it 10 goals in districts with her three against Owen J. Roberts.

“I’ve played with Ri since I was little for lacrosse and field hockey,” Dietz said, “and I know she’s capable of great things. I’m so proud of her for scoring her 100th career goal and I know she’ll continue to do great things in her collegiate career [playing for the University of Maryland].”

dcampbell@buckscountyherald.com


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