Bucks County Herald

New Hope falls short to St. Basil

DAVID CAMPBELL

New Hope-Solebury knew it was up against a formidable foe.

Saint Basil blanked the Lions, 3-0, in last year’s District One/District 12 Class AA regional final at Council Rock North.

On Saturday, the Panthers and Lions renewed acquaintances at Central Bucks West’s War Memorial Field and the result was a 6-0 St. Basil victory in the regional final. Both teams had already qualified for states.

“We came into the game thinking that we were going to lose,” New Hope junior Katie Mardirossian admitted.

“A lot of the girls were talking about that because we did play them last year. And this team, St. Basil, is obviously a really good team and we respect them a lot.”

The Panthers took a 4-0 lead into halftime. Six different Panthers scored: Sophia Mahoney, Julia Harkins, Delaney Gayton, Maddie McCrae, Erin Gilsenan and Lauren Baldo. The Lions’ best opportunity to score came in the 10th minute when Logan Amberson got off a shot that was saved nicely by ’keeper Brooke Shissler.

“When they pass around like that, it’s pretty much impossible for all of us to be defending ... and it tires us out,” Mardirossian said. “They’re a good team; they’re good at doing that. And, as you can see, they scored six goals on us, so it worked. They’re just good at connecting their passes.”

“It’s a stinker. We laid an egg, but, for the most part, some girls didn’t give up,” said Lions head coach Chris Shank, who did sense that some of his girls did put their heads down after Harkins’ tally in the 21st minute.

The result was far different for New Hope three days prior. The Lions tamed District 12 champion Masterman, 2-0, last Wednesday in the regional semifinals. Hannah DeVito and Samantha Kruopas had the goals.

“We played well,” Shank said. “We played composed. We worked the ball around; we connected. Here, the [St. Basil] girls are just fast; they were on top of us. We didn’t connect two passes together.”

Shank called the setback “a learning experience.” He has only four seniors, he said.

“Tonight,” Mardirossian said, “we didn’t come out focused enough – and we all knew that – but we are a very resilient team. I know all these girls; I love them so much. They all work really hard.”

New Hope’s season ended at 10-9-1 with Tuesday’s 3-0 loss to District Three champion Boiling Springs in the first round of states. The Lions also lost in the first round last year to District Three champ Trinity, which won it all.

The game is as much mental as it is physical, one Lion said.

“You have to keep the team upbeat,” Mardirossian said, “because if one person starts to show that they don’t have faith in the team, then everyone will start to do the same and then it’ll just fall from there, so I think it’s really important to keep everyone positive.”

dcampbell@buckscountyherald.com

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