“I learned to play lacrosse at the Harris Camps with these girls,” said the Pennridge senior, whose mother Sherry Burke was a former Souderton assistant.
On Friday night, Burke came back to haunt the Indians.
It was the senior midfielder’s goal after a takeaway on the offensive end that put Pennridge on top 11-9 with 5:37 remaining in regulation. The Rams held on for a scintillating 11-10 Suburban One Continental Conference win over their archrivals in a game that came down the wire.
A wide open Souderton player took a shot that found the net a millisecond after the final second had ticked off the clock.
“That last shot – I was like, ‘Where’s the buzzer?’” Ram goalie Eileen Applegate said.
The buzzer wasn’t important since time had already expired, but what was important – in the Rams’ case – was the performance of Applegate in goal. The senior goalie turned away 15 shots in a stellar outing – many of them in a second half that saw the Rams outscore the Indians 5-4.
“Eileen has really saved us the last couple of games,” said Burke. “Our defense is still kind of coming together, and Eileen has been really solid. Even on the eight-meter shots, she has really improved.”
Offensively, Burke finished the game with three goals and two assists while teammate Jess Roy had four goals and Roxy Brown, three goals and two assists.
Souderton was led by the standout five-goal performance of Julia Kudla, who also had one assist. Lindsay Walbrandt had three goals.
Friday’s win was the third one-goal win of the young season for the Rams, who improved to 6-0. Earlier in the week, they edged Council Rock North by an identical 11-10 score.
“I tell them – I lose five years off my life expectancy every game these days,” Pennridge coach Liz Wallace said. “That was the closest – we haven’t had a last-second shot like that before.
“This was a great win. It’s our first league win. We’re just trying to learn off of every one, and I think the girls really do respond well – not just taking the win and running but really taking the win and reflecting on it and seeing how we can get better as a team. These girls are just committed to lacrosse.”
While the Rams have been winning the close ones, the Indians have lost a pair of tightly-contested contests. Earlier this season, the Indians fell to Central Bucks South 7-5 in a game played in steady rain.
“We started off like this last year as well,” coach Nicole Bauer said. “We struggled at the beginning. We lost games by 10 goals.
“This team just needs time to click. We’re getting there. We haven’t had very much time on the field together practicing because it’s been raining so much. Luckily, we’ve had tough competition. We just need to click.”