The Pennridge Rams defeated Parkland 5-0 on Tuesday to advance to their fourth state final appearance since 2018.
Carrying a team with mostly seniors, the stage is familiar for the Rams’ upperclassmen.
“It’s definitely great to have 12 seniors on a team that have had this much experience in this game,” said Pennridge head coach Audrey Anderson. “Their mindset has been the same every game, every practice and that’s ‘let’s get back to the state championship game.’”
The win marked the Rams’ seventh straight shutout. They’ve allowed just five goals all season long, while scoring 133.
“What’s surprising me, if I’m being honest, is the amount of goals that we’ve scored,” Anderson said. “We’re pretty much the same team as last year but I feel like we’ve matured a little bit. We understand that close doesn’t win you a state championship, so for us to be scoring that amount of goals we’re scoring, against really good teams, has been a pleasant surprise.”
“The other thing is giving up five goals in 25 games. Those two things combined ... It tells a story in itself. The discipline and determination from this team is ... We could give up a goal when we’re up 6-0 but it’s more of a pride thing. They don’t want to have the story line read Pennridge 6, this team 1. To them, it’s a personal issue, and I love it.”
The five goals scored in Tuesday’s contest were by Gabriella Howley, Liv Grenda, Tori Angelo, Jessie Moylan and an own goal from the Trojans.
For the underclassmen who have yet to experience a stage this big, such as the freshman Howley, who has scored 10 goals this season, the upperclassmen have played a role in familiarizing them with what’s expected at this point in the season.
“We got done game film and we talked about taking care of our opportunities and just hearing from the upper classmen and listening to stories, I think that’s important for the underclassmen to hear,” Anderson said.
The Rams, who also reached the PIAA finals in 2018, 2020 and 2022, are set to face a familiar foe in Conestoga on Friday for the title. Pennridge last defeated the Pioneers in district finals on Nov. 4 by a score of 1-0.