TOWAMENCIN — On the last one, he was basically underwater.
"I just kinda hoped the goal was still behind me,' North Penn senior captain Brett Else said of his eighth and final goal Thursday evening, coming in heavy traffic outside the Souderton net. "I just put it that way and thankfully it went in.'
Else was a scoring machine for the undefeated Knights and the trigger man on a cohesive offense. Submerged or not, North Penn keeps finding the net this season, and its 14-9 win over Souderton completed a regular-season sweep of Big Red and improved NP's overall record to a perfect 19-0.
True to form, the Maidens got the evening started with a commanding 12-5 win over Big Red, as they too completed a regular-season sweep of Souderton and improved to 18-1.
On mobile? Click here to view photo galleryGiannini had trimmed the Knights' lead to 5-4 at the break, but a pair of goals by Else helped North Penn build an 8-5 lead midway through the third quarter and the Knights led by at least three the rest of the way.
"We got off to a slow start but started to put things together,' Else said of the offense, which also got two goals each from Shane Hennessey and Cole Palumbo. "The big thing was our counter attack. Towards the end, we started getting more aggressive, started getting up the pool and getting some goals.'
The Knights' captain had three in the fourth quarter to put NP ahead comfortably.
"It really comes from my teammates because three of the goals were on penalty shots and two of them came from my teammates,' Else said. "I just happened to be the guy who takes the shots so I'm very grateful to have those guys driving on the outside and getting those penalty shots for me.'
With states less than a month away, the Knights look to keep elevating their game.
"We have to get better passing - a lot of our passing led to turnovers, which gave Souderton a lot of opportunities,' Knights coach Jason Grubb said. "We have to clean up our game big time.'
In the first half of the doubleheader, the Maidens jumped out to a 4-1 lead and were ahead 9-3 at the break. North Penn had to rally from a three-goal deficit in the first meeting between the two but the Maidens controlled things from start to finish this time around.
"All this week, we knew that this was the game - we didn't have a game Tuesday, and we had a few days off so we got in here early and it really made a difference,' said North Penn's Leah Brown, who had four goals and three steals in an all-around performance. "This is always a big rivalry so I think everyone just gets more hyped and everyone works together. It turned out really well this time.'
Olivia DiStefano played well in net for NP and Baur made three steals, helping to slow down a Souderton attack led by Sarah Hershey. The Maidens also got three goals from Erin O'Neill and two each from Steph Galetta and Aimee Baur in winning their 10th in a row.
"Starting out the season, I believe we were a little young,' North Penn coach Bill Bartle said. "Every team has to start playing together to understand one another, and I think we've reached that point.'
North Penn is back in the pool Tuesday, hosting a doubleheader against Pennridge.