North Penn’s Cassidy Barrow and Upper Perkiomen’s Jenna Ciaciolo battle for possession in the first half of North Penn’s 7-1 victory on
North Penn's Cassidy Barrow and Upper Perkiomen's Jenna Ciaciolo battle for possession in the first half of North Penn's 7-1 victory on Tuesday afternoon. (Sam Stewart/The Mercury)

RED HILL — Whatever team can capitalize in key situations usually foreshadows the winner of any sporting contest.

Today, that status quo stayed constant.

Casey O'Donnell paced the North Penn field hockey team with five goals while goalkeeper Chessa Kownurko stonewalled Casey Umstead and the Upper Perkiomen offense, collecting 16 saves as the Maidens capitalized on their limited amount of scoring chances en route to a 7-1 rout over the Tribe on Tuesday afternoon.

"All the midfielders were really good sending (the ball) up to the center,' O'Donnell said. "It was good because they had a strong defense and a good goalie so it was good that we got around people.'

"Our defense was really good,' O'Donnell added. "We had a really good game, and kept up with them. They had a lot of chances but we capitalized down at the goal.'

Despite Upper Perkiomen having the advantage in corners (12-3) and in shots on goal (17-15), Kownurko and the defense were stellar for the Maidens as they limited any offensive attack inside the circle and limited the All-American, Umstead, to one goal in the contest.

"Casey Umstead is a very good player and Upper Perk is a very good team but we have Chessa, and she was the difference,' North Penn head coach Shannon McCracken said. "She came up with some great saves and our defense was marking pretty well in the circle. When they did get a rebound our defense was doing a nice job of clearing off the pads and out of the circle.'


Matching Kownurko's effort was the Maiden offense. Coming off a 3-0 victory over Methacton in its season opener, North Penn kept the momentum rolling, seizing control of the lead five minutes into the game after O'Donnell took a feed from Amanda Laessig and buried it into the net from right of the circle.

The Maidens kept the pressure on throughout the next three minutes, but Upper Perkiomen goalie Hannah Mack was able to make a sprawling save off of an attempt from O'Donnell to keep the score at 1-0.

After a back-and-forth affair, Umstead and the Tribe's offense came alive. Coming off a penalty corner, Sam Pingler fired a shot that ricocheted off of a diving Kownurko. As a scrum ensued around Kownruko, Umstead was able to collect the rebound and bury it into the net to even the score at one.

Unfortunately, that was the last highlight for the Tribe.

O'Donnell, aided by solid feeds to the center from Laessig and Katrina Marger, was able to work her magic inside the circle as she scored twice in a one minute-span to give the Maidens a 3-1 lead heading into the break.

"That was huge to go into halftime with that two-goal lead,' McCracken said. "It sent our girls into halftime with a little more confidence.'

Coming out of the half, the Tribe came out with a sense of urgency, earning four penalty corners in a four-minute span. However, Kownurko came up huge for the Maidens, as she made six saves during the corner opportunities, including a sliding stop on an Umstead attempt four minutes into the half.

"We did have opportunities,' Upper Perk head coach Jamie Warren said. "I just feel like we didn't capitalize on them.'

Unlike their counterpart, the Maidens were cashing in on any attempt that they had. O'Donnell again led the charge for the Maiden offense as it buried four goals in the last fifteen minutes to give North Penn 7-1 margin — one it did not relinquish.

"She (O'Donnell) just really read the defense and the goalkeeper really well today. She made a lot of great, simple movies just to move the keeper and followed that up with great shots.'

Kara Imes and Shannon Talbot both registered goals in the second half for the Maidens. Talbot now has three on the season.

"The second half we started pretty flat and back on our heels,' McCracken said. "The girls persevered through it and when they got an opportunity they put it in. We really capitalized on our opportunities today.'

O'Donnell, kept at bay by Methacton's defense in North Penn's 3-0 victory, now leads the team with five goals. She finished the game with 10 shots.

"She just really read the defense and the goalkeeper really well today,' McCracken said. "She made a lot of great, simple moves just to move the keeper and followed that up with great shots.'

"I made the goalie step and I got a good shot off,' O'Donnell said. "A lot of (my teammates') passes were really good and I had open space to work with.'

Mack had seven saves for the Tribe. Upper Perkiomen is back in action on Friday as it travels to Pottsgrove for a 3:45 p.m. contest.

"We've just got to work on our basics and work to finish on our attack,' Warren said.