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Radnor eliminates Pleasant Vy.

CENTER VALLEY - The Pleasant Valley Bears have had to prove themselves over and over again this season.

They made it through the regular season undefeated and went on to win the EPC championship.

In districts, they were again undefeated and won a district championship, only to have to win a play-in game to reach states.

Again, they passed the test and defeated Upper Dublin convincingly to reach the PIAA quarterfinals where they had to face the District 1 champion, the best team out of perhaps the toughest district in the commonwealth.

Finally, the tests caught up to them and they suffered their only loss of the season, falling to Radnor 16-8 at Southern Lehigh High School on Saturday.

Radnor (22-2) came out firing and took an early 4-0 lead over the Bears, even though Pleasant Valley won four of the five draws in the opening quarter.

The Raptors switched up the pace of their offense, sometimes going on direct attack to put shots on goal. At other times, they took a more measured, slower pace using a series of passes to get just the shot they wanted.

The team huddle following the first quarter gave the Bears time to regroup and be reminded that they were still in the game and had plenty of time to come back.

Pleasant Valley (24-1) came out confident and started to make that first quarter look like a fluke when it was able to string together three goals in the span of 28 seconds.

Rylee Rath broke the ice with a quick move to launch a shot past goalie Arden Jansen with 10:24 left before halftime, cutting the Radnor lead to 4-1. A penalty gave the Bears a player advantage and they took advantage as Devon Bush worked some of her magic to make it a 4-2 game. Then, with 9:56 left in the second quarter, Rath picked up her second goal of the day, drawing the Bears to within a goal.

Sensing a turning tide, Radnor regrouped and took advantage of a free play to make it 5-3. Then, with 6:36 left before halftime, Marin Mooney bounced a shot over the shoulder of goalie Aby Borger, before Kate Gallagher fired a shot from 15 yards out to make it 7-3 with 5:42 left before halftime.

PV Coach Toni Bush called a timeout and again, the team responded. Devon Bush made a strong move past the only defender between her and the goal and made it 7-4.

Unfortunately, Radnor’s Taylor Murphy recorded her fourth assist of the game when she passed to Riley d’Entremont, who finished off the play with a quick shot that made it 8-4 going into halftime.

“I would have liked to have seen us have more confidence on offense and move the ball more effectively down there,” said coach Bush of her team’s play. “We needed to give ourselves more options.

“Defensively, we were up against a very fast team, and there were times we were getting beat by their cutters. They’re an experienced team, and they played well against both our man and our zone defense. We have some younger players, especially on offense, and they took advantage of that at times.”

Radnor came out with two goals early in the third quarter to make it 10-4, but Pleasant Valley continued to push for a comeback. Bush got her third goal of the game off a free play to make it 10-5 before the Raptors added two goals heading into the fourth quarter with a 12-5 lead.

A quick goal made it 13-5, but Bush somehow twisted around a defender and got a shot past Jansen to make it 13-6 with 10:33 left in regulation. Rath added her third goal of the game when she fired from 10 yards out just 20 seconds later to make it 13-7.

Midway through the quarter, Pleasant Valley took another timeout and again responded as Bush stole the ball and raced directly at Jansen, firing a shot past her to make it 13-8. Radnor added three late goals, though, to take a 16-8 win.

“We have a lot of our starters back for next season and I think with the experience of going this far in the postseason, our younger players learned a lot,” said coach Bush. “You can’t coach some of the things that you learn about dealing with the pressure of playing this far, and this provided some great experience for some of our girls.”

FOND FAREWELL … Bush loses four seniors, including Emily Butler, Riley Green, Jules Kautzsch, and Cecelia Cordova. “We’re going to be sad to see our seniors go, but we have most of our girls coming back. We’ll take some time to rest and relax, and then start working again in the fall and get ready for next season and see if we can get back here next year,” said coach Bush.

Pleasant Valley's Olivia Iandoli races to the end line with Radnor's Anna Reger to try and gain possession after a missed shot. NANCY SCHOLZ/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS
Pleasant Valley's Emily Butler gets hit from behind by Radnor's Grace Gordon while possessing the ball. NANCY SCHOLZ/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS