Pennridge earns Team of the Year for 2022 girls' soccer season

The Pennridge High School girls' soccer team poses with the runner-up trophy following a 2-1 loss to Central Dauphin in the PIAA Class 4A girls soccer championship.
The Pennridge High School girls' soccer team poses with the runner-up trophy following a 2-1 loss to Central Dauphin in the PIAA Class 4A girls soccer championship.

Perhaps you’ve heard of the Fab Five, the 1991 University of Michigan men’s basketball recruiting class considered by many to be the best recruiting class ever.

Well, the Pennridge girls’ soccer team has its own Fab Five.

Back in 2020, the Rams had five freshmen who contributed mightily to their run to the PIAA Class 4A state championship, a 1-0 victory over North Allegheny in double overtime. Those freshmen – Liv Grenda, Anna Croyle, Casey Malone, Tori Angelo and Sophie Craig - are now juniors and have been joined by four other juniors, a senior and a freshman.

Their success has been nothing short of amazing.

The Rams sustained just one loss during the regular season, lost another game in the District One Class 4A playoffs and cruised into the state championship game against Central Dauphin where they were edged, 2-1.

To put a cap on such a successful season, Pennridge has been named the Intelligencer/Bucks County Courier Times Girls' Soccer Team of the Year.

“I always have high expectations for any team I coach,” Rams coach Audrey Anderson said. “This group I’ve known since they were really young coming up through the youth programs. I knew that they would be a good team if they worked together.

“I think it was one of those seasons last year where we thought we would have gone back (to the championship game) and not making it back there maybe put some doubt in our heads. I think we recognized last year that we fell short and we were capable of more. So I think this year we didn’t want to make the same mistakes we made last year.”

The Rams made it to the state quarterfinals last year before losing and there have been precious few mistakes this year. Pennridge won their first seven games before stumbling against PIAA Class 4A semifinalist Neshaminy, 2-1. They went on to win their next 11 including a 3-2 come-from-behind win over Council Rock North in the District One playoffs.

The Rams lost to Central Bucks West on penalty kicks in the district quarterfinals, but managed to get into the state tournament. Once in the tournament, Pennridge went 4-1 enroute to the state title game and outscored their opponents, 15-2.

“I would say they’re relentless,” Anderson said. “I would say they see a challenge and they’re not really afraid of the challenge. They welcome the challenge. And I just love their determination. They don’t quit. They don’t stop. Even in games where we were down, they kept fighting.”

So the five freshmen have been joined over the last couple of years by senior Joey Tomlinson, who was also on that championship team, juniors Ava Kiwak, Hannah Primwhere, Hailey Primwhere, Lindsey Balmer and freshman goal keeper Seretha Demoss.

The Rams have a neat tradition of inviting the young girls from the various youth programs around Perkasie to their games. They were out in full force on a cold, blustery night when Pennridge got some payback by beating Neshaminy in the state semifinals, 2-0.

“The one thing I think that these girls recognize and they see first-hand is how every year they seem to be right back at it,” Anderson said. “We have all those little kids that show up at the games. That junior class, all these girls, were those little kids. And I think for them to see it, I think it kind of puts the idea in their head at such an early age that, hey, we’re going to go try and win a state championship.”

So this year’s juniors will be next year’s seniors with an eye to returning to the title game. And just maybe in that group of girls, there’s another Fab Five.

This article originally appeared on Bucks County Courier Times: Pennridge earns Team of the Year honor for Bucks/Intell region