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Trojans fall in state playoff game

The Parkland High School girls soccer team was on its way to an undefeated season. After winning the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference and District 11 championships, the Trojans advanced into the PIAA playoffs looking for four more victories.

But in the first round last Tuesday evening, Parkland dropped a one-goal game to Central Bucks West, 2-1, at Parkland High School.

Head coach Al Haddad thought that his team was prepared that night and should have come out on top.

“We were by far the better team that night,” said Haddad. “We made a few mistakes that we ran out of time to overcome. We dominated this game in every statistical category but the game of soccer in which we love so much at times can be very cruel.”

Parkland finished the season 23-1 overall and won gold in both the conference and district tournaments, accomplishing two major goals.

“I thought the season overall was a success,” said Haddad. “We accomplished our yearly goals of winning the conference and district championships. The three battles with Emmaus and the Spring-Ford game were by far the best notches we had. Seeing the girls bounce back from going down in a game was very satisfying. The girls also worked really hard and were successful in the classroom and in the community.

“Their constant high work rate that started in June helped them to accomplish their goals this year. Determination that they all had to do what was best for the team at all times.”

The Trojans had a strong group of players, starters and non-starters.

“I feel that we had a bunch of players that exceeding expectations this year but to name a few would be a disservice to all of them that worked so hard to push each other,” Haddad said. “There really weren’t any single individuals that stood out, it was definitely a team effort.”

Haddad had a large group of seniors that played in their final game in a Parkland uniform. Next season will be another exciting one for the Trojans.

“I told the 13 seniors in the spring that leading would be difficult,” said Haddad. “With that many seniors, they had their work in front them to make sure 13 stay on the same page. Once that happens, leading the remaining 11 would fall in place.

“When you have a small senior class, it’s easy for them to be on the same page, but then they are in the minority of the size of the team. So, they had their challenges this season but did a wonderful job. They had a four-your record of 76-6-2, multiple championships in leagues and District 11 and more importantly had very high GPA’s and raised over $60,000 for charity.”

While next year’s team will have a large group of first-year starters on the field, Haddad sees the turnover on his roster as more of a blessing than a curse.

“Graduating eight starters is always exciting because it opens the door to so many returning and new players to step up and meet the new challenge of leading another successful championship effort,” he said.

PRESS PHOTO BY MARK LINEBERGER Catherine Crampton is part of a group of 13 Parkland seniors that helped the Trojans to league and district titles in 2022. The team won 76 games over the four years that Crampton and her classmates were part of the high school program.