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Souderton and Pennridge to meet Saturday for girls’ soccer PIAA state championship

Earlier this season, Pennridge defeated Souderton, 1-0, and then the teams played to a scoreless draw.

Souderton's Campbell Power (left) and Conestoga's Cameron Evitts battle  for the ball in the District 1 title game.
Souderton's Campbell Power (left) and Conestoga's Cameron Evitts battle for the ball in the District 1 title game.Read moreCHARLES FOX / Staff Photographer

The Pennridge and Souderton girls' soccer teams have already played twice this season.

On Saturday, the Suburban One Continental Division rivals will square off for a third time (4 p.m. at HersheyPark Stadium) when they play for the PIAA Class 4A championship.

"It takes away a lot of the unknown," Souderton coach Lindsy Jones said of facing Pennridge yet again.  "We know how they play. We know how a lot of the individual players play. … I think they're excited to play against their friends."

Pennridge (21-3-1) finished third in the District 1 tournament after losing to champion Conestoga in the semifinals. The Rams started their state tournament run with an 8-0 win over Central and needed penalty kicks to advance past Parkland in the second round. Against Parkland,  Ashley Groeber, Sarah Williams, Chance Hendricks, and Holley Harbeck scored on penalty kicks.

In Tuesday's semifinal, Lauren McIntyre, who has scored a goal in all three state playoff games, scored in the first half, and Pennridge held on for a 1-0 victory over Ephrata.

Souderton (16-3-6) finished as the District 1 runner-up after falling to Conestoga, 2-1, in the district title game. The Indians' PIAA run has also been filled with drama. After topping Easton, 2-0, in the first round, Souderton erased a 1-0 deficit in the second half and defeated Seneca Valley, 2-1, on penalty kicks in the quarterfinals.

The Indians' season nearly came to an end in a 2-1 semifinal overtime win over Peters Township on Tuesday. Souderton trailed, 1-0, with 11 seconds left when Averie Doughty tied the game to force overtime. Doughty then scored the game-winner halfway through the first overtime to send the Indians to the state title game.

"It makes me really proud that, even coming from behind, we can stay composed and focused to complete the task," Jones said. "They stay positive even when things get down."

Pennridge defeated Souderton, 1-0, in the first meeting on Sept. 17. The teams ended in a scoreless draw in the second meeting on Oct. 11.

Lately, Pennridge has dominated the series. Souderton hasn't beaten the Rams since a 1-0 victory in September 2015, and  Pennridge is 5-0-2 against Souderton since then.

"We haven't beaten them for the last six or seven tries, so we're excited for the challenge," Jones said.

In the boys' 4A state title game on Saturday, Radnor takes on Wilson Area at HersheyPark Stadium at 6:30 p.m.