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Gebhardt Scores Game Winner in OT
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Correspondent
2014-09-17

Upper Perk's Jessie Fisher kicks the ball past the Pope John Paul II goalie in the sixth minute of play in last Thursday game at Upper Perk. In the end the Lady Indians fell, 3-2.

                As one of three captains on the Upper Perkiomen girls soccer team, Shae Duka makes sure her younger teammates stay positive.

                "My goal is to make sure these players do not give up," Duka said.

                On Monday, during overtime of a Pioneer Athletic Conference game against Perkiomen Valley, Duka said she noticed some of the Indians starting to get down on themselves.

                But in the second overtime Duka, a senior midfielder, set up Mackenzie Gebhardt with the goal that lifted Upper Perkiomen, and its spirits, with a 1-0 victory.

                Duka dribbled directly at a Vikings defender, forcing a moment of indecision that allowed the decisive pass, according to Upper Perkiomen head coach Mike Freed.

                Gebhardt's game-winning kick, with less than three minutes remaining in second overtime, gave the Indians their second overtime victory of the season.

                "Mackenzie made two great touches on the play," Freed said.

                According to Duka, the ending shows that the Indians have the moxie to recover from a disappointing loss.

                Four days earlier, Upper Perkiomen allowed two second-half goals in a 3-2 loss to Pope John Paul II.

                "I learned that when this team can stand together, we can make up any deficit," Duka said.

                Against Perkiomen Valley, Rachel Morelli finished with nine saves to post her second shutout of the season for the Indians (3-2 PAC-10, 5-2 overall). The goalkeeper recorded four second-half saves that gave the team a chance to win the game, according to Freed.

                The coach called it Morelli's best performance of the season.

                "To be the starting keeper as a sophomore is a lot of pressure," Freed wrote in an email Tuesday night. "[Rachel has] handled things well this season and she's getting better and better each game."

                According to the coach, Perkiomen Valley's defensive style always provides a challenge for the Indians.

                "They sit back and allow you to attack," Freed said. "But as soon as you make a mistake, they attack. I was concerned that they would come back and shove every one of our mistakes down our throats."

                Gebhardt, a sophomore midfielder, registered her team-leading third goal of the season against the Vikings. Overall, 11 players have accounted for 16 goals this season for Upper Perkiomen, according to Freed.

                He said the team has provided the offense balance initially expected by the coaching staff.

                "So far, so good in terms of the scoring depth," Freed said.

                Duka registered the Indians' best scoring opportunity midway through the second half, when her one-timer deflected off the cross bar above Perkiomen Valley goalkeeper Erin Tinneny.

                A shot by Vikings sophomore Hannah Thomas hit the left goal post with approximately three minutes left in the first overtime period.

                "Perkiomen Valley pushed us real hard in the overtimes," Duka said. "But we were able to stick it out."

                On Sept. 11, the Indians squandered a 2-1 lead. They allowed Bridget Rauh to score twice in the second half, lifting Pope John Paul II to a victory in the PAC-10's Frontier Division.

                Jess Spano and Jennie Fisher scored for Upper Perkiomen. Morelli notched five saves against the Golden Panthers.


 

 

 

 

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