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Lady Indians Start Season with Offensive Flurry
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer
2019-09-05

            Despite being shut out in its scrimmages, Upper Perkiomen girls soccer team opened the season last weekend at the Lynx Kickoff Tournament with an offensive

Indian's freshman Sara Edwards give the ball a boot during second

half play agains visiting Kutztown on Tuesday afternoon.

flurry. The team scored twice within its initial 62 seconds of play against Berks Catholic, forcing head coach Mike Freed to question reality.

            "I had to ask myself if this is really happening," he said. "It was really odd. This is season No. 29 for me, and I don't think I've ever had any games in any previous season start that way."
            Despite the early outburst, the Indians lost 4-3 on Aug. 30 in the tournament at Oley Valley High School.

            The following day, they responded with a 2-1 victory Schuylkill Valley. Sarah Edwards' goal in the 63rd minute, off an assist from Kyra Lesko, snapped a 1-1 tie and propelled them to the win.

            Freed said he was not surprised by the offensive success. According to the coach, the team had a week to work on its movement off the ball and overall finishing.

            "The offense looked a lot more dangerous," he said.

            The coach lauded his team's overall performance against a pair of Berks County opponents. Last season, Upper Perkiomen went 0-2 in the tournament and was outscored 4-0. Sixth ninth graders received significant playing time during the games.

            "At some moments, we had a very young lineup on the field," Freed said. "The freshmen played well. We got what we needed from them."

            On Tuesday, Upper Perkiomen cruised to a 3-0 non-league victory over Kutztown.  Kate Cairns scored twice. Kyra Lesko also scored for the home team, which led 2-0 at halftime. Bryanna Marinari assisted Lesko's goal. Landis recorded one save.

            "The girls on this team are not by any means cocky," Freed said. "But I think this group looks around and realized they could be a really good team."

            The Indians – who did not score in pre-season scrimmages against Easton and Pleasant Valley last month – struck quickly against Berks Catholic in their first official game. Bryanna Marinari opened the scoring in the game's first minute off a pass from Hannah Keeney. In the next minute, Avery Diehl converted a pass from Kyra Lesko to put them ahead 2-0.

            Though Upper Perkiomen went ahead 3-1 early in the second half on a goal by Keeney, the Saints never panicked, according to the coach. He said that after they pulled to within 3-2, they sensed a degree of anxiety from their youthful opponent and maintained the pressure.
            Berks Catholic featured three dynamic offensive players who caused some issues for the Indians defenders. According to Freed, they noticed a physical disadvantage.

            "Our players were getting knocked off the ball at times," the coach said.
Berks Catholic held a 12-9 shot advantage. Hannah Landis, Upper Perkiomen's senior standout goalkeeper, finished with eight saves. 

            The following day, Avery Diehl scored the game's first goal on a pass from Emily Schaut to put the Indians ahead. Three minutes later, Schuylkill Valley forced a 1-1 tie.

            But the Indians scored the game-winning tally with 20 minutes left in the second half and hung on for the victory against Schuykill Valley, which featured eight seniors and three juniors. Landis recorded five saves.

            "Our girls didn't feel the pressure," the coach said. "Our defense did a good job keeping them in check. Hannah had a lot more to do Friday."


 

 

 

 

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