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Upper Perkiomen Loses in PAC Playoffs
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer

            Upper Perkiomen's girls soccer team exceeded its coach's expectations by qualifying for the Pioneer Athletic Conference playoffs. At the beginning of the season,

Kyra Lesko attempts to dribble around Boyertown's
Courtney Actis during Tuesday night's PAC playoff

Mike Freed said he would have considered that goal a little bit of the stretch.

            On Tuesday night, the Indians got a taste of post-season competition. Samantha Goffice finished with two goal and one assist to lead Boyertown to a 4-0 victory in a conference semifinal game at Owen J. Roberts.

            Though the Tribe (13-6 overall) generated few scoring opportunities, senior goalkeeper Hannah Landis lauded the team's effort at Wildcat Stadium. She described the game as a valuable opportunity to prepare for the District One Class 3A tournament, which begins Oct. 23.

"We gave it our all," said Landis, a four-year starter who finished with 13 saves. "Boyertown is a really good team with some great players. But it sucks to lose."

            The Bears (18-1), the No. 2 ranked team in the District One Class 4A standings, opened the scoring just over six minutes into the first half. Kayley Mattis beat Landis off a pass from Goffice. Freed argued unsuccessfully that an offside call should have nullified the goal.

Boyertown added an own goal nine minutes later. A free kick by junior Mikayla Moyer deflected off the head of an Indians defender and into the net past Landis.

            "I guess it was just some miscommunication," Freed wrote in a text Tuesday night.

            Camilla Kuever, a German exchange student who is a member of her country's U16 women's national team, set up Boyertown's third goal with 8:49 remaining in the first half.    Kuever dribbled through traffic and fed a pass to Goffice on the left wing. Goffice capped the scoring midway through the second half to secure the team's 14th consecutive win.

            The absence of midfielders Bryanna Marinari and Katie Cairns helped stymie the Tribe's offense, according to Freed. He said their injuries also forced the team to alter their alignment to better protect the middle of the field.

            "It was a sacrifice we had to make," Freed said.

            The Indians ended the regular season on a roll, having tied the school record for wins by a girls soccer team in school history in an 8-2 victory over Pottstown on Thursday, Oct. 10. Emily Schaut finished with three goals and an assist. Sarah Edwards contributed two goals and an assist, Avery Diehl scored twice.

            According to Freed, his young team benefited from relatively good health for most of the season. He said the Tribe received unexpected offensive balance. Nine different players have scored at least two goals. Marinari and Diehl lead with seven each. Schaut and Sarah Edwards have each scored six goals, followed by Cairns and Kyra Lesko (five each), Mary Kate Sitko (three) and Hannah Keeney and Sam Kozminski (two each).

            The defense – anchored by center backs Lindsay Bieler and Lauren Powers, outside backs Jada Roderick and Leah Marks and versatile substitute Erin Edwards – came into the conference playoffs allowing only 15 goals in 18 games. Landis, who stopped 103 shots entered the game with a save percent just under 90 percent and 10 shutouts.

            "We won a few games early, and the good feeling became infectious," Freed said.

The Indians will learn their playoff fate on Sunday. According to the coach, they are currently the No. 8 seed, which would mean a home game to open the tournament.

            ""We need to work on our offense and our communication skills," Landis said.





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