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Tribe Boys Soccer Falls to Palisades in Non-League Match
Written by Bradley Schlegel Staff Writer
2016-09-07

Elijah Wadsworth, a senior midfielder, deflects a pass for Upper Perkiomen on Sept. 2. The team lost 3-0 to visiting Palisades.

        Though Elijah Wadsworth was not elected as a captain, the midfielder is taking a leadership role on Upper Perkiomen's soccer team.

        On Thursday, Sept. 1 – during a non-league game against Palisades – Wadsworth directed, cajoled and encouraged his young teammates.  One of five seniors, Wadsworth realized the need to mentor his teammates early on in pre-season practice.

        "On the field, I am not usually very vocal," he said. "But I looked around and discovered most of the players were younger than me."

        Wadsworth's coaching on the field couldn't prevent a 3-0 loss to the visiting Pirates. Cooper Moyer scored two second-half goals.

        Wadsworth described Palisades as good opponent for the Indians to ease into their Pioneer Athletic Conference, which started Wednesday afternoon at Upper Merion.  "We played better than I expected," he said. "The defense was really strong."

        With 15 seniors, the Pirates are expected to compete for the title in a tough Colonial League, according to Upper Perkiomen Head Coach Kyle Fisher.

        "Palisades was a good challenge," Wadsworth said.

        On Tuesday, Sept. 6, the Indians (0-2) suffered a 5-3 loss to Kutztown. Brandin Wheatley scored twice in the second half, and Braeden Diehl added a goal in the defeat.

        Beckham Sibiski scored four goals to lead the Cougars.

        Against Palisades, Upper Perkiomen managed just two shots on goal. Wheatley accounted for the team's best scoring opportunity, when he generated a breakaway with approximately 15 minutes remaining in the first half. However, Wheatley's shot missed wide right.

        Fisher said he was pleased with the team's defensive performance. He said none of Palisades' goals came within the flow of the game.  "It's not like they moved the ball down the field with 10 easy passes and scored," the coach said. "They didn't have many opportunities within the normal flow. I'd say that's real progress."

        The Indians will rely on a handful of inexperienced sophomores and one freshman to help solidify the middle of the field. Midfielders Tyler Raymond, Mike Sitko, Ian Costanzo and Steven White, along with fullback Nick Mattson, got significant playing time against the Pirates.

        With a roster shortened to 16, the quintet will continue to play, according to Fisher.  "The intent is to get the most talent on the field as we can," the coach said.

        According to Fisher, the offense will likely rely on counter attacks of sophomore White and Wheatley. He said both attackers possess "track speed."

        Jackson Lill recorded eight saves against the Pirates. According to the coach, the junior goalkeeper knows how to use his body to stop a shot.

        "When it comes to stopping shots, Jackson is as strong as anybody," Fisher said.

"The key for Jackson is learning how to make decisions during the game, which will come with experience."


 

 

 

 

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