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Offense Carries Indians Field Hockey to Strong Start
Written by Bradley Schlegel Staff Reporter
2016-09-21

Upper Perk's Liz Fox (right) reaches for a pass from Kaylie Siwy (center) in Monday's game against Norristown. Fox notched a goal and an assist for Indians, which posted a 12-0 win over the Eagles.

                Through eight games, Upper Perkiomen's field hockey team resembles an offensive juggernaut. The undefeated Indians, who are averaging 8.75 goals a game, lead the Pioneer Athletic Conference's Frontier Division.

                "Things have fallen into place nicely," sophomore forward Abriana Gatto said. "We're on a good path to districts. Everyone is working very well together."

                Entering Tuesday's scheduled non-league game against visiting Christopher Dock, Upper Perkiomen (6-0 conference, 8-0 overall) has scored 70 goals and allowed just three.

                "It's nice to be in this position," head coach Jamie Warren said.

                On Monday, the team scored a dozen goals for the third time this season. In a 12-0 victory over visiting Norristown, Gatto delivered two goals and one assist.

                Michaela Swenk and Kaylie Siwy each added two goals. Liz Fox contributed one goal and two assists for Upper Perkiomen, which led 7-0 at halftime. Hope Flack, Morgan Chowns, Kourtne Buck and Autumn Gehman also scored.

                "We have a lot of scorers," Warren said.

                The Indians forced Norristown goalkeeper Basiman Curry into 18 saves, while Liz Pierson stopped two shots.

                According to the coach, a 2-1 season-opening victory over Souderton helped catapult the Indians to their strong start. AiYi Young's goal, off an assist from Gatto, with 2:05 left in the first overtime period, avenged consecutive season-ending playoff losses.

                She said another non-league victory, over 4-1 over Radnor on Saturday, Sept. 17 provided a clue that the start was not a fluke. Gatto posted all four goals and Flack added three assists.

                "When Abriana scored all those goals I thought, 'Huh,'" Warren said. "It was very exciting. Radnor plays good defense. They realty marked our players."

                According to Gatto, the Indians have surprised some of their opponents with their offensive efficiency.

                "We're moving the ball a lot better than last year," she said. "Our post players are making good passes. And we're converting on penalty corners."

                Warren didn't know how the players, who include a plethora of inexperienced sophomores and juniors, would mesh.

                "We have a lot of players who work hard," she said. "And a lot of those girls play the sport all year around."

                The Indians have dominated their conference opponents so far, winning with a combined margin of 64-1. They posted 40 goals in consecutive victories over Liberty Division opponents Phoenxiville (12-1), Upper Merion (12-0) and Pottsgrove (16-0).

                Gatto delivered a team-high 13 goals and two assists during the three games. Flack delivered five goals and eight assists, while Kathryn Lehman registered five goals and three assists.

                Warren expects the rest of Upper Perkiomen's schedule to be more challenging. She said the next three games – including road games against conference opponents Boyertown (Friday) and Methacton (Sept. 28), followed by a home game against non-league opponent Quakertown (Sept. 30) – to be a test.

                "We expect the teams in our division to be improved the next time we face them," the coach said. "So we have to keep improving."


 

 

 

 

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