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Sports Article
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UP Girls Contending for Division Title
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer

            With each passing victory, Upper Perkiomen's girls soccer team moves a little closer to the Pioneer Athletic Conference playoffs. The team is a legitimate contender

Indians freshman Jada Roderick, right, plays the ball along

the sideline as a Pottstown player challengers her on Mon-

day night.

for the Frontier Division title, according to head coach Mike Freed.

            "Making the PAC playoffs would be crazy," junior midfielder Emily Schault said. "I never thought this team would (play as well as it has this season). But we're going to continue working hard, collecting wins and hope for the best."

            Despite a shaky start, the Indians rolled to a 4-0 victory over Pottstown on Monday night. Sam Kozminski, Kyra Lesko, Avery Diehl and Mary Kate Sitko each scored. Schault registered two assists.

            The Tribe (4-1 league, 9-3 overall) posted its fifth consecutive shutout and eighth overall to remain a game behind Pottsgrove atop the division standings. According to Freed, a rematch with the undefeated Falcons on Oct. 3 should go a long way towards determining the title.

            "This team's confidence is off the chart," the coach said.

            Against the Trojans, Upper Perkiomen appeared disorganized during the initial 10 minutes. The team allowed two corner kicks, but did not surrender a goal.

            According to Schault, the team seemed out of synch due to its first night game of the season. Freed took the blame for the slow start, saying that he might have psyched out the players by alerting them to Pottstown's speedy attackers.

            Midway through the first half, the Indians took control when Kozminski converted a pass from Hannah Keeney to open the scoring. Lesko then converted a through pass from Schault with 3:55 left in the first half to put them ahead 2-0.

            The Tribe dominated the second half. Diehl and Sitko both added goals, while the defense limited Pottstown's scoring opportunities to post its fifth consecutive shutout and eighth of the season.

            Freed said his priority is to create a team with a stifling defense. The unit has allowed just four goals in its last 11 games and eight overall this season. However, Schault doesn't consider the defensive acumen its identifying trait.

            "Our priority may be defense, but we can put the ball in the net," she said. "We work very hard at offensive drills."

            Upper Perkiomen has relied on balanced scoring, according to Freed. He said eight players have at least one goal.

            A quartet of ninth graders have made a significant impact. Lesko, a midfielder, along with defenders Jada Roderick and Lauren Powers, are regular starters. According to Freed, Sitko, Sara Edwards and Erin Edwards provide invaluable depth off the bench.

            The coach also said Powers, sophomore Lindsay Bieler and Kozminski have developed a phenomenal chemistry on defense. He called them a huge part of the Tribe's miniscule goals against average.

             "I'm not that surprised about what the ninth graders can do," Schault said. "They were never tentative. They are very talented. The upper classmen did a real good job making them feel like they were part of the team."

            Bryanna Marinari's goal midway through the second half lifted Upper Perkiomen to a 1-0 victory over Methacton on Thursday, Sept. 19. Lesko posted an assist. Goalkeeper Hannah Landis registered nine saves for the team, which posted a stellar defensive effort.






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