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Coach Confident Indians Will Respond from OT Loss
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer
2020-10-14

            Upper Perkiomen's girls soccer team ended a grinding stretch of three games in four days with an overtime loss to Owen J. Roberts last week. The team allowed a

            On Oct. 9, the team nearly battled the undefeated Wildcats to a tie. However,

Sarah Fisher races with the ball in a game last Friday against

Owen J. Roberts.  Upper Perkiomen fell 1-0 in double over-

time. 

Alexa Vogelman's game-winning goal with 17 seconds remaining in the second overtime period gave the OJR a 1-0 victory.

            The  Indians vow not to let the loss deter their progress. According to sophomore Lauren Powers, they need to learn from the defeat and continue to play well together.

            "Our team has been great," she said.

            Midway through its pandemic shortened schedule, the Tribe (4-2) is sitting in third place in the Pioneer Athletic Conference standings.

            Coach Mike Freed said he has no doubt his team will respond from the deflating defeat. Through six games, the Indians have played toe-to-toe with all of their opponents, consisting mostly of teams from the large school division.

            "One of the things I love about this group is that it's very resilient," the coach said. "They are going to compete with everyone. The girls expect to win every time they take the field. Rather than just being happy they were able to compete with teams from bigger schools, they are disappointed because they feel like they left (team) points on the table."

            On Thursday, Oct. 8, the Tribe posted a 1-0 road victory over Perkiomen Valley. Sarah Fisher delivered the decisive goal eight minutes into the first overtime period off a pass from Bryanna Marinari. Gabby Neal finished with six saves.

            "We don't let the bigger name schools bother us," said Powers, a two-year defensive starter who lives in Upper Hanover. "We view it as a challenge."

            According to Freed, the team overcame its worst performance of the season against the Vikings. He said the players struggled on a bumpy, grassy field. 

            "The first half was really poor," the coach said. "We just weren't sharp."  

            The Tribe found a way to win despite some struggles that included multiple players lost to injuries and a penalty kick save. He called it the sign of a good team to win despite not performing at its best.

            "We just kept banging away," the coach said.

            The following day, scoring opportunities against the visiting Wildcats, who posted a 9-2 shot advantage, were scarce. They carried the play, according to Freed. Neal finished with eight saves.

            Freed lauded the defensive performance of his team, which permitted just two goals, during the three-game stretch which included a 1-0 loss to Spring-Ford on Oct. 6. The coach praised the efforts of Powers, a two-year starter.

            "Lauren was an absolute warrior (against Owen J. Roberts)," Freed said.

            Powers credited her inside defensive partners, who included Mary Kate Sitko and Taylor Bieler, a ninth-grader. She also lauded the performances of Erin Edwards and Kate Carins, the teams outside defenders.  "I couldn't have performed the way I did without them," Powers said.

            The coach also highlighted the effort of Mary Kate Sitko, a sophomore midfielder. Freed said she played six positions in an earlier game against Boyertown.

            "I call her my fireman," the coach said. "Whenever there's a fire on the field, I send her to put it out."


 

 

 

 

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