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Indians Fall Short in Rematch with OJR
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer
2021-10-27

            Upper Perkiomen's girls soccer team got the rematch it was hoping for last week. The team competed better in its rematch with Owen J. Roberts, according to head coach Mike Freed.

            However, the Tribe couldn't avoid a 3-0 loss with the Pioneer Athletic

Sara Edwards, right, battles an Owen J. Roberts 

defender for possession.

Conference title at stake.

            The Wildcats celebrated their fourth conference title in five seasons on their home field on Thursday, Oct. 21.

             The Indians were better prepared than their first meeting, said sophomore Sarah Fisher.  "It was a good challenge," Fisher said. "I enjoyed it."

            The Indians – the first Frontier Division team to reach the PAC final since 2017 – had their share of offensive opportunities, and Fisher felt they could have had more.

            Fisher, one of her Upper Perk's top scorers, described the Owen J. Roberts defense as the best unit they have faced all season.  "They are very fast and dynamic," Fisher noted.

            Freed described the Wildcats as his team's toughest opponent of the season, by far. He said the Tribe (17-3) relished the opportunity to take on the No. 5 ranked Class 4A team in the Pennsylvania Soccer Coaches Association's weekly rankings and the No. 2 ranked team in the District One Class 4A standings.

            Freed said he considered implementing a more defensive, counter attacking strategy against Owen J. Roberts. Two days earlier, Pottsgrove utilized that approach to play the No. 1 seeded Wildcats (18-1-1) even deep into the second half. However, Alexa Vogelman's goal in the final minute of regulation lifted her team to a 2-1 semifinal victory.

            Freed decided against implementing an alignment shift for Upper Perkiomen's first PAC title game since 2008. Freed decided to stick with the same aggressive approach that generated 89 goals in its 17 wins and captured a division title.  "Sitting back is not in our DNA," he said. "That's not who we are."

            Except for OJR, the Tribe has dominated its opponents. It allowed just five goals to teams other than the Wildcats, and posted their seventh consecutive shutout with a 1-0 victory over Spring-Ford in the semifinals on Oct. 19.

            Unlike their regular season meeting, a 5-0 loss on Sept. 30 on the same field, the Indians kept OJR off the scoreboard well into the first half until Sydney Garner opened the scoring 17:22 before halftime, heading in a corner kick from Emerson Storti.

            The Wildcats extended their lead to 2-0 approximately 10 minutes later on a goal by Vogelman. The speedy sophomore cut behind the Tribe's defense, received a pass from Avery White and beat goalkeeper Gabby Neal with a short shot.

            Vogelman registered at least four quality scoring opportunities. Early in the second half, she assisted the game's final goal, which OJR junior Olivia Thompson scored on a throw-in.

"We struggled with their pressure," Freed said. "They did to us what we normally do to most opponents."

            The Indians enter the District One Class 3A Tournament as the No. 3 seed. They need two wins to qualify for the PIAA state playoffs.

            Following a first-round bye, the Tribe will host either No. 6 Bishop Shanahan or No. 13 Nazareth Academy in the second round at 6 p.m. on Friday.


 

 

 

 

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