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Indians Complete Field Hockey Three-peat
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer

Upper Perkiomen's field hockey team celebrates its third consecutive Pioneer Athletic Conference

Title.  The team defeated Boyertown on Oct. 21.


            The Upper Perkiomen field hockey team earned its third consecutive Pioneer Athletic Conference title last week mostly because of a talented roster, senior leadership and the guidance of veteran coach Jamie Warren.

            But maybe a sliver of gratitude is also owed to the softball program for the Tribe's 3-1 victory over Boyertown in the championship game played in Bill Keeny Stadium.

            Upper Perkiomen offensively dominated most of the first half and goals by Jade Traynor and Kylene Gooch staked the Tribe to a 2-0 halftime lead. But it was goalie Lynnsi Joyce, a catcher on the softball team, who was the difference with spectacular how-did-she-stop-that saves to keep the Bears off the board in the initial 30 minutes.

            The first pair of important saves came about four minutes after Gooch had given the Indians a two-goal advantage with 10:57 left in the second quarter.

            Joyce made a great save on Bears star Katelyn Dulin near the right post, but Dulin took the rebound and fed it to Remi Lloyd who appeared to have an easy goal on her stick. Joyce dove across the goalmouth to deflect Lloyd's shot with what might have been the save of the year.

            "Outside of field hockey, I'm also a catcher in softball and that just feels like a very natural movement," Joyce said after the game. "I didn't even think about it. That's what I needed to do in the moment."

            Boyertown's first-year coach Alicia Terrizzi was distressed and impressed by Joyce's acrobatics.  "Their goalie saved them because there were two saves that would have been the difference," Terrizzi said. "One of them, I thought the ball was in. She made an amazing save. We were all celebrating and I'm like, 'How in the world did she get that?'"

            A few minutes later, Joyce made another sprawling save on a play again set up by Dulin.  "I think Lynnsi had a couple of key saves in there," Warren said tongue-in-cheek.

            Upper Perkiomen tilted the field in its favor early in the first half. Jade Traynor capitalized with assists from her sisters, Jess and Julia, for a 1-0 lead with 8:31 left in the first quarter.

            Gooch's goal came off a corner and was assisted by Abby Rodenberger. Upper Perkiomen had 10 corners to Boyertown's one in the first half, a measure of the Tribe's dominance.  "The girl marking me on my post was definitely tight on me so I saw the ball coming in a little wide," Gooch said of her goal. "I tried to get any kind of touch I could on it and point it in the right direction."

            As it did in the 3-2 semifinal win over Perkiomen Valley, Upper Perkiomen got off to a sluggish start in the second half and Boyertown capitalized with 2:57 left in the third quarter to cut the deficit in half when Lauren Eves tipped in a Dulin pass.

            However, just 54 seconds into the fourth quarter, Takoda Wells scored off a long rebound to give the Tribe a two-goal cushion again.  "Getting on those rebounds is really important," Wells said. "And we're always pushing our top players to run into the circle and that's just what I did, collected the rebound, and found the goal."

            Warren said the goal allowed the entire Upper Perkiomen sideline to relax a bit. "We kind of got lost in the momentum. Thank goodness we went out though in that fourth quarter got that goal within two, three minutes," the coach said.

            Another diving stop by Joyce on a Dulin attempt a couple of minutes later seemed to further deflate the Bears.

            While Dulin and the Bears did have their moments, Upper Perkiomen generally kept the circle safe by paying special attention to Dulin who was often bracketed by defenders.  "We knew how powerful she was and how good she was, especially on the baseline and coming in," said Luci Carpenter, who played a strong defensive game for the Indians in the middle of the field.

             "And then everybody else, being aware of them and shutting them out and passing around them."

            It is not surprising that Joyce, Gooch, Wells and Carpenter were the key contributors in the game. The four seniors have started for the Tribe for four years and helped instill a team-first mindset into the program.  "They've really brought the team together this year with their leadership," Warren said.

            Making it to the championship game was a monumental achievement for Boyertown which won just four games last year.

            "Overall, you could see our inexperience. We haven't been here," said Terrizzi, "We haven't been here on this big stage. Most of the mistakes we made were self-inflicted tonight, things that we don't typically do, but we'll learn from this."

            Both teams advanced to Districts which began earlier this week.





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