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Sports Article
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Tribe Relying on Offense to Make Playoff Run
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer

            The growth of Upper Perkiomen's lacrosse team under head coach Catie Sobotor has been gradual. Last season, the team registered its initial District One playoff win under the coach.

            In her fifth season leading the Indians, Sobotor expects them to take several steps forward. Her goal is to win the Pioneer Athletic Conference's Frontier Division

Abby Davidheiser, right, makes a move toward the goal

after winning a faceoff during last week's scrimmage ag-

ainst Northwestern Lehigh.

title, earn another home game in districts and advance to the district semifinals.

            The key, according to the coach, is that every player delivers 100 percent effort on the field. Health could be the key to a deep playoff run, she wrote in an email message received Monday evening.

            The Tribe started its season with two consecutive wins over non-league opponents. It posted a 14-0 victory over Lower Moreland on Friday, March 17.

            Mary Kate Sitko delivered a game-high five goals and picked up four ground balls. Abby Davidheiser and Payton Bettys each finished with three goals. Davidheiser added one assist, picked up two ground balls, won two face-offs and caused two turnovers.

            Maggie Milkowich posted two goals, collected five ground balls and won three face-offs, for the Tribe, which led 12-0 at halftime.

            Against the visiting Lions, the Indians gained the early momentum and did not slow down. The defense allowed just one shot on goal.

            "For our first game, we looked very good," Sobotor wrote. "Offensively we distributed the ball well. Our defense came to play. It did an outstanding job."

            On Tuesday, Upper Perkiomen improved to 2-0 with a 16-5 victory over Dock Mennonite Academy in its home opener. Sitko delivered a game-high five goals and added two assists.

            Bettys and Davidheiser each delivered four goals. Bettys won four face offs and collected four ground balls. Abby Orsini scored twice, while Mia Schneider delivered one goal and one assist. Milkowich won seven face offs and collected four ground balls.

            The team defeated the Pioneers 17-5 last season in the opening round of the District One Class 2A playoffs.

            The team's key strength is it returns several top scorers. Sitko, who earned first-team All-Division honors last season, is the most accomplished of the group.  "She's a competitor," Sobotor wrote.

            Sitko has emerged as an effective leader. Sobotor claims that has made her more effective on the field.

            When defenders are drawn to Sitko, Bettys and several underclassmen will be relied upon to pick up the offensive slack. Bettys, a senior, earned second-team all-division honors last season.

            A group of juniors – including Davidheiser, Milkowich, Taylor Bieler, Orsini and Schneider – along with 10th graders Marianne Uber and Maguire Simms provide much-needed depth.

            Goalkeeper Ava Hengevald faced just one shot on goal in the victory over Lower Moreland.  "Each day, she keeps getting better and better," Sobotor wrote of Hengevald, who plays the same position for the field hockey team.

            Two ninth graders should receive significant experience time this season, according to the coach. She wrote that Ava Senseny and Giana Kozminksi, will likely play critical roles on the offensive and defensive ends of the field, respectively.

            They just have to adjust to the speed of the game, and they are almost there," Sobotor wrote. "Ava will fit nicely in with our attack and Giana is a strong defender." 

            The Indians resume their schedule with a non-conference home game Friday against Northampton. They open the PAC schedule on Tuesday on the road against Phoenixville.






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