In the second round of Philafieldhockey.com’s Game of the Week, the teams and fans did not disappoint. The game, selected by nearly 900 twitter and facebook fans via an online poll, shaped up to be a sit-on-the-edge-of-your-seat defensive battle, with the outcome being decided in the eighth minute of overtime.
A back-and-forth, evenly matched game between two perennial powerhouses in the PAC Liberty conference, it was Methacton who pulled off the win over hosting team, Perkiomen Valley.
“I don’t think anyone would think this was our best game, but they battled,” Sarah Quintos, Methacton Head Coach said. “It’s always tough to come here and play on their field but we had a grass field and we get it; my team didn’t complain… PV is always a strong team and today was no different.”
Methacton, peppered with numerous Division I commits, entered the game with a 0-2 record in the most recent PAC contests; they wanted this win with passion.
“I thought we started off not 100% but toward the end, we had a lot of solid momentum,” said junior forward Emily Owens (Drexel commit.) “I give big props to Olivia and Jackie for going all out on that goal. We really, really needed to pull out this win.”
Perkiomen Valley’s passion was also evident. Despite a younger team with three standout freshmen – all of whom started in the OT round – the team executed their defensive game plan of sticking like glue to very able Methacton scorers. PV’s attack also delivered by finding the cage after a scramble in the 12th minute of the second half but the goal was called back; the infraction being that the ball was not carried outside the circle from the corner insertion.
“This game, we had to mark heavier and a lot tighter and limit (Methacton’s) touches with their offensive line,” noted Taylor Hamm, junior center back. “We have a lot of young players and they listened a lot when I hollered something during the game. They didn’t give up. None of us did.”
“I’m feeling like we were right there with them, if not a little better,” said PV Coach, Erik Enters. “And that goal we had, ahhh, I thought that was the winning goal. I don’t know. I just know that you lose some and you win some. It’s hockey. The PAC is so tight and there’s not a team we can’t come back and get.”
Statistically, the game was a near dead heat. Perkiomen Valley recorded 16 shots, Methacton: 13. PV earned one more corner than Methacton (11 to 10). Both teams recorded their first shots on goal within four minutes of game time and both goalkeepers had banner games. Methacton’s Addie Frey (10 saves) never shied from leaving the goal cage to meet PV’s attacking lines or to bat away the numerous lofted shot attempts from PV’s Gabby Martina. PV’s Miranda Wesley (9 saves) made three sliding tackles that were otherwise goals.
As expected, Methacton’s attacking dynamic duo of Olivia Hoover and Owens made numerous runs throughout the game in what you thought many times would finish as a goal – or a shot at least – but were foiled often by PV’s Hamm, freshman center middie Katie Wuerstle, and senior defender Natalie Johnston.
On the flip side, Methacton’s defense led by junior center back, Julia Dickinson (Ohio State commit) and sophomore defense/midfielder Frankie Lucchesi kept PV’s offensive line at bay.
The deciding goal of the game came after a slight PV control of overtime, who recorded 3 shots and earned 2 corners. But, an aggressive Methacton push led to a fiery shot on goal by sophomore Katy Benton, a defensive save by PV’s Taylor Hamm, a deflection off PV’s GK Wesley, a pass from Methacton’s Jackie Cerchio to Hoover who, ultimately, notched the winning Warrior goal.
“I think that toward the end of a game, especially in really tight games when we need to score, that I really get focused,” Hoover noted. “That goal was crazy because I was just so in the zone. I could feel that it was going in. I just knew it was.”
“I have a lot of friends on PV so I really wanted to beat them,” Lucchesi shared with a laugh. “I’ve learned to never underestimate a team and we definitely couldn’t today; PV was great. But for us, it was a really great game! We succeeded. We prevailed. It’s exhilarating!”
Week 3 of PhilaFH Game of the Week’s poll posted on twitter and facebook @PhilaFH at 9:00am today.
cover: PV’s Danielle Hamm and Methacton’s Lucchesi battle for the ball
inside top to bottom: Methacton’s Owens and PV’s Johnston; Hoover notches the winning goal; Methacton’s Dickinson steps up on PV’s Liz Tarbet and Martina; Methacton’s Frey anchors the D; a jubilent Hoover celebrates the game-winner; Methacton’s team
photo credit: Tommy Meehan, Photos from the Sidelines (TommyMeehan.com)
Photos available for purchase.
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