Ken­nett ousted by Up­per Perkiomen

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - SPORTS - By Thomas Nash tnash@21st-cen­tu­ry­ @Thomas_Nash10 on Twit­ter

RED HILL >> Im­me­di­ately following her team’s loss in the PAC Cham­pi­onship game last week, Up­per Perkiomen head coach Jamie War­ren chal­lenged her play­ers.

Not only to re­bound from the con­fer­ence title game, but also to take con­trol in all phases once again.

Hope Flack scored twice and Up­per Perk dom­i­nated the pos­ses­sion through­out on the way to a 3-0 shutout win over Ken­nett in the open­ing round of the Dis­trict 1 Class AA play­offs on Wed­nes­day night at In­di­ans Sta­dium.

Think the Tribe was up to War­ren’s chal­lenge?

“We were re­ally up­set af­ter los­ing PACs, def­i­nitely,” said Flack, a ju­nior for­ward. “Our coach and our cap­tains re­ally stepped it up as leaders and told us that we needed to get our acts to­gether. That def­i­nitely got us re­ally ex­cited for this one.”

With the win, No. 5 seeded Up­per Perk (12-1 PAC; 18-3 over­all) will travel to No. 4 Merion Mercy (8-0 win­ner over Villa Joseph Marie) on Fri­day. No. 12 Ken­nett’s sea­son comes to a close at 9-10 over­all (5-8 Ches-Mont Amer­i­can).

The Tribe put 23 shots on goal — 17 dur­ing the open­ing half — and kept Ken­nett out of the cir­cle through the game’s first 23 min­utes. It was a com­plete 180 from last week’s cham­pi­onship game, where UP lost of­fen­sive con­trol in the sec­ond half, en­abling Owen J. Roberts to score two-unan­swered goals and take the win.

“We were able to play much more re­laxed of­fen­sively tonight,” said War­ren, com­par­ing it to the PAC cham­pi­onship game. “There was a lot more ball move­ment from our mid­field­ers, which was re­ally good to see. We weren’t al­ways plow­ing it up to our for­wards, then ex­pect­ing them to do some­thing with the ball. We were let­ting our of­fense de­velop.”

Flack got the scor­ing started seven min­utes in off a cross from Abri­ana Gatto set up by AiYi Young. Al­most 13 min­utes later, Kathryn Lehman clanked a re­bound into the cage to give the Tribe a 2-0 lead.

Up­per Perk held an 11-1 first-half ad­van­tage in cor­ners, fin­ish­ing with 16 over­all and lim­it­ing the Blue De­mons to four cor­ners through­out. Flack struck again mid­way through the sec­ond half, plant­ing her­self on the right side be­fore she took a cross from Liz Fox and de­flected it into the cage.

“Our backs were clear­ing it up (to the mid­field) with a lot of long passes,” said Flack. “That’s what got the ball mov­ing re­ally well and let us keep it in our zone. We prob­a­bly could have cap­i­tal­ized a lit­tle bit more on our cor­ners and our shots, but for­tu­nately we didn’t need to.”

Keeper Claire Bor­man proved to be a vi­able last line of de­fense in the Ken­nett cage where she fin­ished with 20 saves.

“She’s played tremen­dous, es­pe­cially the sec­ond half of the sea­son,” said Ken­nett head coach Meghan Shumway. “She sees ev­ery­thing on the field and knows how to di­rect traf­fic back there. We’ve re­lied on her a lot this year.”

“We’ve got to place our shots bet­ter,” said War­ren. “Their goalie was strong, but we’ve got to do a bet­ter job of mov­ing her around and get­ting her out of po­si­tion.”

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