Tow­ers, Ben­ning boost Boyertown over Methac­ton

The Boyertown Area Times - - SPORTS - By Austin Hertzog ahert­zog@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @AustinHert­zog on Twit­ter

Jimmy Tow­ers had to wait far longer than he would have hoped to score his first goal in 2016 (Sept. 21 against Up­per Perkiomen).

This year, the Boyertown se­nior for­ward had a much shorter wait ... all of 16 min­utes.

Sopho­more team­mate Drew Ben­ning ap­par­ently isn’t one for wait­ing ei­ther.

Tow­ers and Ben­ning en­joyed their first-half goals so much they duplicated their ef­forts in the sec­ond half en route to a 4-1 vic­tory over Methac­ton on the open­ing day of the Pioneer Ath­letic Con­fer­ence boys soccer sea­son.

The Bears (1-0) opened their PAC ti­tle de­fense in fine form, get­ting goals from the ex­pected – Tow­ers – and un­ex­pected – Ben­ning, who was mak­ing his first var­sity ap­pear­ance.

“It’s a boost to my con­fi­dence and the team’s con­fi­dence by help­ing in the scor­ing,” said Tow­ers, an All-Area hon­or­able men­tion in 2016. “That’s what I want to do as a leader and a cap­tain and as a se­nior, to come out strong and I thought I did.”

“It’s great. I’m not go­ing to tell you I ex­pected to score two goals on the first day, but I’m very happy about it,” Ben­ning said.

Ben­ning’s goals were no or­di­nary thing – both were strikes from 30 or more yards, both struck beau­ti­fully when he was given too much space to pick up a free ball in the mid­field.

So un­ac­cus­tomed to the oc­ca­sion, he didn’t cel­e­brate ei­ther score.

“It’s never been like me to cel­e­brate. I put a cou­ple good shots on and luck­ily they got in, but most im­por­tantly it helped the team win,” Ben­ning said.

The fi­nal score­line flat­ters Boyertown to a de­gree with the War­riors (0-1) be­ing right in the game un­til Ben­ning and Tow­ers struck in suc­ces­sion with around 15 min­utes to play.

TJ Tay­lor lev­eled the game fol­low­ing a throw-in af­ter Boyertown’s opener, but the Bears took the lead for good with 30 sec­onds re­main­ing in the first half on Ben­ning’s blast.

“He hits them in prac­tice,” Tow­ers said of Ben­ning’s strikes.

While the Bears made the most of their chances, Methac­ton couldn’t say the same. The War­riors showed enough tech­ni­cal

skill through­out, but were left want­ing more true scor­ing chances.

“Hats off to Boyertown. They took good shots and put them in the back of the net. It was im­pres­sive,” said first-year Methac­ton coach Dave Steven­son, who took over for John Smeykal. “I thought we did some good things, play­ing a pass­ing game and work the ball, but we’ve got to do bet­ter up top as far as cre­at­ing more scor­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties.

“We need some work in terms of fine-tun­ing that and play­ing off each other. We’re not see­ing enough of that.”

The Bears eased some of the ques­tions that may sur­round the team af­ter grad­u­at­ing an ac­com­plished class that in­cluded All-Area first team­ers Alex Kid­well, Erik Recke and sec­ond team mid­fielder Nik Verma.

“From last year I thought it was as good team, but this year I think we have even more depth,” Tow­ers said. “I think any­one can come off the bench and play, which is a big con­fi­dence booster.”

Boyertown next faces Perkiomen Val­ley (1-0) on Wed­nes­day at home. Methac­ton vis­its Spring-Ford (10) on Wed­nes­day at 7:15 p.m.

AUSTIN HERTZOG — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Boyertown’s Jimmy Tow­ers (14) con­trols the ball against Methac­ton on Fri­day.

AUSTIN HERTZOG - DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Boyertown sopho­more Drew Ben­ning, sec­ond from right, is con­grat­u­lated by team­mates af­ter scor­ing his sec­ond goal of the game in the sec­ond half Fri­day against Methac­ton.

AUSTIN HERTZOG - DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Methac­ton’s Trevor Rambo and Boyertown’s Derek Dierolf bat­tle for the ball Fri­day.

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