Boy­er­town blasts off in 2nd half, tops PV, 2-1

The Community Connection - - SPORTS - By Austin Hert­zog ahert­zog@21st-cen­tu­ry­media. com @AustinHert­zog on Twit­ter

GRATERFORD » The Boy­er­town and Perkiomen Val­ley girls soc­cer teams have both bat­tled in­con­sis­tency this sea­son.

So when the two teams faced off on Sept. 25 in a Pi­o­neer Ath­letic Con­fer­ence Lib­erty Di­vi­sion matchup, the game was fit­tingly in­con­sis­tent.

After the Vik­ings owned the first 40 min­utes and took a one-goal lead into half­time, the Bears broke out in the sec­ond half with a swarm­ing per­for­mance that was re­warded when se­nior Corinne Ren­ninger struck home the de­ci­sive goal in the 58th minute of Boy­er­town’s 2-1 vic­tory at Perk Val­ley.

Ren­ninger’s win­ner, as­sisted by Grace Conover, came after a dom­i­nant stretch fol­low­ing sopho­more Mad­die Monka’s hope­ful ef­fort that got the Bears on the board in the 47th minute. It can­celled out Perkiomen Val­ley’s wel­learned first goal from Tay­lor Reiff, who volleyed home Syd­ney Marasco’s free kick in the 10th minute.

For Boy­er­town (3-2 PAC Lib­erty, 6-2 PAC, 6-5 over­all), what started as a Mon­day grind game turned into much more with its re­newed ef­fort in the sec­ond half.

“I think it’s the first step and I hope it can start some­thing,” se­nior mid­fielder Ren­ninger said. “It will get every­one on the same page.”

“We needed that for our con­fi­dence,” se­nior for­ward Kaleigh Gal­lagher said. “Our con­fi­dence has been low at times, but I think that was a con­fi­dence

booster for all of us.”

With Spring-Ford and Owen J. Roberts out in front of the PAC Lib­erty Di­vi­sion, the Bears-Vik­ings meet­ing was cru­cial in the scope of the league’s Fi­nal Four as a large pack chases the fi­nal wild-card po­si­tion.

Perk Val­ley (2-3, 4-4, 5-5) has el­e­vated it­self this sea­son into the PAC and District 1 play­off con­ver­sa­tions but fell into what coach Kim Paulus-McCabe felt was a cri­sis of con­fi­dence when lead­ing a Boy­er­town team that has long had its num­ber.

“To me it’s about be­lief, be­lief that we can beat teams that we haven’t tra­di­tion­ally beaten in the past,” she said. “There’s po­ten­tial here. I’m su­per proud of what they’ve ac­com­plished so far, but there’s still more I want them to get and I want them to be­lieve that they can. I think they’re get­ting there but there are those lit­tle moments of doubt that they have to knock out. They have to get a big win and they have the po­ten­tial to do it.”

The ‘big win’ looked within reach through the first 40 min­utes as the Vik­ings cre­ated many chances with ju­nior Marasco serv­ing as the pri­mary out­let with crosses from the right side. The Vik­ings out-shot the Bears 7-4 in the first half, con­ced­ing just one shot on goal from Gal­lagher that was par­ried well by All Area first team goal­keeper Les­lie Adams.

For two teams not tra­di­tion­ally known for their at­tack­ing verve, Mon­day’s match was an open, at­tack­ing af­fair. It es­pe­cially was in the sec­ond half in Boy­er­town’s fa­vor when they es­sen­tially played a high press with only two de­fend­ers.

“It was kind of crazy when we went to two in the back, it was like, ‘Oh my God, this is so wide,’ but the girls up top re­ally put in work,” Boy­er­town se­nior de­fender Shana Kabi­noff said. “It re­ally worked out.”

The Bears were all over the Vik­ings in the sec­ond half, out-shoot­ing them 145. They caught a stroke of good for­tune on Monka’s bend­ing, dip­ping strike that dropped into the far cor­ner of goal from 20 yards out, a re­ward for sus­tained pres­sure largely cre­ated by Ren­ninger, Gal­lagher and Conover.

“When every­body is go­ing for it, it makes ev­ery­thing bet­ter. The first half was spotty but in the sec­ond half we re­ally went at it,” Ren­ninger said.

Adams (five saves) made an out­stand­ing low save on a left-footed Gal­lagher shot that was fol­lowed by PV’s best chance of the half when Bears goal­keeper Mat­tie Gal­lagher was caught out try­ing to col­lect the ball. Kelsey Marino struck for net but Bears’ de­fender Aurora Con­rad saved it off the line.

Boy­er­town took the game for good in the 58th minute when Gal­lagher won the ball off a PV de­fender and played in Conover down the left side. She cen­tered to a crash­ing, wide-open Ren­ninger, who took a touch around Adams and fired into the open net for the game-win­ner.

“I thought we were go­ing to get re­warded (for the sec­ond-half ef­fort),” Gal­lagher said. “We weren’t go­ing to get re­warded in the first half be­cause we didn’t de­serve it.”

NOTES » Boy­er­town sits 27th in the District 1-AAAA power rank­ings with Perkiomen Val­ley in 23rd after Mon­day’s re­sult . ... Boy­er­town led in cor­ner kicks, 4-2, and shots on goal 7-5. ... The Bears have con­sis­tently been district play­off qual­i­fiers, but the Vik­ings haven’t had the same for­tune, which they’ve try to change down the stretch. “I have to put things in per­spec­tive though. Three years ago, our se­nior class won three games. Then they dou­bled it, then they tripled it,” Paulus-McCabe said. “Now they are in this po­si­tion and they see dis­tricts on the hori­zon and it’s a be­lief that they can beat teams that have tra­di­tion­ally been above us.”

AUSTIN HERT­ZOG - DFM

Boy­er­town’s Corinne Ren­ninger drib­bles around Perkiomen Val­ley goal­keeper Les­lie Adams as she scores the de­ci­sive goal in the sec­ond half.

AUSTIN HERT­ZOG - DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Boy­er­town’s Corinne Ren­ninger cel­e­brates after scor­ing the de­ci­sive goal in a 2-1 win over Perkiomen Val­ley.

AUSTIN HERT­ZOG - DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Boy­er­town’s Kaleigh Gal­lagher (9) pres­sures Perkiomen Val­ley’s Al­li­son Cap­pelli (10) along the side­line on Sept. 25.

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