Spring-Ford comes back, downs Boyertown

The Community Connection - - SPORTS - By Ryan Bren­nan rbren­nan@pottsmerc.com

BOYERTOWN » Play­ing from be­hind was not Spring-Ford’s strong suit com­ing into their PAC Liberty Di­vi­sion matchup at Boyertown.

That all changed Tuesday af­ter­noon af­ter the Rams ral­lied for three unan­swered goals in the sec­ond half to de­feat the Bears 3-2 in a game that had a big im­pact on both teams’ district play­off chances.

“We needed this game,” said Spring-Ford head coach Jen­nie An­der­son. “We’ve lost a lot of close games re­cently where we’ve been down and haven’t been able to come back.”

With the win, the Rams moved to 5-4 in PAC divi­sional play and 7-10 over­all. The Bears dropped to 2-7 and 8-7 over­all. The Rams, ranked 22nd in the District 1 Class 3A power rank­ings, moved up to No. 21 with Boyertown right ahead at No. 20. The top 24 teams ad­vance to the district play­offs.

Early in the game, the Rams’ of­fense was able to put some pres­sure on Boyertown goalie, Ha­ley Gable, by forc­ing three cor­ners and get­ting three shots on net, in­clud­ing one from Clare Kennedy which hit off the right post.

Sur­viv­ing the ini­tial push, the Bears were able to put to­gether some of­fense of their own when Cassie Kid­well found a wide open Ash­ley Dierolf in front of the net to give Boyertown a 1-0 lead head­ing into half­time.

In the sec­ond half, the Bears were once again able to get on the board when a mis­com­mu­ni­ca­tion by the Rams’ de­fense al­lowed Syd­ney Fox to get a wide open shot past goalie Ash­ley Della Guardia for the 2-0 lead.

The mis­com­mu­ni­ca­tion led An­der­son to call a time­out, which would prove to be a huge mo­men­tum change in fa­vor of the Rams.

“That sec­ond goal we stopped play­ing (hard) and that’s why we called that time­out, just to re­it­er­ate what type of game this is,” said An­der­son. “We just said ‘if we want to be in play­offs we have to win this game.’”

Less than two min­utes later, the Rams recorded their first goal of the con­test when Kate Crist found Kennedy across the mid­dle of the net for a goal to cut the deficit to 2-1.

Af­ter more Rams’ pres­sure, a shot by Kait­lyn Hen­nessy was de­flected by a Boyertown de­fender and right onto the stick of Sarah Cooper, who put it in the back of the net to tie it at two.

With just un­der six min­utes re­main­ing in the game, the Rams fi­nally got the game-win­ning goal they were look­ing for af­ter a shot by Kennedy was turned away by Gable, leav­ing a per­fect re­bound op­por­tu­nity for Alexa Haber­mehl who found the back of the cage.

The Bears would not go down with­out a fight as they in­duced two of their five cor­ner op­por­tu­ni­ties in the fi­nal minute of the game, only to have a fi­nal at­tempt turned away by Della Guardia (three saves) with 15 sec­onds re­main­ing.

“The only thing we did dif­fer­ently from when we had the lead to when we didn’t was we weren’t go­ing first to the ball,” said Boyertown head coach Karen Kooker. “We waited to see what they did with the ball and then we re­acted.”

The Bears will have another op­por­tu­nity to so­lid­ify their spot in the play­offs when they visit the win­less Norristown Ea­gles on Thurs­day.

“We def­i­nitely have to come ready to play, be first to the ball, make con­nec­tions up and down the field and get that hunger back,” said Kooker.

The Rams will host Owen J. Roberts — which cur­rently sits in sixth place in the District play­off stand­ings — on Thurs­day.

“To­day showed us that if we get down we are able to come­back so hope­fully this gives us the con­fi­dence; that we can play with any­one,” said An­der­son.


Boyertown’s Asia Swenk (16) bat­tles for pos­ses­sion with Spring-Ford’s Mac Maloney (20).

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