Spring-Ford de­nies Boy­er­town

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

ROY­ERS­FORD >> The Boy­er­town girls soc­cer team felt like it was on the verge of big things nearly all fall.

Spring-Ford seem­ingly was al­ways butting in on those hopes, like a de­fender shield­ing the ball out of bounds.

So it was cru­elly fit­ting at the fi­nal whis­tle of Tues­day night’s Dis­trict 1 Class 4A play­off first-round match when No. 12 seed SpringFord kept find­ing ways to stay a step ahead of No. 21 Boy­er­town in a 3-2 vic­tory at Coach McNelly Sta­dium.

Ella Curry was on the dou­ble for the win­ners, the ju­nior at­tack­ing mid­fielder’s scor­ing touch a chief rea­son why the Rams (136) ad­vanced to face No. 5 Down­ing­town East Thurs­day night (7 p.m.) at Down­ing­town West. Alyssa Hardin as­sisted on Curry’s game-win­ner with a cross from the right side with 18:51 to play.

Be­fore that de­ci­sive score, Boy­er­town al­ways had an an­swer for SpringFord in a sec­ond half that was a stun­ner, an open, at­tack­ing af­fair with big chances, many goals (4), great goal­keep­ing saves — a rar­ity in a matchup that is usu­ally cagey and lows­cor­ing.

“It was a bit frus­trat­ing as they kept com­ing back,” Curry said. “The pres­sure is on us to get an­other one be­cause we don’t want to go into over­time if we don’t have to. We had to keep step­ping it up af­ter each one and I think we did that.”

From a Boy­er­town per­spec­tive, de­fen­sive mis­cues will leave it won­der­ing af­ter a third match with SpringFord went the Rams’ way.

“It was ev­ery­thing a play­off game should be,” Boy­er­town coach Bill God­dard said. “Un­char­ac­ter­is­ti­cally, we gave up three goals, which is un­usual. We scored two, which is un­usual. On a night where we score two, nor­mally that would be good enough for us to win. It wasn’t due to lack of ef­fort.”

Spring-Ford sopho­more mid­fielder Hope Flane­gin opened the game’s scor­ing — the lone goal in the first half — with an easy, open­net

fin­ish thanks to the great run of se­nior right back Jill Quigley, who split the de­fense and hit a strong shot that could only be par­ried by Boy­er­town goal­keeper Mat­tie Gal­lagher.

“I was tak­ing my space be­cause it was wide open. The girl came on but then the two de­fend­ers sep­a­rated so I just split them and went for it,” Quigley said. “It was a re­lief (to get the open­ing goal) and gave us more con­fi­dence in our­selves.”

The sec­ond half sig­naled its in­tent from the jump when Spring-Ford sopho­more goal­keeper Ri­ley Wal­lace closed well to deny a Saman­tha Gof­fice break­away just 16 sec­onds in. Wal­lace made four saves, in­clud­ing twice deny­ing Gof­fice on break­aways that looked like sure goals.

Mad­die Monka gave Boy­er­town its break­through with 30:34 on the clock af­ter mak­ing a good run from mid­field and Gof­fice gave a nice through ball for the lev­eler, 1-1.

Just two min­utes later, Curry gave the Rams the lead right back af­ter a long throw-in that got through traf­fic and on to the ju­nior’s dan­ger­ous boot.

Four min­utes later, the Bears looked to have a game-chang­ing swing when Gal­lagher (six saves) de­nied a great chance from Curry and the Bears scored on the coun­ter­at­tack through Gof­fice, ef­fec­tively a two-goal swing.

Nev­er­the­less, SpringFord’s re­ply was quick and this time de­ci­sive as Curry was given too much space to han­dle Harden’s cross for the even­tual game-win­ner in the 62nd minute.

“At the be­gin­ning of each half, I felt we were flus­tered. But as the game went on we calmed down and got our­selves to­gether, were mov­ing the ball around and cre­at­ing our op­por­tu­ni­ties. And we cap­i­tal­ized on them,” Curry said.

Spring-Ford bounced back from its loss in the Pi­o­neer Ath­letic Con­fer­ence cham­pi­onship to Owen J. Roberts on Oct. 18 and now chases a long post­sea­son run that has be­come the norm in Roy­ers­ford.

Boy­er­town capped its sea­son at 9-7-3, a win­ning record from a team that car­ried a threat but had trou­ble get­ting the big­gest re­sults.

While the Bears will grad­u­ate se­niors Ryane Bern­stiel, Aurora Con­rad, Grace Conover, Cas­sidy Lan­dis, Macken­zie Ha­ley, Sierra Lan­des, Mag­gie Kiene, Me­gan Knier, Macken­zie Fatzinger and Bria Smith, much of the team’s spine re­turns with at­tack­ers Gof­fice and Emma El­well, hold­ing mid­fielder Mikayla Moyer and goal­keeper Gal­lagher.

“We have a good group of kids com­ing back so the fu­ture is bright for us,” God­dard said. “We lose our back line and they’ve been steady for us.

“We play high risk, high re­ward. Some­times you’re re­warded and some­times the game pun­ishes you. To­day we got pun­ished.”

AUSTIN HERT­ZOG - DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Boy­er­town’s Saman­tha Gof­fice (11) car­ries the ball as Spring-Ford’s Katie Sites de­fends.

AUSTIN HERT­ZOG - DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Boy­er­town’s Mag­gie Kiene sends a pass for­ward as Spring- Ford’s Ella Curry closes in.

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