Hamm lifts Perk Valley past Upper Perk, 3-2
Things didn’t start well for Perkiomen Valley in Tuesday night’s Pioneer Athletic Conference field hockey semifinal. The undefeated Vikings struggled to possess the ball and even trailed Upper Perkiomen after 15 minutes.
But a timeout called midway through the first half sparked the Vikings to two quick goals from Danielle Hamm and a 3-2 victory that punched their ticket to Thursday’s PAC Championship matchup against Owen J. Roberts — a 6-0 winner over Phoenixville in the other semifinal.
“We were surprised Upper Perk called a timeout because we were struggling,” Vikings head coach Erik Enters said. “But I told our girls to just calm down and play our game.”
“I think it was good for us to just get a break,” Hamm added. “We were able to regroup and come out playing much smarter.”
Upper Perkiomen (9-1 PAC Frontier Division; 11-8 overall) put a lot of pressure on the Vikings’ defense early on, earning a pair of corner opportunities and scoring a goal just eight minutes into the game on a rebound by Bella Carpenter.
“We had them on their heels early,” Indians head coach Jamie Warren said. “I thought we got off to a great start with very nice passing combinations and ball movement.”
But after that untimely time out, the Vikings (10-0 PAC Liberty; 19-0 overall) took control of the ball and the game, scoring threestraight goals off of corner opportunities. Hamm’s first two tallies came off of long shots assisted by Shine Saige and helped build a 2-1 halftime lead.
Hamm went for the hat trick early in the second half, when she side-stepped Upper Perk’s aggressive goaltender on a corner and deposited the ball into the back of the cage.
“It’s been nice to have someone with the ability to score on those set pieces all season,” Enters said. “I thought we could’ve had a couple more goals, but their goalie was very aggressive in the second half, so we changed things up and started calling plays to step around her.”
Despite falling behind two goals, the Indians kept clawing back. Abriana Gatto scored Upper Perk’s second tally of the game with just five minutes remaining in the second half, but despite the consistent offensive push and 12 corner chances, the Indians just couldn’t find the equalizer.
Perkiomen Valley’s Gabby Martina (3) sends one upfield during the second half of Tuesday’s PAC semifinal against Upper Perkiomen.