GRATERFORD >> If Monday afternoon is any indication, Perkiomen Valley’s future is plenty bright.
In the midst of what head coach Erik Enters had deemed a ‘rebuild’ season, the Vikings — using a lineup peppered with underclassmen — breezed past Pottsgrove, 7-0 at Perkiomen Valley High School.
“We had a lot of our younger players get some quality varsity time,” said Enters. “They look good. You see them moving the ball out, getting corner penetration. I’m really happy with the way they played.”
The win improves the Vikings to 4-4 overall while they remain at 2-3 in Pioneer Athletic Conference play. The result drops Pottsgrove to 1-3 overall in the PAC (1-2 in PAC play).
The seven-goal showing proved to be a bright spot for Enters and the Vikings, having lost twice so far this season 1-0.
Following a win over Norristown last Wednesday, the Vikings followed with a 1-0 loss to Methacton backed by a frustrating 7-1 loss to Unionville Saturday.
“After last week’s frustrating games, we needed to put our feelings aside and focus on (Monday’s) game,” said senior Alyssa Dunne.
Dunne finished with PV’s opening goal just over five minutes in, flicking it just past the outstretched Pottsgrove goalie off a feed from Gabrielle Muschert.
Perkiomen Valley saw seven different players light up the scoreboard Monday, with freshman Emma Haas adding her first career varsity goal, then adding an assist to Alina Koniencki just a few minutes later during the second half.
Seniors Liz Tarbet and Gabby Spurlock each scored along with sophomore Bryn Marcavage and freshman Danielle Hamm (assist).
“Seeing so many of the younger players go out on the field was awesome because it really showed how much talent our team has,” added Dunne.
The Vikings, a blend of new senior leadership and young, talented underclassmen are gaining the necessary experience as the season goes on.
“Even some of our upperclassmen are just getting their first varsity exposure this season,” said Enters. “Alyssa Dunne, one of our senior captains, scored her first varsity goal last week.
“It’s a great crew. We’ll keep growing together as a team.”
In all, Perk Valley cycled 17 freshman through the ranks on the afternoon.
The PV defense limited Pottsgrove to just two shots on goal and three corners. Maralynn Mancini proved to be a bright spot in goal for the Falcons, finishing with 12 saves while captain Hunter Dyer controlled the midfield.
“There were some things we did well, but definitely some things we could have done better,” said Pottsgrove head coach Christine Campbell. “They were beating us to the ball on just about every possession, so we’ve got to find a way to get that under control.”
Pottsgrove was out-cornered 11-3.
When Haas scored her first varsity goal, five minutes into the second half, the cheers from the Perkiomen Valley sideline were a touch louder than they had been throughout the afternoon.
The freshman, who Enters admits is a favorite with all of her teammates, is noticeably one of the smallest anytime she steps out onto the field.
“I guess when you’re the smallest on the field, everyone finds themselves rooting for you,” said Enters with a laugh. “She was definitely our player of the game today.”
Setting The Bar
Following the graduation of standouts Kelsey Giese (Indiana) and Laura Shelton (Penn), who led the PAC in goals and assists last season, respectively, the Vikings’ main concern has been finding players who can find the net.
“Our main issue against the top teams has been simply putting the ball in the net,” said Enters. “We have beautiful transition, we’re playing tight defense … we’re just not scoring.
“We’ve got to use the next couple of weeks to find our identity on offense.”
Perkiomen Valley will travel to Upper Merion Friday to continue play against the PAC’s Frontier Division. Pottsgrove will host Owen J. Roberts Wednesday.