The Spring-Ford boys soccer team can’t seem to do anything without an extra bit of emphasis.
First it was a 5-0 statement victory over Owen J. Roberts last Saturday, then a 14-0 clinic days later. So Friday at Pottsgrove, the leader in the Pioneer Athletic Conference Frontier Division, the Rams just couldn’t walk away with a business-like one-goal victory.
In the final two minutes, Mike Hyduke – the scorer of the Rams’ first two goals – turned distributor with a smooth pass and fabulous finish from Johnny Guimaraes before goalkeeper Kyle Allan made a penalty kick save moments later to punctuate a 3-1 victory over the Falcons Friday.
The Rams (4-0 PAC, 6-1-2 overall) remain unbeaten against PAC competition and have continued to announce their return to the top of the league after a couple lean seasons.
“We’ve been down and out the last couple years but we’re out to prove Spring-Ford is on top and we proved that here today,” said Allan, a St. Joseph’s recruit.
“The past couple years the talent was there but maybe the work ethic wasn’t always there,” junior Ronnie Minges said. “This year we’ve come out with a lot of rising juniors and seniors and we really believe that we can make our mark this year. It’s been three years since we won a PAC championship and this year we rally want to win it and we’re going to do everything we have to.”
The two big moments at the end were emphatic yet ultimately academic. But the three goals leading up were anything but. Germann Larmond put Pottsgrove up 1-0 within one minute of the opening whistle on an excellent solo take.
All the Falcons’ good work was undone one minute until halftime when Nathan Alban played Hyduke down the left side. The senior forward struck it well across goal to beat Pottsgrove keeper Liam Abdalla to level the game 1-1 and grab a huge slice of momentum.
The swing resonated all through halftime and into the second half, which was owned by the Rams. Their midfielder pressure left little chance for Grove to build play and earned their reward on a corner kick eight minutes into the second half. Abdalla could only get his finger tips to the sailing cross and it pinballed toward the far side and onto the boot of Hyduke, who hit it cleanly out of the air for the 2-1 lead.
“We needed to get our intensity up and want to him more. And I think we brought that out in the second half. We brought the intensity; getting those early chances ultimately led us to the win,” said Minges, who was man-marked throughout by Falcons midfielder Tyler Rolando.
“We knew they were going to be tired because they have low numbers and don’t have many off the bench so we tired them out in the first half and the second half came around and we had all the energy,” Allan said.
Spring-Ford allowed just one shot on goal in the second half and led the overall total 6-5 and in corners 7-3.
Both sides remain unblemished in the league standings with Spring-Ford at 4-0 in the Liberty and Pottsgrove at 5-0 (7-2-1 overall) after the PAC crossover.