BOYERTOWN >> One goal wasn’t going to get the job done.
Both coaches knew it, and they made that message clear to their players. The result: Boyertown extended its narrow early lead over Upper Dublin to an eventual 4-2 victory in Tuesday’s District 1 Class AAAA playoff.
The Bears used offensive balance — six different players figuring in on their point production — to qualify for Thursday’s second round. The Cardinals, in turn, saw their season end with a 10-5-1 record after falling into a three-goal deficit with little more than 16 minutes to play.
“We talked about it at the half, saying the next goal scored needed to be us,” Boyertown head coach Bill Goddard said after seeing his club (11-5-2) put aside two years of early playoff exits. “We played well, with four different people scoring.”
Boyertown staked its early lead little more than 11 minutes in, Grace Conover connecting on an angle shot off a crossing run from the left side of the goal. That ended up being all the offense either team would muster for the rest of the first half, and almost 16 minutes into the second.
The 15th-seeded Bears got a measure of breathing room when Lauren Haley scored off Maddie Monka’s throw-in at the 24:09 mark. They put together an ultimately-insurmountable 3-0 lead with 16:23 to go when Maddie Gallagher headed a pass from Michele Durante past UD goalkeeper Devon Jones at the 16:23 mark.
“Unfortunately, we gave up that early one,” UD head coach John Topper said, “and that put us in a bit of a hole.”
But the 18th-seed Cardinals didn’t allow Boyertown to coast the rest of the way. They ended their scoring drought with Tina Haig connecting shortly after Gallagher’s third tally for Boyertown, and they answered the Bears’ final goal with one by Paige Lawton around the 10-minute mark.
“Once we got a few people forward,” Topper said, “we were getting more looks at the goal.”
For Boyertown, it was a matter of not letting Upper Dublin fully back into the game. They achieved that with Sierra Landes scoring at the 13:02 mark, then keeping the Cards at bay following their final goal.
“We went from three backs to four,” Goddard noted. “Their staff saw a weakness and attacked it. It’s something we’ll prepare for Thursday.”
“We respect every team we play. We took our foot off the gas when we got our third goal.”
Upper Dublin closed out a season that saw it finish third in the Suburban One League’s American Division during the regular season … one that started off on a bad foot.
“We got off to a rough start, but our seniors righted the ship,” Topper said. “I’m proud of the season our girls had.”
The Bears finished with a 17-7 edge in shots on goal. Ashley Petitjean had seven goal saves for Boyertown while UD’s Devon Jones made 13 stops.
“For a young group like ours, this was a good win,” Goddard said.
NOTES >> Boyertown had a 3-2 edge in corners on the Cardinals. … Gallagher was required to make a jersey change due to her being the second Boyertown player wearing No. 5. She switched over to 11 in time to score her goal. … The Bears’ next playoff opponent will be Pennsbury.