BOYERTOWN >> Jimmy Towers had to wait far longer than he would have hoped to score his first goal in 2016 (Sept. 21 against Upper Perkiomen).
This year, the Boyertown senior forward had a much shorter wait … all of 16 minutes.
Sophomore teammate Drew Benning apparently isn’t one for waiting either.
Towers and Benning enjoyed their first-half goals so much they duplicated their efforts in the second half en route to a 4-1 victory over Methacton on the opening day of the Pioneer Athletic Conference boys soccer season.
The Bears (1-0) opened their PAC title defense in fine form, getting goals from the expected – Towers – and unexpected – Benning, who was making his first varsity appearance.
“It’s a boost to my confidence and the team’s confidence by helping in the scoring,” said Towers, an All-Area honorable mention in 2016. “That’s what I want to do as a leader and a captain and as a senior, to come out strong and I thought I did.”
“It’s great. I’m not going to tell you I expected to score two goals on the first day, but I’m very happy about it,” Benning said.
Benning’s goals were no ordinary thing – both were strikes from 30 or more yards, both struck beautifully when he was given too much space to pick up a free ball in the midfield.
So unaccustomed to the occasion, he didn’t celebrate either score.
“It’s never been like me to celebrate. I put a couple good shots on and luckily they got in, but most importantly it helped the team win,” Benning said.
The final scoreline flatters Boyertown to a degree with the Warriors (0-1) being right in the game until Benning and Towers struck in succession with around 15 minutes to play.
TJ Taylor leveled the game following a throw-in after Boyertown’s opener, but the Bears took the lead for good with 30 seconds remaining in the first half on Benning’s blast.
“He hits them in practice,” Towers said of Benning’s strikes.
While the Bears made the most of their chances, Methacton couldn’t say the same. The Warriors showed enough technical skill throughout, but were left wanting more true scoring chances.
“Hats off to Boyertown. They took good shots and put them in the back of the net. It was impressive,” said first-year Methacton coach Dave Stevenson, who took over for John Smeykal. “I thought we did some good things, playing a passing game and work the ball, but we’ve got to do better up top as far as creating more scoring opportunities.
“We need some work in terms of fine-tuning that and playing off each other. We’re not seeing enough of that.”
The Bears eased some of the questions that may surround the team after graduating an accomplished class that included All-Area first teamers Alex Kidwell, Erik Recke and second team midfielder Nik Verma.
“From last year I thought it was as good team, but this year I think we have even more depth,” Towers said. “I think anyone can come off the bench and play, which is a big confidence booster.”
Boyertown next faces Perkiomen Valley (1-0) on Wednesday at home. Methacton visits Spring-Ford (1-0) on Wednesday at 7:15 p.m.
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