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Hoover, Owens lead Methacton past Phoenixville for first PAC Final berth since ‘08

RED HILL >> Olivia Hoover and Emily Owens have been the heart and soul of the Methacton Warriors all season long.

The pair has led the team to an undefeated regular season and the number one overall seed in the Pioneer Athletic Conference Final Four playoffs.

The one-two punch showed up yet again in the Warriors’ PAC semifinal matchup with Phoenixville, factoring in on all three goals en route to a 3-0 victory over the Phantoms on Tuesday night at Upper Perkiomen’s Indians Stadium.

The Warriors moved to 19-0 overall with the win and will meet No. 3-seeded Owen J. Roberts (a 2-1 winner over Upper Perk) in the PAC championship game Thursday night at 7 p.m. The Phantoms dropped to 12-7 with the loss, but will compete in the District One Class AA playoffs, which get underway next week.

“It’s definitely a good thing to be undefeated because it shows how strong of a team we are,” said Owens, “but it also puts a target on our backs because someone wants to be the first one to beat us.”

From the start, the Warriors’ offense put pressure on the Phantoms, forcing a penalty corner just two minutes into the game which led to an apparent Hoover goal that was overturned.

Methacton got on the board just over four minutes later when Hoover found Owens in front of the net for the duo’s first connection of the game.

The Phantoms’ defense, led by juniors Kyra Trafford and Hannah Syrek as well as freshman Eloise Woodall, held strong for the rest of the half — surviving 13 Methacton corners — to keep the halftime score at 1-0.

In the second half, the Warriors got on the board once again when Hoover intercepted a pass around midfield, took the ball the distance and fired a shot past the Phoenixville goalkeeper for the 2-0 lead.

“When you get some momentum and you get a goal, the whole team’s energy rises so that helped get us moving,” said Hoover.

Hoover got on the board once again with just over seven minutes left in the game, firing a rocket into the net off a corner insert from Owens, giving the Warriors a 3-0 lead and a spot in the PAC championship game.

The Warriors advanced to the championship game for the first time since the 2008 season, which was the last time they won the title.

“They have responded well to it,” said Warriors’ head coach, Sarah Quintois of her team’s unbeaten season. “We try not to talk about being undefeated and all those things and take it game by game.”

Phoenixville’s first-year head coach, Claire Emplit, knew that the game would be a challenge coming in but praised her team’s performance, especially the efforts of the defense and keeper Tyler Hall, who finished with 21 saves in the cage.

“Eloise (Woodall) had four amazing stops beyond the post on those corners, so she really kept us in the game,” said Emplit, “We talked about passing better to each other in the second half, which I think they came out and did and we were able to generate some more offense.”

The Warriors will look to continue their perfect season Thursday when they take on two-time defending champion Owen J. Roberts.

“It makes us stay humble still,” said Hoover. “We know that every game is a new game. Every team is just as hard and has just as much of a chance to beat us.”

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