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Balanced Perkiomen Valley drops Downingtown East 5-0 in District 1-3A quarterfinal

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EAST COVENTRY >> Perkiomen Valley head coach Erik Enters read off the names of each goal scorer one-by-one during the postgame huddle Friday afternoon.

“I don’t know that there’s another team in the district that can do that,” Enters told his players after he read off the final name.

Utilizing a balanced attack, one that’s gotten them to this point on the season, the Vikings put together a 5-0 win over Downingtown East during the quarterfinal round of the District One Class AAA playoffs.

“It’s never one person doing everything for us in every game,” Enters said shortly after the huddle broke. “It’s whoever is smoking hot, cooking every day. We had 14 field players and a goalie go out there today and they all brought something for us.”

Perkiomen Valley’s Danielle Hamm (30) gives chase to a loose ball while a Downingtown East defender closes in. (Thomas Nash – Digital First Media)

With the win, No. 2 seeded Perkiomen Valley (21-1 overall) advances to the district semifinals where they will face Methacton, a winner on strokes over No. 6 Downingtown West, on Tuesday. The win also secured the Vikings their first trip to the PIAA Class AAA playoffs since 2007.

“Our coach told us the other day that we haven’t been to states in almost 15 years,” said senior Gabby Martina, who finished with two goals and two assists in the win. “The fact that we came back from the loss Thursday against Owen J. Roberts (a 3-0 loss in the Pioneer Athletic Conference championship) is huge. We were bummed but we had this big opportunity as a team to go deep into districts and even get into states.

“That became our goal, and I’m so happy we were able to accomplish it.”

Fresh off last Wednesday’s 1-0 upset win over Conestoga, Downingtown East head coach Meg Kahanowitz knows the weekend will go a long way for her players.

“We had a really tough game Wednesday,” she said. “I think PV may have had a lot fresher legs. I think our girls left it all on the field on Wednesday, so that’s a tough game to rebound from.”

The Cougars will drop into the district playback round Tuesday and will meet none other than archrival Downingtown West in a playback match for a spot in states (7 p.m.).

Perkiomen Valley’s Ariana Martina (10) brings the ball upfield while Downingtown East’s Kya Effinger defends. (Thomas Nash – Digital First Media)

PV’s Martina opened up the scoring nine minutes in when she snuck behind the defense and finished one from Saige Shine on the left side for the game’s first goal. Less than two minutes later, Katie Wuerstle dribbled the ball into the circle, then reared back and let one fly to give Perk Valley a quick 2-0 lead.

For the game, Perk Valley dominated Downingtown East (15-6 overall) in both major offensive statistics. The Vikings held an 11-0 advantage in shots on goal as well as a 11-1 advantage in penalty corners, keeping the Cougars without a corner try until just 11:50 remained in regulation.

Martina and Shine connected again three minutes into the second half before Gabby Martina found Ariana Martina on a corner setup to make it 4-0 with 14:14 left. Then less than two minutes later, the elder Martina found Cristina Dougherty on the left side of the cage to make it a 5-0 game.

With that loss to Owen J. Roberts still in the back of his mind, Enters and the Vikings knew they had to fix their offensive approach in time for a district run.

“After that OJR game, we had three practices before our first district game,” said Enters. “We really focused on tight connections, tight passing. We’re not trying to overpower the goalie.

“You could see in the Owen J. game we were trying to smack it in past their goalie. All we worked on was touch, touch, touch, then get the off-speed shot on. You didn’t hear a single ‘bang’ in the net today.”

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