BUCKTOWN >> Mike Weir is used to stepping forward at this point.
Whether it was to help with the Perkiomen Valley boys soccer team’s scoring load by moving higher up the field, answering the call in the PV football team’s search for a kicker, or when the Vikings needed a penalty taker — like Wednesday night — the PV senior has shown his willingness to stride ahead.
Wednesday night, the senior and All-Area second team midfielder grabbed the ball and took it to the 12-yard spot when a foul was called inside the penalty area in the waning minutes of a scoreless stalemate at Owen J. Roberts. Weir rifled his shot high and left over OJR goalkeeper Ryan Walker’s save attempt to send Perkiomen Valley home happy, a 1-0 double-overtime winner over the Wildcats in Pioneer Athletic Conference Liberty Division play.
While every game seems to be a big one this season in the parody-filled PAC, it was a three points that will go far in the Vikings’ chances of making the PAC playoffs. They improve to 3-2 PAC Liberty, 6-2 in the PAC and 8-3 overall, firmly in the mix with division leaders Methacton (4-1), Spring-Ford (5-1) and Boyertown (3-1).
Owen J. Roberts fell to 1-4 PAC Liberty, 3-5 PAC, 5-6 overall in cruel fashion after the Wildcats looked the more likely team to score throughout.
“I don’t want to take anything away from them, but I thought we played really well. I’m proud of my kids, I thought we took it to them,” OJR coach Eric Wentzel said. “I don’t think I can ask much more, we created chances, we possessed the ball, we moved it … that’s what we’ve been struggling with, catching a break like they caught. But give them credit, good teams make their own breaks.”
OJR’s Beckett Houck grazed the left post with a shot in the first half while Sam Smith, Josh Fonder and left back Matt Pron carried a threat for the OJR attack with their pace and size. But Perk Valley’s defense, led by All-Area first team goalkeeper Andrew Daubenspeck, and senior center backs Jake Rogers and Andrew Zielke, stood firm while benefitting from the Wildcats’ pursuit for the perfect goal.
“Hats off to our defense who played absolutely amazing for almost 100 minutes. That’s a really good team (OJR) we played against and they gave us all they’ve got. They played out of their minds,” Weir said. “We get a lucky break at the other end and were able to finish it.”
The Wildcats had the ball in the back of the PV net twice in two successive possessions at the start of the second half but both were ruled out. First, an offside Smith interfered with Daubenspeck on a leaping collection in the box; then Houck’s low drive into the left side-netting was wiped away due to a push moments before.
PV largely hung through regulation and into overtime, until Brian Love was played in behind the defense with under seven minutes to play. The senior was charged into from behind for a clear penalty, which Weir stepped up for.
He was the right person to step forward, even if his teammates had been giving him a hard time about PKs.
“We had a scrimmage earlier and I put mine over the bar. I didn’t miss any last season so it’s just the boys on my tail, (asking) ‘Should you really be taking them?’” Weir said. “When I stepped up I knew this one meant a little more.”
“The whole game they were coming at us,” Daubenspeck. “At the penalty, I was just praying Mike would finish it.”
Weir has gotten to know what it’s like kicking on center stage with the defending PAC champion football team.
“It’s going great. I love it,” Weir said of kicking for the football team. “Coach (Rob) Heist has been great. He knows that soccer is first but I feel like they like having me on the team. I love it, Friday night lights, in the pads, it’s a really good time and a great experience.”
The win might go far for the Vikings in achieving their goals.
“Our goal since the beginning of the season has been to win the PAC and that’s what we’re here to do, to fight for that,” Daubenspeck said. “Getting this win today was huge.”