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Boys Soccer: Spring-Ford vs. Perkiomen Valley PAC championship preview

The Spring-Ford boys soccer team has performed like a juggernaut this regular season.

The only Pioneer Athletic Conference team to take points off the Rams was Perkiomen Valley, twice sharing the points in draws.

There will be no sharing going on Thursday night when Spring-Ford and Perkiomen Valley meet for the PAC championship, 7 p.m. at Owen J. Roberts.

It is the second game of a soccer championship doubleheader that features Spring-Ford vs. Owen J. Roberts in the girls’ final at 5 p.m.

Breaking down the PAC boys’ final between No. 3 seed Perkiomen Valley and No. 1 seed Spring-Ford:

Perkiomen Valley’s Matt McCabe wins a header against Boyertown.

Records >> Perkiomen Valley: 4-1-5 PAC Liberty, 7-1-5 PAC, 10-1-6 overall (No. 11 in District 1-4A rankings); Spring-Ford: 8-0-2 PAC Liberty, 11-0-2 PAC, 15-1-3 overall (No. 2 in District 1-4A rankings)

Head-to-head >> On Sept. 24, the teams drew 1-1 on goals by SF’s Colin Trainor and PV’s Max Chamorro. On Oct. 10, the teams played to a scoreless draw, a result that earned the Vikings the No. 1 wild card for the PAC playoffs.

PAC playoff history >> Perkiomen Valley is seeking its first league title in the Final Four era and 4th PAC championship overall (1987, 1997, 2001). Spring-Ford has twice won the PAC, in 2010 and 2013. In both instances Spring-Ford defeated … Perkiomen Valley. In 2010, the Rams won 3-1 as Eric Giovagnoli had a goal and an assist for the undefeated league champs; in 2013, the Rams won in penalty kicks, 0-0 (4-3 PKs). Spring-Ford eliminated Perk Valley in last year’s PAC semifinals in come-from-behind fashion, 2-1.

On Perkiomen Valley >> Last year’s PIAA tournament qualifier has built its name on a stifling defense, but that’s not what stole the show in the PAC semifinals, a 5-0 win over Pottsgrove. Defender AJ Hansen and midfielder Brian Love each scored two goals, the pair on the mark within a minute of each other in the first half. Max Chamorro (6 goals, 3 assists), who also scored in the semis, leads the line for PV. Love (9G, 4A), Matt McCabe and Matt Holmes (5G, 2A) control the midfield while Hansen (6G, 3A) is joined defensively by Stephen Warren, Brian Holmes, Mark Pirrone and goalie Josh Moyer (nine shutouts).

On Spring-Ford >> The Rams had their work cut out in the semifinals but came through in a frenetic match with Boyertown, 2-1. The explosive Rams, guided by coach Brent Kissel, have as balanced an attack as one could ask for: their three leading scorers all have 11 goals. Junior wide forwards Colin Trainor (11 goals, 10 assists) and Brett Gulati (11 goals, 7 assists) have starred, along with central forward Brandon Duke (11G, 5A). Johnny Guimaraes and Sal Ibarra lead the quick-playing midfield while the defense features set piece threat Aiden Hudon (7G, 2A), Jake Abruzzo, outside backs Gabe Locke and Andrew Raser and goalie Ray Fortebuono.

Matchup >> Arguably the most heated rivalry in the league, it’s going to be a wild 24 hours between Perkiomen Valley and Spring-Ford. The boys soccer final leads things off (7 p.m. Thursday at Owen J. Roberts) followed by the football teams meeting for a spot in the PAC title game. There’s not a lot of love between the sides after the card-filled first meeting and PV suffocating their second meeting. Coach Bob McCabe’s Vikings may have opened it up in the semifinals, but it’s likely they will return to the defensive approach that managed to quiet Spring-Ford in the first two meetings. The Rams will play fast as they do and use the speedy OJR turf to their benefit. Losing last year’s final to Phoenixville has been a year-long source of motivation for Spring-Ford, the intangible that gives the Rams the plaque raising they planned last October.

Prediction >> Spring-Ford 1, Perkiomen Valley 0 OT

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