POTTSTOWN >> The Pottstown girls soccer team knew the feeling. So instead of bursting like it was the biggest moment of their lives, the Trojans acted like they’d been there before.
Regardless of the celebration, Pottstown will surely enjoy its 4-3 victory over Perkiomen Valley Friday afternoon at Grigg Memorial Stadium, just the Trojans’ third Pioneer Athletic Conference victory in program history and inarguably its most impressive.
Junior Aniya Hoskins had two goals, freshman Calista Daye had a goal and two assists and junior goalkeeper Emme Wolfel (14 saves) led on both ends, scoring on a penalty kick for 3-1 lead early in the second half while her leadership helped the Trojans see out the victory after Sydney Marasco scored her third goal to make things very interesting over the final five minutes.
So while the Trojans’ joy may been slightly muted, it’s because they can empathize with the other side.
“Yeah, they were just like ‘Hey, we won the game,’” coach Gary Mock said. “But we tell them, ‘Let’s win a game with respect.’ We don’t want to rub it in anyone’s face. We can win and we’re going to act like we’ve been there. There’s no reason to rub it in anybody’s face, but we’ve been there and we got it rubbed in our face and we didn’t like it. So why should we do it to someone else?”
A couple poor performances in the game’s preceding Friday made Pottstown (0-4-1 PAC Frontier, 2-6-1 PAC, 3-6-1 overall) more determined to come together for Friday’s PAC crossover.
“We started out flat Wednesday (against Pottsgrove), but we came ready to bounce back. We were ready to fight,” Wolfel said. “I think it’s going to take some time to realize that we beat a good contender.”
It wasn’t the first PAC win – Pottstown defeated Norristown in divisional crossover games in each of the past two years – but the third was charmed while upending a Vikings team that is consistently in the upper half of the league’s landscape.
Pottstown joined the league as a varsity program in 2009 and it took 128 matches to log its first win. Its result have been greatly improved, everything boiling over Friday in a game originally slated for The Hill School but moved to Pottstown’s stadium due to unfit field conditions.
The Trojans had a dream start with a quick 2-0 lead before PV (2-1-1, 4-2-1, 5-3-1) cut one back before halftime. Wolfel was called upon for the penalty kick early in the second half – typically an unusual sight to see a goalkeeper as first-choice penalty taker.
“She takes all my PKs. She’s taken them since freshman year. She’s calm, she’s poised, that’s the best person to take them,” Mock said. “But goals, saves, her being a leader back there is so much more important than anything on the field. She is being a true leader. They respond to her more than they do me. I can say whatever, but they listen to her. She’s a college-level player playing high school right now.
“And she’s got another year with me, thank goodness.”
Mock said a key was the improved teamwork of forwards Daye and Hoskins on Friday while crediting the supply line freshmen Yasmine Paez and Kaleigh Martin provided in the midfield.
A Hoskins header put Pottstown up 4-1 and on course until Marasco got the Vikings back within a goal for the closing minutes.
“It was a little nerve-wracking at some points. I feel like everyone had some nerves, but we were definitely ready to fight,” Wolfel said.
A time-keeping error saw the game seemingly conclude, have two minutes added, then conclude again.
“I would have taken a tie,” admitted Mock, “against that school, I would have taken a tie. They’ve been good in the big-school division. I would have taken a tie, but that just screams that we’re moving up.”
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