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Spring-Ford blanks Perkiomen Valley, dampens Vikings’ PAC playoff hopes

ROYERSFORD >> Spring-Ford girls’ soccer coach Mo Hadadi had one message for his team before their game Wednesday night at Perkiomen Valley: Keep it simple.

The Rams listened and picked up their 10th win of the season in dominating fashion, shutting out Perk Valley, 3-0.

“We had to fix a lot of mistakes when we were reviewing the film,” Hadadi explained. “We wanted our kids to play a simple game and limit the mistakes. That was how we we’re going to win.”

Spring-Ford reversed the 2-1 overtime defeat it took from PV on Sept. 24 and capped its Pioneer Athletic Conference campaign going 7-3 in the Liberty, 10-3 in PAC play and 11-4 overall. The Rams locked up the No. 1 wild card for next Tuesday’s PAC Final Four and will face Frontier champion Pottsgrove in a 5 p.m. semifinal at Owen J. Roberts.

Spring-Ford’s Devin Rawley (17) and Perkiomen Valley’s Maddie Zielke (3) chase after a loose ball during Wednesday night’s game. (Barry Taglieber – For Digital First Media)

Meanwhile, Perkiomen Valley is left to fight with Pope John Paul II for the final spot in the conference playoffs. The Vikings (5-3-1, 7-4-1, 8-6-1) no longer control their own fate, but still have a chance at the second wild card with a Saturday meeting with Methacton ahead to finish their league slate.

“I just want our kids to be positive and learn from our mistakes,” Paulus said. “If we can learn from today and use these lessons to get a win on Saturday, we will be okay. But before we look ahead to the playoffs, we have to take care of the games in front of us.”

Spring-Ford jumped all over the Vikings early in the game, sending three shots at the net within the first 90 seconds. But it took the Rams nearly 20 minutes to notch their first goal of the game when Hope Flanegin took a corner kick from Ella Curry and tucked in the back of the net.

Kelli Dombroski netted the Rams’ second goal of the night just minutes later when she snuck behind the Perkiomen Valley defense and flipped a shot over the goalkeeper for a 2-0 lead.

Spring-Ford was finally done building their lead early in the second half as Foley pushed the Rams’ lead to 3-0 just three minutes after halftime.

“Our goal was to make sure our defense didn’t have to touch the ball too much,” Hadadi said. “We wanted to stay aggressive and keep attacking until we built up a lead. Then we could stretch the field and just work on keeping possession.”

Spring-Ford kept the Vikings out of scoring chances for most of the game, with Vikings’ forward Sydney Marasco’s 35-yard, crossbar-scraping shot standing as the home team’s closest opportunity for a goal.

In a game that was pushed up 24 hours because of impending inclement weather, the Rams tallied 12 shots on goal and 11 corner opportunities. Had it not been for the heroic effort of Vikings’ goalkeeper Riley Hill, things could’ve looked a lot more lopsided on the scoreboard.

“[Hill] was our best player tonight,” Perkiomen Valley head coach Kim Paulus said. “She was razor-sharp and focused. We just needed to play better in the middle of the field, especially early in the first half.”

“I thought their goalie was really, really good,” Hadadi added. “Perk Valley is usually a team that gives us a lot of trouble and they are a very talented team.”

With its playoff future already sorted, Spring-Ford, which meets Downingtown West Saturday in its regular season finale, is using the final week to make opportunities for its full squad.

“These games are good for us to work out the mistakes and get everyone playing,” Hadadi said. “Our players don’t care about who scores as long as we win. Being able to get everyone some playing time as we head toward the playoffs is a big thing for our team.”

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