Murray’s two goals give Owen J. Roberts 3-0 win over Spring-Ford

here was a time when the Owen J. Roberts boys soccer team was the premier program of the Pioneer Athletic Conference.

The Wildcats have endured a couple lean years since they were league champions in 2011. A season ago, OJR couldn’t muster a win over a Liberty Division opponent.

By the end of Thursday night the Wildcats had two to their credit after sophomore Devin Murray scored twice in a 1:36 span and Bruce Dowlin rounded out the scoring in the first half and OJR cruised to a 3-0 victory over reigning PAC-10 champion Spring-Ford on the new turf at Wildcat Stadium.

“It’s nice considering we didn’t win a game in the division last year. And now we have two already with a chance to get our third Saturday (against Perkiomen Valley),’ senior defender Ben Huzzard said.

“We’re a good team all the way around. We’re deep. If we work together we feel we can beat any team in the league.’

That depth was on display with Murray’s pair of goals, the sophomore coming off the bench to give a spark. He opened the scoring on a grazing header at the near post, getting on the end of an Andrew Siana corner kick. Less than two minutes later he beat Spring-Ford goalkeeper Erick Rodriguez to midfielder Dowlin’s through ball at the right corner of the 18-yard box and made it a 2-0 game for the Wildcats (2-1, 3-2).

“If we’re starting flat, it’s a great feeling to come in and bring something extra to the team,’ Murray who has four goals on the young season, said.

Dowlin got on the scoresheet in the 35th minute when he brought a high ball down with his chest and swiveled to get off a shot from close range, giving OJR a decisive 3-0 lead.

Spring-Ford (0-4, 0-6) showed much more promise in the second half. But as has been the case on a number of occasions this season for the new-look Rams, which were 17-3-1 last season with a senior-dominated lineup that featured All-Area first team selections Kole Lyons, Jerry Wiliams and David Gulati, the goals didn’t come

“I think we make a couple mental errors and those errors compound and next thing you know there’s the ball in the back of the net and there’s another one in the back of the net. And we get down on ourselves,’ Spring-Ford coach Doug Landis said.

“We don’t have that experience, that gameplay where we can bounce back and show resiliency. I think that’s what is missing.’

Defenders Huzzard, Alex Jennion and Nolan Smith provided protection for keeper Zach Serbin, who made six saves in the shutout.

Conversely, the Wildcats lost less than a handful of seniors, making Huzzard and his senior teammates hopeful they can be the class to return OJR to PAC-10 prominence.

“We only lost three or four seniors from the starting lineup last year so we have most of our starting lineup back. I think we’ll do well as long as we work hard we should do well this season,’ Huzzard said.

Since Owen J. Roberts’ three-peat from 2006-08, the PAC-10 championship has been won by three teams in succession, Boyertown in 2009, Spring-Ford in 2010 and back to OJR in 2011. Since then the sequence has returned to Boyertown ’12 and Spring-Ford in ’13.

Whether the Wildcats knew the sequence or not, Huzzard understands the sentiment.

“I feel like it’s re-cycling,’ he said of OJR becoming a PAC-10 contender again. “That was a nice win against the reigning PAC-10 champions. Yeah, they lost a lot of seniors but still it’s a good program and a good team so it’s definitely a confidence-builder.’

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply