Owen J. Roberts tops Methacton, claims No. 2 seed in Liberty Division

BUCKTOWN — Owen J. Roberts head coach Clarence Jennelle lauded the maturation of his midfielders and defense prior to his team’s essential do-or-die clash against Methacton.

But there was one thing that worried him.

He needed scorers.

OJR had three of them on Tuesday night as Courtney Gerber led the Wildcats with two goals while Graceton Griffith and Corinne Gerber each added one as OJR topped Methacton, 4-0, and secured the No. 2 seed in the Liberty Division — all coming on the Wildcats’ Senior Night.

“It feels awesome to get this far,’ Corinne Gerber said. “We’ve grown so much over the season.’

Because of Friday’s loss and a previous loss to OJR, Methacton (8-4 PAC-10) is eliminated from the PAC-10 Final Four after making it a season ago. The Warriors loss snapped a six-game PAC-10 winning streak. The team found it tough to create any offensive momentum, finishing with two shots on goal and one penalty corner.

“Tonight was disappointing because we had been playing well recently and we didn’t come out and play that well tonight,’ Methacton head coach Sarah Quintois said.

The Wildcats (9-3 PAC-10) — PAC-10 runners-up a season ago — will face Phoenixville in the first round of the PAC-10 playoffs on Tuesday at Phoenixville — an accomplishment that the Gerber twins and Maddie Schaeffer believed was farfetched at the beginning of the season.

There was one point that we weren’t sure we’d be able to do this,’ Schaeffer, who finished with an assist on the night, said.

“After losing to PV (first league game) we thought this season would be a flashback to two years ago, when we didn’t make the PAC-10 playoffs,’ Courtney Gerber added.

For the Wildcats, what was once cloudy, has now become clear.

It started with Jennelle pushing his prediction that his young team would coalesce and become dominant at the midfield and defense.

“Think about what we looked like now, compared to what we are going to look like in the next four or five weeks,’ Jennelle said after the team’s season-opening victory over Holy Redeemer in August. “It’s just going to get better. They’re nowhere near peaking yet, they are still figuring out who they are as players.’

With eight straight league wins, that prediction came to fruition, but after two straight losses to Phoenixville (1-0) and Perkiomen Valley (2-1), one thing became clear — they needed to score, especially on corners.

“We spent three solid days working on our offense and corners,’ Jennelle said. “We’ve been talking about it and working on it a lot.’

On Friday, all that work paid off.

With a backfield that blocked the outlet passes and a stellar frontline, led by exceptional play by Schaeffer, the Wildcats kept control of the pace of play, striking for two goals in the opening ten minutes. Corinne Gerber was the first to find the scoresheet as she got one past a sprawled out Steele off a penalty corner try before Courtney Gerber laced a shot from the right-circle that went between the legs of Steele for a 2-0 advantage.

“The way Maddie Schaeffer was playing on this right side, she opened up a lot of lanes for us,’ Jennelle said.

“I looked more for the open passes than usual,’ Schaeffer said. “I was just in it tonight.’

It was Griffith’s turn to find the goal column toward the end of the first half as she fired a shot off Steele, collected her own rebound and muscled her way past the keeper to bury it home for a 3-0 advantage.

“For us the key was keeping it out of the middle,’ Jennelle said. “When Methacton got the ball in the middle, they were able to push in.

“We had talked early about when they got in trouble, they would drop back and hit it hard. We dropped back and stayed in the spaces that they tried to hit it through. We picked off a lot of deep balls that they would have put through.’

Courtney Gerber struck again in the second half as she deflected a Keeley White rip from the top of the circle past Steele for a 4-0 lead.

The Warriors found some offense for a period in the second half with the help of Maddie Alderfer, Olivia Hoover and Lexi Short but OJR’s backline of Sam Garritano, Caroline Rajtik, Maddie Gebert and Anna Dempsey made life easy for goalkeeper Amanda Lamb as she was forced to stop only one shot during that eight-minute barrage.

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