Gerber’s heroics highlight PAC-10 semis as OJR tops Phoenixville; PV tops Upper Perkiomen

Phoenixville — With one quick decisive blow, Owen J. Roberts is back into the PAC-10 final.

And what a decisive blow it was.

Corinne Gerber, three minutes into the first overtime period, found herself on a one vs. one situation against Phoenixville goalkeeper Kim Rutherford.

What she did next set off the fireworks at the PAC-10 field hockey semifinals as Owen J. Roberts topped Phoenixville 2-1 before Perkiomen Valley ousted Upper Perkiomen 3-0, in the late game on Tuesday night.

The win pits OJR and Perk Valley in the PAC-10 championship game on Thursday night at 7 p.m., a rematch of the 2011 final, which OJR took home.

And this matchup was set up because of the heroics of Gerber.

The junior forward shook off a charging Rutherford, gathered herself toward the left of the circle before firing a shot into the wide open cage, capping a back-and-forth affair that saw 15 shots and 19 corners combined between the two teams.

Well after her teammates swarmed her outside the opposing cage, Gerber’s smile was still radiant underneath the lights at Washington Field.

“I’m so excited,’ Gerber said, pausing after a couple breaths as she tried to recoup, her smile beaming. “Phoenixville was the one team that we wanted to beat because we lost to them 1-0 earlier in the season. I just thought to myself when I saw the wide-open cage ‘ I better not miss this.”

Gerber didn’t miss and for the second-straight year, OJR is headed to the PAC-10 final. Its opponent this year, however, looks quite a bit different than the Upper Perkiomen team they lost to a season ago.

Phoenixville, meanwhile, fell in the PAC-10 semifinals for the second straight season.

“It was a tough loss,’ Phoenixville head coach John Tornetta said. “I told the girls that there’s nothing to be ashamed of. We still have districts to fight for and that’s what our attention is shifting to now.’

Perkiomen Valley flexed their muscles in the nightcap as Annie Himsworth scored twice on absolute blasts from the right of the circle and top of the circle, respectively, while Kelsey Giese added a marker of her own to put away the Tribe, which was in search of becoming the PAC-10’s first repeat champion since OJR took home three straight titles from 2009-2011.

“It’s awesome,’ Giese exclaimed with Himsworth by her right side. “We’re so (excited) right now. It’s an amazing feeling. We just have to finish.’

“I think we have the team that, if it works together, we can do great things,’ Himsworth added.

Upper Perkiomen’s Hannah Mack finished with a game-high 17 saves in the loss. Her effort, however, was phenomenal as she came up with instances of brilliance, most notable her back-to-back save effort where she stopped Giese and Himsworth on shots right at the doorstep.

Mack, albeit upset with the loss, was proud as to how her team played, and with the team holding the No. 11 seed in the District 1-AA power rankings, is hoping to see her team advance to the field of 12 starting next week.

“I think we played great,’ Mack said. “It’s a great accomplishment for such a young team to make it this far. Perkiomen Valley had a lot of seniors on its team and we held them off until the later parts of the second half until they scored.’

It just happened that the Vikings’ second-half goals were too much to overcome for the Tribe.

Himsworth opened the scoring with an absolute cannon blast from the right of the cage, scorching past two Tribe defenders and through the wickets of Mack to make it 1-0 with 22 minutes remaining before Giese labeled a shot near the right corner of the cage for a 2-0 lead just three minutes later.

Himsworth then capped off her two-goal night with another goal stemming from a Laura Shelton insert on a penalty corner. This time the Louisville recruit stayed at the top of the circle before levying the decisive blow from 10-yards out, rattling the back of the cage and putting the Vikings up to stay.

The Vikings look to take home their first PAC-10 Championship since 2007 and the first since Enters took the helm for the Vikings.

But that road must go through an OJR team that dominated in the latter stages of the first half after giving up an opening goal to Phoenixville’s Katie McErlean before Sam Garritano evened the score at one with 23 minutes remaining in the contest. Garritano was equally as impressive on the defensive side of the ball, coming up with two big clears at the end stages of the contest as Phoenixville earned four penalty corners in the last 10 minutes.

“It was a great all around team win,’ Garritano said. “I just tried to do my part. This team has come a long way since the beginning of the season. We’ve been coming together all year and it showed tonight.’


Rutherford made seven saves in the loss for Phoenixville. … OJR’s Amanda Lamb made two saves. … PV won the corner battle with Upper Perkiomen, 15-7 — all of the Tribe’s coming in the second half. Perkiomen Valley last won the title with Karen Moliver at the helm. PV assistant coach Andrea Biegalski was a member of that team before her college career at Ohio University.

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