Owen J. Roberts tops Phoenixville 3-0 in PAC-10 semifinal

BUCKTOWN — The Owen J. Roberts boys soccer team has been able to maintain possession for good portions of its games this year.

The Wildcats’ defensive strength has forced the ball up to the offensive players, who have been able to finish shots and score goals for Owen J. Roberts, resulting in a lot of victories.

That proved to be the case again Tuesday night during the PAC-10 Final Four semifinals at Wildcat North Field. Owen J. Roberts, the top seed from the Liberty Division, controlled the ball and Phoenixville, the No. 2 seed from the Frontier Division, for a 3-0 victory.

Owen J. Roberts thus advanced to Thursday night’s PAC-10 championship contest against Boyertown, a 3-2 victor over Pottsgrove in the other semifinal. The title game will be played back at Owen J. Roberts at 7 p.m.

Senior Ben Huzzard has played a major role on defense for the Wildcats throughout the season.

“Our defense has been pretty strong all year,’ said Huzzard. “It is the strong point of our team. We have two senior backs and a senior keeper so it has been a strong point all season. The guys on top finished so it was a good team win.’

Goalie Zach Serbin (two saves) registered the shutout, the Wildcats’ third consecutive one, with defensive help from Huzzard, Alex Jennion, Matt Serbin and Nolan Smith throughout the evening.Sophomore forward Brandon Ott and Smith scored first-half goals to give Owen J. Roberts (13-6) a 2-0 lead at the break. Sophomore midfielder Taurean Lee and Ott made the assists on the scores. The goals came at the 19-minute mark and then the 39th minute of action.

Sophomore midfielder Alex Fonder tacked on the third goal off a long restart by Huzzard from the left side with 6:10 left in the fray to complete the scoring. Mitchell Coll, Phoenixville’s sophomore keeper, made six saves in the game. Phoenixville (8-10) had two corner kicks in the opening half, and OJR countered with five corner kicks in the second half. Phantom senior Estuardo Salazar had some nice setups and also some good defensive plays to thwart runs by the Wildcats.

The Phantoms had an early breakaway by sophomore forward Andre Souza with a shot that hit the crossbar. Owen J. Roberts coach Eric Wentzel thought his team started to put its game in gear from that point forward.

“I thought we started really slow,’ said Wentzel. “Honestly, I was disappointed. Then they hit one off the crossbar and we started to play. I thought the last 15 or 20 minutes in the first half we took control of the game.’

The Wildcats had 17 shots in all, with some active work by junior midfielder Bruce Dowlin, sophomore forward Jason Long, sophomore forward Devin Murray and impressive freshman forward Matt Pron, who was just recently called up to the varsity and has already made contributions.

“I am thrilled to death for these kids to be in the finals,’ said Wentzel. “These kids deserve to play Boyertown a third time.’

Owen J. Roberts won the first meeting between the two schools before the Bears won the second game during the regular season.

“We’ve played each other in the finals before,’ said Wentzel. “It has been the two teams from the Liberty Division for a very long time, about eight years. It’s going to be a war Thursday night, and we will come prepared. This is a fun group of players. I have been around for 14 years as an assistant or head coach, and this is a fun group. They have taken me on a great ride.’

“This is round three, the finals,’ said Huzzard. “It has been nice with this being my senior year. We have had our most success and most wins. I wouldn’t want to play anyone else in the finals. It is a good way to end the season.’

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply