Upper Merion tops Upper Moreland 5-1 in conference finale

UPPER MERION — Following a Wednesday filled with rain storms, the rescheduled boys soccer game between Upper Moreland and Upper Merion took place on a mild and sunny Thursday afternoon.

And while both teams’ postseason sights were gloomy — neither team qualfied for playoffs — the Vikings used possession and pace to attack the Golden Bears and put up a four-spot in the first half to roll to a 5-1 win.

Playing in the final Suburban One League American Conference game of the season, the victory was particularly sweet for Upper Merion’s seniors, who also played in their last high school home game.

“It feels really good,’ Vikings forward Angelo Misseri said. “As a senior, it’s a big deal for me — this whole team we’re like a giant family.

“Today we came together and got the result we wanted.’

Upper Merion (4-10-2, 4-9-1) was able to control much of the ball handling during the span of the match. Switching the field was midfielder Brendan Magdamo, and teammate Vito Vincent peppered the Upper Moreland (0-13-4, 0-11-3) defense with passes by land and air to the playmakers up top.

The Vikings made it a 1-0 game in the 16th minute when Abdu Bakillah played a through-ball to Alan Castillo, whose first effort was denied by Upper Moreland goalie Connor O’Hagan. But when the keeper spilled the ball, Castillo jumped on the rebound for an easy finish.

Upper Merion’s second goal was a thing of beauty as Bakillah played a free kick outside to Castillo, who beat a defender and then whipped in a service into the path of Vincent for a clean heel flick in front of the net.

Upper Moreland put some pressure on the Vikings after the Bears scored thanks to Jacob Winter in the 27th minute, but Upper Merion answered with goals by Will Borkowski and Misseri in the 36th and 40th minute, respectively.

“Usually (Coach) likes us to play direct balls because we have speed up top, so he wants us crashing to the net,’ Misseri said. “The season hasn’t been the result we wanted, so we just wanted to come out today and just get the win. We just wanted to put a pounding on a team.’

The Vikings capped off the “W’ late in the second half after Bakillah sprinted down the left side and picked up his third assist of the game after a streaking Ravi Tata roofed the cross with his left foot in the 79th minute.

“We finally got some goals,’ Upper Merion head coach Tom Dodds said. “It was something that we’ve had a lot of opportunities throughout the year and we haven’t been able to finish. We get in the final third and we’re unable to get it done, but today it was nice to get a bunch — it’s just too bad it’s so late in the season.’

For the Golden Bears, a winless season filled with disappointment is coming to a close. The team will come back next season with a clean slate and a reloaded roster.

“We’re just very young,’ Upper Moreland head coach Jack Knauss said. “We’re immature yet and we don’t have it this year. We only had two seniors that started and played any amount of time.

“You preach certain things and until they get it in their head how to do it, that’s how it’s got to be done. When they don’t do it that way, you get results like this. We’re learning.’

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