C.B. West knocks off Boyertown in overtime, 1-0

Boyertown — The Central Bucks West girls soccer team is coming home.

After the No. 13 seeds defeated Mt. St. Joseph on their home field in the opening round of the District 1-AAA girls soccer playoffs Thursday, the Bucks players believed it would be the final home game of many of their high school careers.

That is not the case any longer after Shae McCarty scored with 4:16 left in the first overtime to break the hearts of No. 4 Boyertown and give C.B. West a 1-0 victory Saturday night at Boyertown’s Memorial Stadium.

“That was pushing us. We knew that we had a chance to play on our home field again,’ McCarty said. “It was really emotional that we won (in the first round). Everyone was crying even though we won. We thought that would be our last game so we were really pushing it (against Boyertown) because we knew that we could play on our home field again if we won, which is awesome.’

The Bucks (14-5-1) will be home on Tuesday and will host 28th-seeded Owen J. Roberts, another Pioneer Athletic Conference opponent. The Wildcats were 3-1 winners over Plymouth-Whitemarsh on Saturday. C.B. West and OJR meet in the district quarters with a PIAA berth on the line.

The tears on the Boyertown sideline were not due to simply a last home game, but instead a season-ending game.

This year’s group wasn’t able to match last season’s run the PIAA quarterfinals, but a 13-5 season is hard to argue with after winning the PAC-10 Liberty Division and earning a first-round bye in districts. It also included a 10-game winning streak, all by shutout.

“I thought we did really well,’ senior left back Darian Ruyak said. “There were definitely a lot of people that were turning their heads away from us and saying, ‘ They have to rebuild their whole team. They’re not going to do nearly as well as they did last year.’ But I think we really came together and had such a great season.’

The Bears were originally seeded a spot out of the byes at No. 5, but the district’s reseeding that took place last Tuesday changed everything. Boyertown benefitted from a bye, but found in their portion of the draw a C.B. West team that had defeated it 1-0 early in the regular season.

“I knew when the reseeding went through and I saw we were potentially going to play them … anybody else but them,’ Boyertown coach Bill Goddard said. “Their keeper (Grace Bendon) is outstanding. She’s not an ordinary keeper and they defend well. They mirror us in a lot of ways.

“I would have rather played anybody else but them to be honest with you. Credit to them, they found a way. It was ugly, but they found a way. And that’s playoffs.’

A deadlocked game in a number of ways was broken open when McCarty capitalized on a back pass from defender Taylor Sassaman to goalkeeper Sarafina Valenti, but Valenti’s clearance attempt hit right into McCarty.

“I didn’t expect it to come right at me. I was expecting to jump,’ McCarty said. “I had to be composed.’

C.B. West goalkeeper Bendon was commanding and recorded five saves, none bigger than the diving tip of a shot on Erin Reitmeyer’s shot from an Olivia Frazier cross with 15:20 left in regulation.

“I figured it would be very similar to the first time,’ Goddard said. “I knew there weren’t going to be very many chances for either team. We were within an eyelash of beating the keeper; I don’t know how she got a hand on that one. I thought Erin had her beat.’

Bendon was aided by the defensive work of Carmen Telesco, Devin Dickinson, Mackenzie Carroll and Sophie McKnight.

“I knew after the first time we beat them it would be a close match. We knew we had to come out fired up because we knew they would be more fired up,’ McCarty said.

The Bears defense, which featured Ruyak and juniors Sassaman, Taylor Landis and Kyle Graver, along with the superb work of junior midfielder Maria Garofolo handled C.B. West’s best attempts all game.

C.B. West’s other best opportunity was in the final minute of regulation when McCarty hit the crossbar on a far-post shot from the left side.

In the end, the Bucks found a way and the Bears found a difficult defeat to take.

“They found a way at the end and we weren’t able to get it done,’ Goddard said. “It’s a tough, tough pill to swallow because I thought we played well enough to win. But if you don’t score you can’t win the game.

“I give my kids a lot of credit. Nobody gave them a shot to be in the hunt and for us to be a No. 4 seed and to make the run through the PAC like we did with a very young and inexperienced team, hats off to our kids. It’s a learning experience and we’ll learn from it, grow from it and move forward.’


The Bears will graduate senior starters Ruyak, Frazier, Kasey Sheahan and Meghan Criswell and reserve Leah Eble. “There is a lot of pride of me in being a part of this team. I love every single one of them,’ Ruyak said. “We’re more of a family than we are a team.’ … The teams were even in shots on goal (7-7) and corners (3-3) while C.B. West led it shot attempts 11-10. Valenti made six saves.

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