Owen J. Roberts, Spring-Ford set up showdown for final PIAA berth

The Owen J. Roberts and Spring-Ford girls soccer teams are chasing the same prize.

Now, the only thing standing in their respective ways is each other.

In a pair of District 1-AAA girls soccer playback matches Thursday evening, Owen J. Roberts used two first-half goals from Morgan Shronk to knock off Conestoga, 2-1, while Spring-Ford scored early through Erica Mastromatto and held off Great Valley, 1-0.

The wins for the two Pioneer Athletic Conference teams set up a showdown for the district’s fifth and final PIAA playoff berth on Saturday at Spring-Ford at a time to be determined.

The Wildcats are riding an improbable wave after entering the district field through a play-in game for the No. 28 seed last week. Now, OJR is one way away its first state berth since reaching the PIAA semifinals in 2011.

The No. 28 Wildcats capitalized on freshman Shronk’s two goals, which came in the first 25 minutes of the game, and then held off speedy Conestoga, the No. 10 seed. The Pioneers got their goal from Grace Edgerton on a free kick late just before halftime.

OJR goalkeeper Sarah Mills came up with 10 saves. Freshman forward Mahogany Willis, who scored two goals in the Wildcats’ upset win over No. 5 Pennridge and against No. 12 Plymouth-Whitemarsh, hit the post and the crossbar on a pair of shots but Shronk’s scores were enough.

Now, coach Joe Margusity has his team that starts six freshmen nearing a state berth.

“Every day we stay in the tournament we get more and more experience,’ Margusity said. “I just hope we can get past Spring-Ford and give them (the Wildcats) some experience in the ‘ show’ (the state tournament) because that is a special experience.’

Standing in their way is No. 8 Spring-Ford, which got its goal from Mastromatto on a service from the left side by Brynn Hellberg.

Spring-Ford goalkeeper Jenna Griggs made six saves, including three crucial ones according to head coach Tim Leyland, in a closely-contested game (shots on goal were 7-6 in favor of Spring-Ford).

Great Valley, which was the No. 22 seed, got six saves from goalkeeper Carol Burgess.

The Rams are attempting to follow the same path to states as the District 1 No. 5 seed they used last year to reach the PIAA title game.

“It’s really exciting,’ Leyland said. “It’s somewhere where this program has never been before — to have the chance to return to the state tournament. Sometimes teams have a really good group and they never get back.

“I know the girls are really excited. It was something we wanted to get back to — to the state playoffs.’


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