Spring-Ford shuts out Boyertown for 1st PAC-10 win

NEW HANOVER >> Getting that first conference win under your belt is no easy task.

In a battle of two Pioneer Athletic Conference teams coming in with winless conference records, Boyertown hosted Spring-Ford on Wednesday afternoon as both teams looked to earn that coveted first PAC-10 win.

In the end, it was Spring-Ford who came out on top, shutting out the Bears 5-0.

“We’ve played really well defensively the past few games, but we just couldn’t find a way to score,” Spring-Ford head coach Jennie Anderson said. “We really emphasized our offense during practice the past few days to get ready for today. It definitely paid off, especially since we turned in another strong defensive performance.”

Coming off two losses by a combined two goals (Perkiomen Valley and Methacton) since last Friday, the Rams had been hoping to change their fortune.

Karly Conway spearheaded Spring-Ford’s offensive attack, netting two goals off corners along with an assist while Lexie Nugent notched a goal and two assists against Boyertown (0-4 PAC-10, 2-5 overall).

“Our corners have been an issue over the past couple of games. We just weren’t finding ways to capitalize,” Anderson said. “So it was really good to see them communicating and taking advantage of those opportunities.”

Nugent says the Rams’ patient approach on offense made all the difference in the win, as Spring-Ford scored its highest goal total on the season.

“We did a good job of working the ball around the circle and finding the open offensive players,” Nugent, who scored the first goal of the game nearly 10 minutes in, said. “Our offensive pressure definitely stepped it up and created some good scoring chances.”

Similarly, Conway says the team’s effective passing in the circle led to more opportunities.

“When we all work together and make good passes in the circle, it leads to a lot more scoring chances,” Conway said. “We did a good job not only of creating those chances, but also taking advantage of them.”

Shannon Reape and Clare Kennedy each added a goal and an assist to help validate Claire Kraft’s shutout performance in the cage for Spring-Ford (1-2 PAC-10, 2-3 overall).

First-year Boyertown head coach Karen Kooker said the Bears played well, but still have some work to do at this point in the season.

“Individually we played well, but as a team we just didn’t connect with each other out there,” said Kooker, who spent the past six years coaching at Boyertown Junior High West. “Our defense had a hard time getting off their heels, which forced our mids to have to work that much harder.”

The Bears put plenty of shots on goal, but couldn’t find a way to get one past Kraft in the cage.

With their first PAC-10 win of the season, Anderson hopes the win will propel her team to continue its strong play.

“We’ve got to come out ready for Owen J. Roberts (on Thursday),” she said. “It’s definitely going to be a tough test, but we’ll do our best to get ready for it.”

Still searching for her first career PAC-10 win, Kooker says her team still has plenty of chances left on the young season.

“We’re still out there and we’re hoping we can surprise people,” she said. “There’s still plenty of season left, and we’re hoping we can keep getting better as the season goes on.”

Boyertown travels to Marple Newtown for a non-league contest on Friday afternoon, as the Bears will look to earn their first PAC-10 win Monday against Pope John Paul II.

NOTES >> Julianna Hennessey made two defensive saves in the final two minutes to help preserve Spring-Ford’s shutout. … Boyertown goalkeeper Katelyn Berger made six saves in goal. … The Bears are awaiting the return of senior defender Braelee Scholl as well as junior Alli Marcus, who has been recovering from an injury.

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