Giese lifts Vikings to PAC-10 Final Four playoff berth

GRATERFORD >> Much like the rest of her teammates, Kelsey Giese’s favorite career moment listed in her Senior Night booklet was winning the PAC-10 Championship last season.

With the stakes never higher, the senior captain propelled the Vikings a step closer to repeating that moment, scoring the game-deciding goal in a 1-0 victory over Methacton in a do-or-die clash Thursday night.

The win, which served as both team’s final league game of the season, eliminated Methacton (9-3-1 PAC-10) from playoff contention and sent Perkiomen Valley (11-2) back to the PAC-10 Final Four as the No. 2 seed in the Liberty Division behind Owen J. Roberts. The Vikings will face the Frontier No. 1 seed in Phoenixville Tuesday night at Upper Perkiomen at a time to be determined.

“This game meant everything to us,” said Giese afterward. “Winning the PAC-10 was so awesome last year, and I know all of my teammates want another chance. We knew if we wanted to get back to that point, we’d need to win this (game).”

“From our goalie, to the center and our forwards and everyone in-between, we all brought it,” she added. “That feeling when we won it last year was indescribable. All of us want that feeling back.”

They have a chance to feel that way again thanks to Giese, who scored the game-decider in the 18th minute after navigating her way through a host of Methacton defenders before firing a rocket into the back of the cage.

Head coach Erik Enters expected nothing else from his captain.

“That’s a big-time player making a big-time play,” said Enters. “She has a knack for making the big play, especially when we need it most.

“She did everything perfect. She saw the space, eliminated three girls and created space to shoot. That’s textbook. It’s everything we’ve been working on this season.”

Early on this season, the Vikings didn’t seem to be headed down the route they had the year prior. They had lost two key matches against Owen J. Roberts, one coming at the beginning of the season which snapped their PAC-10 unbeaten streak that dated back to the 2013 season.

Still, senior co-captain Laura Shelton said her team never lost sight of getting back to the playoffs.

“We knew we could get back to this point, but we’d need to work hard,” she said. “We’ve come a long way from where we were in the beginning of the season. We’ve all worked so hard, put in all the effort. It’s definitely paying off.”

Despite the loss, Methacton head coach Sarah Quintois believes her team has plenty to build on as the Warriors look toward the District 1-AAA tournament.

“There isn’t much more I could have asked out of the girls in this game,” said Quintois. “They gave everything they had and played a really strong Perk Valley team down to the wire. The girls put in all the effort, unfortunately the final result didn’t go our way.”

Quintois credited the loss to Perkiomen Valley’s ability to create scoring chances, while also limiting the Warriors’ shots on goal.

“We didn’t create as much opportunity in the circle as we should have, especially in a game like this,” she added. “That’s the difference. They limited us from creating many opportunities to score.”

As a result of the defense, PV goalie Kerri Hanshaw finished the game with just three saves in the cage. Methacton’s Sarah Park finished with nine saves. The Vikings out-cornered the Warriors, 8-5.

Even with the Final Four looming on the horizon, Enters and his team have their sights set on a non-league contest with a powerful Unionville team Saturday. Methacton (ranked No. 9 in most recent power rankings) will look to help its district seeding with a non-league contest against Radnor.

NOTES >> Nine Perkiomen Valley seniors were honored prior to the game including Jenna Dickey, co-captain Mara Wrzesniewski, Kelly Gray, Giese, Shelton, Haley Streeper, Hanshaw, Danielle Trommelen and Morgan Smeltzer. … Enters sang the game’s National Anthem prior to the start.

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