Giese’s hat trick lifts Perkiomen Valley past Phoenixville

RED HILL >> She has a knack for coming up clutch in the biggest moments.

Just a few days after scoring the lone goal against Methacton to ensure Perkiomen Valley its playoff berth, Kelsey Giese wasn’t quite satisfied.

Phoenxiville's Becca Lewis (27) and Katie McErlean double team Perkiomen Valley's Kelsey Giese in first half. (John Strickler - The Mercury)
Phoenxiville’s Becca Lewis (27) and Katie McErlean double team Perkiomen Valley’s Kelsey Giese in first half. (John Strickler – The Mercury)

The senior came up clutch on Tuesday night at Upper Perkiomen’s Tribe Stadium as the Vikings advanced in the PAC-10 playoffs with a 5-2 win over Phoenixville in a game where the final score didn’t do it justice.

Giese scored her team’s first three goals, ensuring the Vikings a spot in the PAC-10 championship for a second consecutive year.

“I always want to be the one my teammates can count on,” said Giese. “Whether it means scoring, assisting or something small, I want to be able to help the team any way I can.”

“She’s a big-time player who steps up under the bright lights,” said Perkiomen Valley head coach Erik Enters. “She and (Laura) Shelton were connecting so many times down the field. Those two took the game over.”

With the win, Perkiomen Valley (11-2 PAC-10, 12-6 overall) will look to defend its PAC-10 title against Owen J. Roberts on Thursday night.

Despite the lopsided finish on Tuesday, Giese admits the game was much closer than the final score indicates.

“Phoenixville brought it from the first whistle to the last,” she said. “They brought a lot of intensity and we didn’t match it in the beginning. It was good we picked it up.”

With his team down 2-1 just minutes into the second half, Enters knew his players needed to step up the intensity.

“That was gut-check time,” he said of his team trailing in the second half. “There wasn’t much I could say to the team other than ‘Let’s step it up and match their intensity.’”

Behind Giese’s two second-half goals, the Vikings stepped it up, scoring four-answered goals to seal it.

Phoenxiville's Katie McErlean hits the ball up field to stop a Perkiomen Valley rush to the goal. (John Strickler - The Mercury)
Phoenxiville’s Katie McErlean hits the ball up field to stop a Perkiomen Valley rush to the goal. (John Strickler – The Mercury)

PV saw goals from Kelly Gray and Gabby Martina while Laura Shelton added two assists. In goal, Miranda Wesley made one save in the first half while Kerri Hanshaw had six in the second half.

“We never really considered ourselves out of it,” said Shelton. “We came back from behind a few times this season, so we knew what we needed to do to get back in it.”

The loss brings Phoenixville’s season to an end at 9-8 overall (8-5 PAC-10).

As the No. 1 seed in the Frontier Division, Phoenixville head coach Dani DeLeo and the Phantoms entered Tuesday with a plan to advance.

“We didn’t come here to be a runner-up, we came to win,” she said. “It’s heartbreaking, especially because we played really well and had a lead in the second half.”

Rose Moore finished with a goal and an assist while Allie Little scored once and Katie McErlean had an assist. Tyler Hall made 12 saves in goal.

Even in the loss, DeLeo can’t help but to be proud of her team’s performance.

“Our big thing was to leave it all out on the field and hold our heads high no matter what,” she said. “I know we gave (Perkiomen Valley) a game they never expected. The girls left it all out there.”

The Vikings will now shift their focus to Thursday night against Owen J. Roberts, a team they’ve fallen to twice this season.

Having been a part of the title team last season, Giese hopes her team can make it two-straight against the Wildcats.

“It’s hard to beat a time three times in one season,” said Giese. “We found that out last year when we played (Owen J. Roberts) for the championship. Hopefully this time we can finally beat them when it matters most.”

NOTES >> PV lost to OJR 4-2 on both team’s PAC-10 opener. The Vikings then lost 2-0 a month later. … Perkiomen Valley defeated Owen J. Roberts 2-0 in last year’s championship to cap off an undefeated PAC-10 season.

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