PLYMOUTH >> Cynics might consider it an embarrassment of riches, or even overkill.
But anyone associated with Upper Perkiomen wasn’t feeling the least bit sheepish. Joy and ecstasy were the prevailing feelings from Tuesday’s Class 2A PIAA playoff game with Archbishop Carroll, fueled by a 6-0 victory at The Proving Grounds.
The Indians (18-5) saw eight different players contribute to an offensive outburst highlighted by a five-goal first half. They hit the cage one more time in the second half to realize several goals they carried into the post-season.
“One of our goals was to advance far in states,” UP head coach Jamie Warren said. “Another goal at the half was to keep the shutout. In a state game, both teams are playing hard.”
UP got its ultimate game-winning goal inside the game’s first six minutes. It upped that lead to three by the 17:37 mark, then got another pair in the last five minutes of the half to take an insurmountable 5-0 lead on the Patriots, District 12’s championship team.
“We were moving the ball well,” said Takoda Wells, one of two Indians to have goals and assists. “Especially on turf. We were transferring the ball well.”
The first-half production was a big one for UP, Warren noting her team didn’t score more than 2-3 goals in other state games. But the Indians proved to be far from done, Kylene Gooch scoring off the third of AiYi Young’s two assists with about nine minutes left in the second half.
“We were connecting well on our passes, more effectively,” Warren said.
Takoda Wells with a rocket. 4-0 Upper Perk with five minutes left in first. pic.twitter.com/fROgOXBsTh
— Owen McCue (@Owen_McCue) November 5, 2019
UP’s 13-4 advantage in corner shots contributed to three of its goals. Among them were Bella Carpenter’s tally at the 24:43 mark — Young credited with the assist — and Wells hitting the cage with 5:01 left in the first half, the assist going to Gooch.
“It was a misplay,” she said, noting the shot was supposed to go to Young. “I got the ball and made a clean shot.”
“We didn’t have too many corners in our last game,” Warren added, referencing Saturday’s 4-3 title-game loss to Merion Mercy. “We had three goals on corners, but we wanted to score more.”
“We practiced corners,” Wells said. “We wanted to nail a couple and we did, especially on sweeps.”
It was a lackluster end to the season for Carroll. The Pats found themselves outshot by UP 10-3, and their final attempt to get on the scoreboard — they got a corner play inside the three-minute mark — was stopped against a Tribe that got playing time for a majority of players on its varsity roster.
“It was a great year, but not our usual record,” head coach Christina Elisio said. “We want to see how we build from what we have.”
HALF: Upper Perk 5, Archbishop Carroll 0…Luci Carpenter deflects a pass from Takoda Wells for a goal here. pic.twitter.com/AbxkfuQJRD
— Owen McCue (@Owen_McCue) November 5, 2019
Jenna Fiorito got the Indians’ second goal off a setup by Michaela Grecczek and their third at 17:37 with Young setting up Colleen Creneti. In the closing minute of the first half, UP’s Luci Carpenter converted a Wells assist.
Lynnsi Joyce was key to a goaltending effort marked by 10 saves. Carroll goalie Grace DiMascio, in comparison, had three stops.
“Our defensive unit is real strong,” Wells said. “It doesn’t matter who’s back there … we work as a unit.”
Next on tap for UP will be a quarterfinal game Saturday between the winner of Mount St. Joseph, District 1’s fifth seed, and District 3 champion Palmyra.
“Both teams are good,” Warren said.
NOTES >> Elisio on Carroll’s development this fall: “They (girls) grew tremendously,” she said. “This last month, they came together. Today’s game doesn’t define them.” … Wells noted how UP performs best on a turf field. “We have a lot of club players, and they’re used to playing on turf,” she said. “You can move fast, and that helps in transitioning.”
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