Beidner’s PK save, Seabrook’s PK goal give Upper Dublin OT win over Wissahickon

UPPER DUBLIN >> For Spencer Beidner, penalty kicks have about the same odds as a coin toss.

“Fifty-fifty chance,” the Upper Dublin boys soccer goalkeeper said. “You guess right, it’s good for your team.”

With not much separating UD and visiting Wissahickon Tuesday afternoon, it was a pair of PKs flipping the Cardinals’ way that earned them an SOL Liberty Division victory that helped their bid for a spot in the District 1 field.

Beidner denied a penalty in the second half to keep the things even at a goal apiece. The contest stayed that way until overtime when a Trojans foul in the box gave Upper Dublin a chance from the spot. Sean Seabrook put a shot into the left corner to give the Cardinals a 2-1 win.

“The one was definitely a PK, the other was a bit questionable but it comes down to those little moments in a game,” UD coach Andy Meehan said. “And fortunately we were able to put it away. Great save by Spencer and then we had our captain Sean Seabrook step up and bury that. Very confident anytime he steps up to the PK mark, he’s just a natural goal scorer.”

The two sides played to a scoreless draw Oct. 1 and Tuesday the rivals again needed extra time after both found the back of the net in the opening half. Seabrook’s PK strike extended UD unbeaten streak against the Trojans to four (3-0-1) and also continued the Cards’ late season surge as Upper Dublin (6-3-0, 6-3-0 division) earned its third straight win.

“We knew that if we lost we didn’t have a very good chance of making playoffs so that definitely boosted everyone’s moral I guess,” said UD sophomore midfielder Nick Fiore, who assisted on the game’s opening goal. “And everyone went to play hard and we got lucky with that PK obviously but we just played the hardest we can cause we know if we don’t they will and they’ll win.”

UD began Tuesday 21st in the Class 4A power rankings while Wissahickon (3-5-2, 3-4-1) was 25th with the top 16 earning berths into the district tournament.

“We spoke and we needed to win all three this week to even have a shot with the way this crazy setup has been, the playoffs, you know, to give us any kind of chance,” Trojans coach Stuart Malcolm said. “We knew that it was like a playoff game for us and we come up short. We had the opportunity to score and we didn’t, they had an opportunity to score and put it away. It’s unfortunate but that’s the nature of the game.”

Wissahickon caps its regular season with a back-to-back games against Plymouth Whitemarsh at home 3:30 p.m. Thursday then on the road 3:45 p.m. Upper Dublin finishes at home against Hatboro-Horsham 3:45 p.m. Thursday, the Cards falling 2-1 to the Hatters in overtime on Oct. 6.

“Actually one of the kids asked me, ‘So what happens if we tie?’ and I said ‘I want to win, I don’t care, we need to win this game,’” Meehan said. “So regardless, let’s not even ask those questions and then just see what happens if we win versus anything else.

“What we need to focus on is Hatboro-Horsham and trying to get a little bit of revenge cause we lost in overtime at their place. I know that the boys are excited to play them again and to try to get a little bit of revenge against them. That should be another fun game as well.”

Zach Berman gave Upper Dublin a 1-0 lead in the first half knocking in a cross from Fiore. The Trojans knotted things before the break when Aidan McKelvey took a pass from Jake Slackman, turned and ripped a shot into the left side of the net.

“Turned and hit it – yeah it was a nice finish,” Malcolm said. “And we got to build on that and we didn’t. We struggled all season, we’re not particularly good at winning the first ball, we’ve actually been good at winning second balls but if we don’t win the first ball we’re playing from 35 yards in our own half to get the ball offensively rather than 35 yards in their half. That’s been a big problem for us.”

Wissahickon was given its second-half penalty kick after UD was called for a handball in the box off a Jake Slackman cross from the right side. Christian Vorchheimer took the PK but Beidner guessed correctly – the senior keeper diving to his right, denying the low shot and sending it out for a corner.

The Trojans pressured on the ensuing corner but a Michael Om shot was sent high over the net for a goal kick.

“I’ve had plenty of PKs in the past game this season, I’ve guessed right and I’ve guessed wrong, I just came lucky on this one,” Beidner said. “There was a great shot – bottom right, just timed it perfectly.”

In overtime, Christopher McMeel went down battling for the ball in the box, the whistle blown for a foul and a penalty kick. Seabrook slotted his shot into the left side with the keeper going the other way.

“I had a feeling it was going to just be a tie game,” Beidner said. “But I felt since we were playing very well in the second half, we got a lot of shots on net, their keeper had some nice stops, I felt it was go as a tie again in the end. But we came out lucky on top with that PK last minute.”

Fiore set up Tuesday’s opening tally, sending a low cross from the left side into the box where Berman ran to get inside a Wissahickon defender then one-timed a right-footed shot into the net.

“My defender was kind of sleeping so I jumped on him and just hit it,” Fiore said. “Really wasn’t aiming anywhere, just hope someone was in there and thankfully Zach was.”

The Trojans equalized after a Julian Memis interception in the midfield. Memis connected with Slackman upfield, Slackman then finding Vorchheimer on the right side. Vorchheimer passed back to Slackman, who sent a ball forward stopped by the right foot of McKelvey, the junior then spun around and send a left-footed strike into the net’s left side to make it 1-1.

Josiah Kutai created UD’s best chance to regain the advantage before halftime as he cut in from the right side for a shot but Ethan Glass – who played in goal due to a pregame injury – denied the effort with a diving save.

“We lost our goalkeeper in warmups, broke his finger like five second before – that’s just kind of the way things have gone this year to be perfectly honest,” Malcolm said. “It was just another thing to just kind of smile and say, ‘Hey, it is what it is,’ and let’s try and get out and win a game.”

The Cardinals could not convert on its six corners after the break while prior to his PK try, Vorchheimer had a pair of second-half opportunities. Sandwiched between defenders in the box, he slid a shot toward the left post but Beidner dove to grab the ball. Later on a run, Vorchheimer evaded a tackle attempt then unleashed a shot that skipped across the front of goal and went wide right.

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