It was a special occasion pregame for the Perkiomen Valley boys soccer team upon holding Senior Night festivities prior to warming up for their first game on the new turf at Thomas J. Keenan Stadium.
The special occasions once the clock was running? Those were allocated to visiting Boyertown.
Beckett Wenger and Dimitri Randjelovic scored a pair of highly-skilled goals inside the first 15 minutes and the Bears had an answer for everything the Vikings threw their way in a 3-0 victory that spoiled PV’s special night and put Boyertown atop the Pioneer Athletic Conference standings.
Beckett Wenger’s well-taken left-footed strike from 20 yards out put the Bears on their way in the 8th minute and the junior doubled his tally on a volley with 6:17 to play from a back post cross by the tireless Matt Kerr. Randjelovic scored almost directly from an in-swinging corner kick, the ball spilled on the catch attempt of PV keeper Michael Renner to give Boyertown a 2-0 lead before 15 minutes were played.
Perk Valley had the better of possession from that point on, but the Bears defense – led by defenders Jack Albright, Justin Patten, Matt Selders and Kerr, who moved to right back from right attacking midfielder to protect the advantage – stifled the Vikings’ attack to the point it only managed three shots on goal, all saved by goalkeeper Tanner McCafferty.
It was a battle for first place in the PAC with the slow-starting Bears starting to show their quality while improving to 6-4. Perkiomen Valley fell to 5-3-1.
“It was amazing,” said Wenger. “I think we needed this win. PV was above us in the table so it felt good to get over them.”
The result leveled the season head-to-head with Perk Valley, who defeated Boyertown 2-1 on Oct. 3.
The Bears were 1-3 at the point, a stunning start from the defending PAC champions and PIAA semifinalists that returned six starters.
“We knew we had the talent, we knew we had the best talent in the PAC from the beginning, but we realized that means nothing if we can’t work together and that showed the first couple games,” Kerr said.
“We weren’t organized at the beginning of the season,” Wenger said. “We didn’t have a preseason so we pretty much weren’t ready for our first couple of games. I think we’ve figured that out now and we’re pretty happy with our results.”
Boyertown is 5-1 since the 1-3 start and has the opportunity to be the pacesetter in the PAC race with two games – home vs. Owen J. Roberts on Oct. 24 and at Methacton Oct. 27 – remaining.
It hasn’t hurt that Wenger and Kerr, a couple players who dealt with their fair share of injuries during last year’s run, are feeling healthy.
“I’ve been healthy. But it’s just the way I play,” Kerr said. “Me and Beckett, we play hard so injuries are going to happen.”
Perk Valley honored its 12 seniors ahead of the game. PV’s seniors are captains Matt Holmes and Steve Warren, Brandon Baker, Brayden Basile, Gavin Berk, Trey Busedu, Cole Campbell, Alex Chamorro, Dillon Kane, Nick Romas, Alex Tucholke and Renner.
“The boys played hard and they’ve been playing well as a team,” said PV head coach Zach Allen. “We’ve been preaching a motto of playing together and playing hard for 80 minutes and the results will come. I think tonight we played hard. The result didn’t come, but if we continue to play with this effort continuously we’ll get positive results more than not.”
At 5-3-1, Perk Valley can still control its PAC championship aspirations. The 12-game PAC regular season continues at Owen J. Roberts (Oct. 22), home against Upper Perkiomen (Oct. 24) and a rescheduled clash with archrival Spring-Ford on Oct. 28.