BUCKTOWN >> The 2015 season will be full of opportunities.
For Owen J. Roberts, an early opportunity came Wednesday night against Perkiomen Valley.
Looking to avenge three losses to the Vikings last year — including in the PAC-10 title game — the Wildcats took advantage of their opportunity.
“The girls were definitely motivated after losing in the championship last season,” said first-year Owen J. Roberts head coach Amy Hoffman. “The girls were looking for redemption.”
They took advantage and got their redemption, defeating Perkiomen Valley 4-2.
“We knew this was our year to beat them,” said Corinne Gerber. “We wanted to start the season off right and show them we won’t back down.”
Perkiomen Valley head coach Erik Enters knew defending the title wouldn’t be a cake-walk.
“We knew this was going to be a statement game for (Owen J. Roberts). Since the end of last season, we knew they were going to be the team to beat. They’ve got a strong nucleus back and didn’t really lose anyone.”
Gerber was at the forefront of the Wildcats’ attack Wednesday with a goal and two assists while Makena Aberle scored twice and Keeley White scored once. Amanda Lamb tallied six saves in the win.
Trailing 2-1 midway through, the Wildcats took over in the second half, limiting Perkiomen Valley to zero shots on goal
and scoring three unanswered goals.
“At halftime, we talked about making sure we didn’t come out soft and didn’t let up,” said Hoffman. “The girls went 100 percent to every ball and knew where each other would be all over the field.
“In the second half, we made sure that none of our shots were 50-50 shots. We wanted to be sure that if we were taking a shot, it was going in.”
Aberle says the Wildcats’ spark came from shaking off the early jitters while focusing on maintaining control of the ball.
“We got more comfortable and started making stick-to-stick passes in the second half,” said Aberle. “In the beginning, I think we were jittery, but toward the end we really started to get it.”
For Perkiomen Valley, Laura Shelton led the way with a goal and an assist while Kelsey Giese had a goal and Gabby Martina notched an assist. Kerri Hanshaw made two saves in goal.
Although the Vikings are forced to swallow their first conference loss since the 2013 season, Enters says his players will be all the better for it.
“It’s not a terrible thing to lose sometimes, especially early in the season,” he said. “Your team is able to see weaknesses, see what we need to improve on and learn to trust one another.”
As the PAC-10 season gets into full swing, Enters says his team is still coming into form.
“It’s another game for us,” he said. “It’s still early in the season. We’re still feeling a lot of things out, getting our defense fine-tuned, getting girls that want to win their spots. Once everything comes together, we’ll go from there.”
And for Gerber, the season holds plenty more opportunities for the Wildcats to continue proving themselves.
“All the hard work from last season paid off,” she said. “We are excited to work and play hard this season.”
NOTES >> Hanshaw made two saves in goal for Perkiomen Valley. … Taylor Hamm made two defensive saves for the Vikings while Natalie Fuertsch made a defensive save for Owen J. Roberts.