In a rematch of the 2018 title game, this year’s Pioneer Athletic Conference girls lacrosse championship pits two dynasties old and new against one another for the banner.
Owen J. Roberts — ranked No. 16 nationally by Inside Lacrosse — and Boyertown have both dominated the PAC in their own right over the course of the conference’s existence, and once again, it’ll come down to one of the two at Upper Merion High School Thursday at 7 p.m.
The Wildcats routed Methacton, 18-2 while the Bears downed Phoenixville, 13-9 in the semifinals to advance to the PAC championship.
Owen J. Roberts’ lone loss of the year came at the hands of the reigning PIAA 2A champion Archbishop Carroll, 8-6 on April 11 in non-league play. The Wildcats are ranked No. 1 among Class 3A schools by phillylacrosse.com, while Archbishop Carroll is the top-ranked 2A program.
Boyertown (3) vs. Owen J. Roberts (1), 7 p.m.
Records >> Boyertown: 7-3 PAC Liberty, 10-3 PAC, 13-5 overall, No. 16 in District 1-3A rankings; Owen J. Roberts: 10-0 PAC Liberty, 13-0 PAC, 17-1 overall, No. 2 in District 1-3A rankings.
Head-to-head >> The Wildcats have swept the Bears in both regular-season meetings this spring, 19-0 on April 6 and 21-2 on April 20.
PAC Playoff History >> Historically, Boyertown’s program has amassed a wealth of riches. The Bears have accumulated a PAC-high 19 conference titles, though Boyertown’s last PAC crown came in 2014 with a 17-6 win over Phoenixville. The time between then and now has been filled by hardware for the Bears’ looming opponents.
Owen J. Roberts has firmly established itself as the current dynasty within the PAC, winning six of its eight conference crowns in the last eight years. A missed COVID-19 season in 2020 and last year’s upset at the hands of Methacton are the lone bumps on a road that runs through Bucktown.
Bears at a glance >> Junior attack Alina Friz and sophomore midfielder Hannah Adamski were All-Area honorable mentions last year and have come into their own this season following notable graduations in Emma Beidler and Ali Pioli. Adamski has taken the mantle on draw controls for her squad.
Senior Delaney Fox is also a major cog in Boyertown’s attack with Peyton Shellaway, Cori Bieber, Adison Harner and Bailey Leatherman among the versatile rotation.
Elli Ferraro and Teagan Tyson alternate net duties for the Bears.
Wildcats at a glance >> Among a squad of Avengers, Gabbi Koury and Alexa Vogelman are the Iron Man and Captain America of this super team.
Koury, a two-time All-American committed to the University of Florida, has scored 79 goals, registered 56 assists and made 91 draw controls — par for the course of her 96-goal, 53-assist, 160-draw control season that garnered Mercury Player of the Year honors last spring.
She also earned her 400th point in the semifinals against Methacton, a feat accomplished with a missed freshman season due to COVID-19 in 2020.
Vogelman — also a two-time All-American committed to Syracuse — has amassed 72 goals, 44 assists and 61 draw controls. She’s also collected 60 ground balls, second to Koury’s 92.
The two midfielders highlight a senior class packed to the gills in Division I talents among Colby Wasson (Xavier), Rachel Sbei (Furman), Avery Wentzel (Duquesne), Cailin Harrington (Villanova), Ava Clemson (Butler) and Blakely Doyle (Liberty). That star-studded front has outscored opponents 320-52 on the season.
Matchup and prediction >> Owen J. Roberts was upset in last year’s PAC championship, but this years’ Wildcats have much higher aspirations than just the conference circuit.
Unbeaten in league play, Owen J. Roberts has also thumped defending PIAA-6A champion Conestoga (9-4) and routed Garnet Valley — the team that ended the Wildcats’ run in the state quarterfinals last year — 13-1.
Boyertown has pieced together an impressive regular season and is well within district playoff contention, but the moment once again belongs to a crew built to last far beyond Thursday’s PAC final. … Owen J. Roberts 17, Boyertown 2