BUCKTOWN >> The Liberty Division’s No. 2 spot at the table of the Pioneer Athletic Conference had been up for grabs all season long.
On Saturday, No. 1 seeded Owen J. Roberts pulled the chair out from underneath Spring-Ford, using a nine-goal run during the second half to secure a 12-5 win in both team’s regular season finale.
For photos of the game, click here
The result sends the Rams into a four-way tie with Methacton, Perkiomen Valley and Boyertown, all of which boast 8-5 records as the dust settles. Methacton secures the coveted No. 2 seed based on tie-breaker criteria (head-to-head vs. PV).
“I don’t know what happened to us in the second half,” said Spring-Ford head coach Amy Short as Spring-Ford was outscored 9-2. “We didn’t look like ourselves at all. We always struggle once we get down a couple goals, and today we just couldn’t find a way to get it back.”
The Rams notched two quick scores in the opening four minutes to jump out to an early 2-1 lead and eventually evened it up at 3-all with six minutes to go in the opening half. Spring-Ford goalkeeper Kamille Ward faced 18 shots in the opening half and only yielded three scores while Owen J. held just a 4-3 advantage in draw controls.
Junior midfielder Camryn Jones scored three goals while Brianna Cirino and Cassandra Marte chipped in solo scores.
“Coming in we knew this would be tough from the start,” said Owen J. Roberts head coach Joe Tornetta, “but we stuck to our guns. We played a solid first half, and we stuck with our gameplan.
“Our message at halftime was ‘you don’t have to change anything, just finish.’ We were putting shots on goal, we just needed to find ways to get them past.”
The senior pairing of Kerry Huzzard and Maddie Gebert led the OJR attack, one of each figuring on seven of their team’s first eight goals.
Huzzard finished the day with a game-high five scores.
“We lost to them the first time we played them this year,” said Huzzard. “That was our first PAC-10 loss since I was a sophomore, so we knew we had a lot to prove in this one.”
Alongside Huzzard, Gebert — Owen J. Roberts’ new all-time leading scorer — upped her total to 231 goals, finishing with three scores and an assist on the afternoon.
“That was my biggest personal goal for my senior season,” said Gebert, who passed the previous mark of 227, which belonged to both Devon Hassinger (2014, now at Villanova) and Missy Schweitzer (2008). “That was really exciting for me.
“Now, it’s sort of a step by step approach,” she added. “Next up is playoffs. Hopefully we can get to PAC-10’s and win it, followed by districts and everything that comes with that. For now, it’s one at a time.”
Behind Huzzard and Gebert, Kelsey Kilgallon scored twice while Anna Dempsey had a goal and an assist. Sophia Murray scored once while Sara Maute posted five saves in goal.
Tornetta brought a similar mentality to Gebert.
Aware that Methacton would be in the PAC-10 playoffs where the Warriors will open up against Upper Perkiomen, Tornetta kept it simple.
“Pope John Paul II,” he said. “That’s who we’ve got to be focused on. We can’t worry about what’s beyond that or who does what, we need to focus on what’s in front of us. Right now, that’s Pope John Paul II.”
Though their PAC-10 season comes to an end a bit abruptly, Short and the Rams have some time to kill before districts. Safe to say, Spring-Ford won’t be sitting around waiting for anything to land on their plate.
“We’ve got a long week ahead of us in-between,” said Short. “We’ve got to move and be get ready for districts now. It’s tough, but our girls should be ready to go.”
NOTES >> Molly McMahon and Anja Sweeney each had an assist for Spring-Ford while Ward finished with 13 saves. … Spring-Ford defender Lauren Mensch left the game in the first half with a knee injury. “Not having that presence on our defense really makes a difference,” said Short.
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