Boyertown bests Methacton for PAC Liberty Division championship

FAIRVIEW VILLAGE >> It was a nearly-perfect setup for the Methacton field hockey team.

Their Senior Night was coupled with the opportunity to claim the Pioneer Athletic Conference Liberty Division title and the top seed for next week’s PAC playoffs. A celebration and a coronation.

Except the Warriors weren’t the only team on the field playing for the top of the division. Defending PAC champion Boyertown was in town and disinterested in any serendipitous notions.

A hot start and an even better finish allowed Boyertown to pull away in the fourth quarter for a 3-1 victory over Methacton, earning the Bears a repeat Liberty title in both team’s regular-season finale.

Boyertown’s Peyton Shellaway sends a shot toward goal against Methacton on Oct. 12. (Austin Hertzog – MediaNews Group)
Methacton goalie Maddy McKenney dives to knock the ball away before Boyertown’s Hannah Ulrich can collect it on Oct. 12. (Austin Hertzog – MediaNews Group)

“(Methacton) is a team that we’ve met in the PAC championship, the PAC semis, and with that coming up it was definitely a big thing on our minds,” senior Mary Catherine Maloney said. “We’ve matched up against them pretty equally the past couple seasons so it was a pretty good win for us.”

As top seed, Boyertown (9-1 Liberty, 12-1 PAC, 15-3 overall) will meet second wild card Spring-Ford (7-3, 10-3, 12-5) in the PAC semifinals on Tuesday, Oct. 17 at Upper Perkiomen. In the other semifinal, to be played concurrently at 6 p.m., Methacton (8-2, 11-2, 13-2-1) gets Frontier champion Upper Perkiomen (9-1, 12-1, 14-4).

Freshman Kendal Gilbert scored the Bears’ first two goals and assisted on the third, a blast from the top of the circle by junior Peyton Shellaway to seal the game with 3:40 to play.

Peyton Shellaway looks to have sealed it for Boyertown. Blast from top of circle on corner with under 4 left gives Boyertown 3-1 lead

— Austin Hertzog (@AustinHertzog) October 12, 2023

Methacton’s Renee Blake, right, celebrates with Elena Weychert after combining for a goal in the second quarter against Boyertown on Oct. 12. (Austin Hertzog – MediaNews Group)
Boyertown’s Kendal Gilbert, left, and Methacton’s Carmela Maro compete for the ball during their game on Oct. 12. (Austin Hertzog – MediaNews Group)

The eventual game-winner came with 13:05 to play as junior Alex Bliss fired a quickly taken effort off a restart toward the left side of the goal that was tipped in by Gilbert for the 2-1 advantage.

“We knew the last game (against them) was a really hard game,” midfielder Shellaway said of the Bears’ 2-1 decision on Sept. 20. “We’ve really been working hard on our team connection and we knew that’s how we had to play to beat an opponent like this.”

Methacton tied the game 3:46 until halftime with a great team goal. Senior Renee Blake inserted the penalty corner to Giada Catoia, who passed left to Carmela Maro. Maro then zipped the ball to the front of goal toward Elena Weychert, who redirected the ball to Blake on the left post to level it.

Great team goal for Methacton finished by Renee Blake, on tip pass by Elena Weychert. 3:46 2Q.


— Austin Hertzog (@AustinHertzog) October 12, 2023

Boyertown didn’t allow any other joyous moments to Methacton with an aggressive defensive approach that was led by Alaina Charlesworth, Elise Eves, Shellaway, Maloney and Bliss. With the Bears being on top of the play – they led in corners 10-4 – Methacton goalie Maddy McKenney was forced into action making 11 saves.

Boyertown moved to No. 4 in the District 1 4A rankings, a feat all the more impressive by the Bears playing every game on the road this season in addition to practicing on turf at 422 Sportsplex in Pottstown.

The commitment to playing on turf, even if it means being road warriors, has paid off for the Bears since head coach Alicia Terrizzi returned in 2021.

“We’ve been working really hard, taking our practices seriously,” said sophomore Eves. “We have really good communication on the field, we don’t get mad at each other, and that really helps the team spirit and the team morale while we’re playing.”

Three goals surrendered is the most Methacton has given up in a game this season.

The result put a marker down for Boyertown and motivation for Methacton next week when they could meet again in seven days.

“We wanted to end our regular season strong, go into playoffs on a good note and be able to continue this good play,” Shellaway said.

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