Lady Indians Soccer Season Over U.P. Hockey Scores a Shutout in the First Round
The Upper Perk field hockey team’s District 1-AA quarterfinal playoff game with Springfield (Montco) last Thursday night was tougher than expected until the Tribe wore down the visitors for a 3-0 victory.
Anna Duemler’s early goal gave the newly crowned PAC-10 champions a 1-0 lead, but after that, the Lady Indians had trouble getting quality scoring chances against the Spartans and netminder Kim Machalette despite a huge territorial and corner edge.
Just over a minute into the game, Duemler gathered in the rebound of a shot by Maddie Fox and buried the ball past Machalette from about 15 feet away.
“One of our goals is always to score in the first five minutes to give us a little up on them,” Duemler said. “It got us all hyped for the rest of the game and beat them down a little bit.”
The score would prove to be the only one of the half despite a 10-0 margin in corners for Upper Perk, and concern was growing on the Upper Perk sideline.
Head coach Jamie Warren called a timeout about midway through the half to refocus her team.
“I just wanted them to talk to each other, because they were all on top of each other on the right side of the field. It was like, ‘Girls, come on. You got to talk, you got to communicate, you’ve got to look before you pass.’ We really weren’t in sync.”
After the game, junior Sam Dingler bluntly assessed her team’s first half execution woes.
“We weren’t off our high horse yet,” she said, referring to the week off since the PAC-10 win over Owen J. Roberts. “We were playing down to their level, and we should have played up to our level. We definitely learned from this.”
Warren credited Springfield’s efforts in bottling up the Tribe. “They came at us. The girls said they were really aggressive out there.”
With Springfield effectively clogging up the right side of the field, Warren urged her team, at halftime, to spread out, and she made some positioning changes.
The moves paid off as Upper Perk began to function more smoothly and finally capitalized on a corner 8:44 into the half.
Dingler began and finished the play that gave Upper Perk a 2-0 lead. After inserting the ball to Casey Umstead, Dingler stationed herself at the post.
“There was a girl right on the goal line, so Casey shot a rocket to me, and I tipped it over the girl’s stick,” related Dingler.
“It was good then when we got that second goal,” Warren said, “definitely gave us a breather. Corners and early goals can win games in districts and states.”
Umstead, hampered by hand and knee issues during the game, finished the scoring about five minutes later with a backhander, rolling her 44th goal of the season through Machalette for the 3-0 lead.
“The second half, I thought, was much better. We were passing better,” Warren noted.
The Spartans finally generated some attack late in the game and goalie Hannah Mack had to come up with three saves to preserve the shutout.
Warren was pleased with the suffocating play of the defense, especially the efforts of Rachel Felbinger and Morgan Aldinger.
“[Springfield] really didn’t threaten us until the end of the second half,” Warren said.