Tuesday, December 11, 2018

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Offensive Struggles, Defense Thrives in Upper Perkiomen's Loss
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer
2018-10-11

            Upper Perkiomen's girls soccer team had plenty of offensive chances Tuesday night. However, the team struggled to deliver the decisive touch in a 1-0 loss to

Avery Diehl gives the ball a boot but a Phoenixville def-
ender blocks her attempt at sending the ball down field.

Phoenixville in the Pioneer Athletic Conference.

            "That part of our game has been a little rough all season," said Kaitlyn Mundy, a senior midfielder. "We've done a good job getting the ball up the field, but we need to keep working on the last touch."

            Gabriella Perrotto scored the game's only goal with 12 minutes, 50 seconds remaining in the first half. Following a 23-minute delay after the power at Upper Perkiomen High School went out due to a surge, Perrotto got behind the Indians (3-5 PAC, 6-10 overall), fired a shot from the left wing. She collected her own rebound and beat goalkeeper with Hannah Landis on a hard shot from point-blank range.

            Mundy said the goal motivated her to play even harder. She expected the team to respond with authority.

            "We haven't beaten Phoenixville in quite a while," Mundy said.

            According to head coach Mike Freed, Upper Perkiomen's fullbacks got caught in the middle of the field and could not recover against Perrotto, who he described as one of the top players in the conference.

            "If it's anybody else, I believe we could have recovered," Freed said.

            An inability to put the ball in the opposing net has been an issue for the Indians all season, according to the coach. He said the players are being too reactive rather than proactive.

            "It's a matter of reading the game," Freed said. "It's never been a matter of heart or effort. This team could use a little more firepower. It's an area well have to work on during the offseason."

            According to Mundy, the Indians has gotten better at pushing the ball up the field during the season. She said forwards Avery Diehl and Hannah Keeney received a good number of the opportunities. For whatever reason, the Indians have struggled to convert those opportunities.

"We do a lot of drills in practice," Mundy said. "We're working hard. Maybe it due to nerves."

            Upper Perkiomen relied on another solid defensive effort to stay within one goal. According to Freed, the team's midfielders did a terrific job "bullying the middle of the field" and neutralizing Perrotto and Leeza Galli, Phoenxville's two standout players.

            "Our girls really battled," the coach said.

            The Indians have relied heavily on a strong defense all season. Freed said the team -- which has allowed 26 goals in 16 games - will likely post the top goals against average in his 10 years as head coach.

            Upper Perkiomen finishes its regular season against Pottstown on Thursday and Pope John Paul II on Friday. The coach said he figured the team would have to win its final three games to have a shot at qualifying for the district playoffs.

            "I didn't think we would get this close," Freed said.


 

 

 

 

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