CHARLESTOWN - The year may have changed but some things remain the same. Upper Perkiomen and Phoenixville figure to renew their battle for supremacy in field hockey in the Pioneer Athletic Conference’s Frontier Division.
The two heavyweights met for the first time in 2012 Wednesday afternoon at the Valley Forge Christian College Annex Field grass surface, and the visiting Indians used a first-half goall to nip the host Phantoms, 1-0.
Tribe senior midfielder Carrie Nyce scored the game’s lone goal off a penalty corner chance with 13:21 remaining in the first half. Sophomore defender Sam Dingler assisted on the goal.
The Phantoms (2-1, 3-2-1) opened the game with a pressure offense that resulted in seven first-half corners, but no goals. And that turned out to be a synopsis of the day for Phoenixville as Upper Perkiomen senior goalie Katey Lederer came away with four saves, all of them coming in the first half. The Indians cranked up ball control and defense in the second half, and Phoenixville did not have a penalty corner or shot on goal in the second half of the contest.
“That’s what we try to do,” said Upper Perkiomen coach Jamie Warren afther her school upped its record to 4-0 in the PAC-10 early going. “The first hafl we were up and down. We got the early goal, which was good. It ended up being the game-winner. The second half we played much better. We were more composed. We played the game we wanted to play.”
Nyce’s goal actually caromed off the stick of a Phoenixville and went into the cage past Phoenixville senior keeper E.J. Werner, who had an outstanding day with 10 saves, seven of them coming during the second half of play.
Werner withstood two three-shot barrages on separate series and deserved a better fate along with Phoenixville defensive backs Rachel Boone, Allison Trafford and Amy Hill.
“We have to figure out a way to get some goals,” said Phoenixville coach John Tornetta. “We had opportunity after opportunity and did not capitalize.
“Our defense did a tremendous job and they didn’t get help. E.J. played phenomenal. She face two or three shots too many times. She was quick with her feet, the backs, too. The other half (offense) has to wake up and score goals. They have to step up and want it. We need them to score.”
Warren applauded her own stout defense, which consisted of the likes of Devon Kriebel, Rachel Felbinger, Dingler, Maddie Fox and Morgan Aldinger.
“It is always a challenge to play Phoenixville,” said Warren. “They are so fast and want to win. They take it to us. We have to match their intensity and I think we did that in the second half.”
Warren thought her defense stood tall in the first half when Phoenixville was on the move and then continued the pace in the second half.
“They all did well stopping the ball,” said Warren. “Phoenixville like sto run and go and hit the ball. It is effective.”
Tornetta said his Phantoms will have to learn from the setback and strive to improve during the rest of the long season ahead.
“We were pressuring the ball,” said Tornetta. “We got back. Our defense did an excellent job. They gave up no goals off anything but one corner.”
Upper Perkiomen’s initial corner of the game resulted in the first and only goal of the game.
The Indians totaled 11 corners to the Phantoms’ seven corners. ... Upper Perkiomen junior forward Casey Umstead aimed some hard shots that Werner stopped in the second half.