By Dave Kurtz, Posted 5/11/11
Courtesy of PAC-10Sports.com
Boyertown and Methacton have been wearing out a trail to the Pioneer Athletic Conference girls lacrosse championship stage.
The Bears and Warriors followed similar scripts Tuesday to reach their familiar destination with easy semifinal victories in the PAC-10 Final Four Tournament at Owen J. Roberts.
Cold and methodical as an autopsy – the Liberty Division powerhouses used fast starts to take apart their victims – Boyertown dismantling Upper Perkiomen 14-5 in the nightcap after Methacton dissected Phoenixville 15-3.
“We had to show up and play together,” said Rachel Engler, who scored four goals and added an assist for the seven-time defending PAC-10 champion Bears. “We don’t put any pressure on ourselves. (The streak) is a positive thing.”
Boyertown’s quick start was definitely a positive thing. The Bears blew out to a 7-0 advantage in the first half before the Tribe knew what hit them. Kelly Furman had two of her three goals and two assists during the run, with Engler and Jaime Vincent (hat trick) adding two strikes apiece.
“We played hard at the beginning, and that helped us settle in,” said Boyertown coach Pam Wernersbach. “That helped us relax. We have kids that focus on every game – every game matters.”
The game that matters most is the one that looms ahead. For the third straight year, Boyertown and Methacton will be playing for the PAC-10 hardware Friday night (5 p.m.) at Spring-Ford’s Coach McNelly Stadium.
Warriors coach Laurie Markle will be looking for a different outcome.
“We actually looked controlled, and we played with confidence,” said Markle after the rout of the Phantoms. “We got some great bounces early, and we backed each other up.”
Leading by a narrow 2-1 count after Phoenixville’s Sarah Lombardi scored unassisted at the 18:29 mark of the first half, the Warriors responded with nine unanswered goals to go up 11-1 at the intermission and bring on the running clock.
“We wanted to get the lead early and settle it down, work the offense,” said Emily Kellett, who finished with five goals and two assists. “Come out fast and strong.”
Methacton, which also got three goals and two assists from Abby Devlin and two goals apiece from Sara Watro, Alexa Maloney and Megan Nearing (2 assists), would actually extend the run to 12 with three strikes in the second half for a commanding 14-1 bulge.
Methacton spent the majority of the time in the attack zone, but on the few occasions when Phoenixville had possession – the Warriors built an impregnable wall around goalies Rikki Moore (3 saves) and Alyssa Rothman (6 saves).
“Our defense anticipated everything,” Markle said. “I don’t think they got past the 30 very often. Megan Early, Gabby Numerato and Rikki did a great job.”
Now the job will be unseating Boyertown – no easy coup.
“We’ll come out and play our game,” said Wernersbach, whose club ran clinics in routing the Warriors 16-2 and 13-4 during the regular season – the only two PAC-10 losses for Methacton. “We’ll see what works and adjust to what our opponent is showing us.”