POTTSTOWN — Two young boys soccer teams hungry for a win — Upper Perkiomen and Pottstown — met in a Pioneer Athletic Conference match on Monday night at Grigg Memorial Field. And after the Trojans created numerous scoring opportunities in the first half and the Indians did the same in the second half, the match fittingly went to overtime where Upper Perkiomen freshman Eli Barker knocked in a rebound in the seventh minute of extra play for a 3-2 win.
Brandon Landis and Alex Soto also scored for Upper Perk (2-8, 2-11) in the Frontier Division matchup and Tamer Mohamed and Logan Pennypacker knocked in the goals for Pottstown (0-9, 0-10).
"A lot of the games we play, we can't compete,' said Upper Perk coach Matthew Nomland, whose team's other win was by a 1-0 score against the Trojans. "It's nice to go out and win a game you should or have an opportunity to win.'
"They're still a young team,' Pottstown coach Jason Pace said concerning his squad. "They still have a lot to learn. They still need to string a full game together.'
The Trojans controlled the early play, with Tamar Mohamed, Sherif Mohamed, and Tyler Keefer right in the middle of a half dozen opportunities that ended up with shots going wide of the goal or being broken up by goalkeeper Chris Mundy.
At the same time, the Indians had only a couple of shots, one on a long free kick and the other on a try from 30 yards out after an interception.
Pottstown finally got on the board with 8:45 left until the half when Tamar Mohamed scored from right out in front off a feed from Jacob Fetterman.
That's the way the score stood at the break and the second half looked like an entirely different game as Upper Perk immediately came out and took control.Part of that was because the Trojans started to get away from what had worked in the first half, according to their coach.
"This is our first time playing in that kind of formation because we needed to get more goals,' said Pace. "It worked in the first half. That's been our problem all season long, and the second half another team came out. They're not passing. They're not talking. They want to change things.'
Upper Perk tied it four minutes into the half on a break down the right side by Landis. Then Soto gave the visitors the lead midway through the half when he knocked a pass from Joe Gallo off goalkeeper Alejandro Perez and the ball slowly rolled into the left corner of the goal.
Pottstown had a couple of chances to tie it in the next few minutes, but a shot by Keefer was just high and Mundy made a save on a low shot to his left by Aidan Owens.
Upper Perk almost added to the lead with nine minutes left, but a blast by Darian Benner hit the right post.
Then the Trojans tied it with six minutes remaining in regulation play on a crossing pass by Tamer Mohamed that Logan Pennypacker knocked in from the left corner.
But the Indians won it on their first and only corner kick of the night (to six for Pottstown). The kick from the right corner by Landis came right out front to Barker, who hit the right post on his first try, but knocked home the rebound for the sudden win with 3:45 remaining in the first of two possible 10-minute overtime sessions.
Both teams wound up with 12 shots and both keepers with six saves.
And both have hope for the future with young and improving players for next season and beyond.
"We didn't really play outrageously well,' said Nomland. "We tried to dribble too much in the first half. We created a lot of opportunities, but didn't capitalize. We're extremely inexperienced at the varsity level. There are two starters who haven't played since they were peewees and the freshman who started ... Barker.'
"The chances were there,' said Pace. "We had two guys playing up who played in the back most of the year. But they're just juniors. Upper Perk's a decent team. They have good passers.'
Mundy helped to keep the Indians in the game with booming kicks and good play all around the goal. ... "He's been kind of a saving grace all year,' added Nomland. "He's had quite a few games with more than 20 saves.' ... Pottsown honored five players before the game during Senior Night festivities — Perez, Patrick Bohn, Kyle Lafferty, Ryan Krause, and Robby McCoy.