BOYERTOWN- After creating and failing to convert on numerous opportunities through 80 minutes of scoreless soccer in regulation play and another 15 in overtime, the Boyertown boys finally knocked in the game-winner against Perkiomen Valley on a simple, but effective play.
Barry Kabinoff took a short pass on an indirect free kick play and drilled the ball low and hard past the wall and into the far corner to give the Bears a 1-0 victory in double overtime on Tuesday afternoon ' their first of the Pioneer Athletic Conference season.
The Vikings were called for a dangerous play in the box midway through the second and last 10-minute, sudden-death overtime session and set up a seven-man wall to protect the left half of the goal.
"Their goalie was standing behind the wall and he had no vision of where the ball was,' senior captain Kabinoff said. "So I felt if I hit it low and hard and to the corner, he wouldn't get there.'
And that obviously worked after the Bears (1-1, 3-1) had missed out on a variety of chances, several of them with Kabinoff right in the middle.
One of them came when Danny Bechtel passed to Kabinoff on the right wing and his shot went wide to the left of the goal. Not too long after that, Perk Valley (0-1-1, 2-3-1) had a chance during some miscommunication in front of the Bear goal, but a blast by Mickey Schnell went wide right.
Boyertown had another good opportunity midway through the second half, but PV keeper Corey Jackson came up with a diving save. Then the Bears could have won it in the first overtime, but Jackson grabbed a shot by Jake McAuley and stopped a hard follow-up try on the ground by Tyler Comport.
The Bears finished with a 13-4 advantage in shots. Jackson made three saves and Boyertown keeper Tim Lawlor, who was back in the net after suffering an injury in a 2-1 loss to Spring-Ford last Wednesday, came up with two. Perk Valley had six corner kicks to the Bears' four.
"The first 20 minutes, we had six shots on goal,' Boyertown coach Scott Didyoung said. "We had breakaways. We had scrums in front of the net.'
"I don't know what it was,' Kabinoff said concerning his team's inability to finish off its scoring chances. "We were just playing lethargic. We weren't closing to the ball too well. We were too spread out. We needed to be more compact.'
The warm temperatures and high humidity certainly did not help either team, though both of them managed to pick up the pace late in regulation and during the extra sessions.
"The day just kind of took its toll on players from both teams,' said Didyoung. "I just felt when our attack got to the midfield area, we were standing around and not attacking. We looked very, very tired.'
The Bears have also been hurt by injuries, suffering six in their first four outings.
"We're not anywhere near healthy,' Didyoung added. "I'm just looking forward to being healthy. Sometimes you have to win when you're not at your best.'
Which is what the Bears did in an early-season, but important, match in what will probably turn out to be a close division race right until the end.
"Nonetheless, it was a good win,' Didyoung said. "It's a necessary win for us.'
"I'm just happy we won,' Kabinoff added.