PHOENIXVILLE — Wednesday night marked showdown time for two of the best girls soccer teams the Pioneer Athletic Conference has to offer this season.
In a battle of undefeated PAC-10 division leaders, Spring-Ford used goals by Aley Kate McKinley and Kat Connelly to post a 2-0 victory over Frontier Division frontrunner Phoenixville at Washington Field.
Gabrielle Vagnozzi and McKinley had assists on the goals as Spring-Ford moved to 7-0-1 in the PAC-10 (10-0-1 overall) while dropping Phoenixville to 6-1 (7-2 overall).
"It took a ton of momentum,' said McKinley, a senior forward. "We are still undefeated. The way we played, I am so proud. We had such great possession.'
Phoenixville dropped its first crossover game against the bigger schools after recording three straight victories in inter-divisional play — something no other Frontier Division school had ever done — as well as seven straight victories overall.
A huge game by Phantoms goalie Bri Cooley, who registered 16 saves, helped keep the Phantoms in the contest.
McKinley scored on a corner kick by Vagnozzi, a sophomore midfielder, in the 57th minute of action to snap the scoreless duel. Connelly, a junior forward, finished off a McKinley hit in the 69th minute to cap the scoring.
The Rams also got their usual strong work from senior midfielders Megan Giannopoulos and Sammy Stipa while senior goalie Hope Davis made three saves in recording the shutout.
"We won it with defense,' said Vagnozzi. "We stayed in tight.
"Our outside mids stayed really wide so we were able to get the through ball and attack. This is our season. We have more show and improve.'
"We definitely thought we could get around them,' said McKinley. "We got a ton of crosses off. We were there.'
Spring-Ford coach Sheldon Chamberlain was elated with the victory.
"This was a big win for us,' said Chamberlain. "We were really consistent. They are a great team. It made everyone better. We both have nice, balanced teams. Their goalkeeper (Cooley) was sharper. It took a lot of time for us to find an opening on the corner kick. We had to get her out of position. AK (McKinley) touched it in with composure. We play a good possession game.'
"She (Cooley) is really good in the air,' said McKinley.
Phoenixville coach Tim Raub said his troops just have to get refocused to continue their fine season against another tough foe in Boyertown on Friday.
"We threw everything we had at them,' said Raub. "The girls dug deep. We played with them for 60 minutes. They scored an opportunistic goal. They took care of the chance then got the second goal soon after.'
Raub praised the Rams for their abundant talent with a lot of speed and quickness on the field from end line to end line.
"They have so much talent,' said Raub. "They do a nice job of getting to the end line. They finish when they have the opportunity. They put it in the back of the net.'