Kyle Vance’s 34 helped pace Methacton over Owen J. Roberts in an early PAC-10 showdown on Tuesday. (Photo by Thomas Nash)
Kyle Vance's 34 helped pace Methacton over Owen J. Roberts in an early PAC-10 showdown on Tuesday. (Photo by Thomas Nash)

SKIPPACK — The opportunity was too perfect for Owen J. Roberts.

The Wildcats looked to avenge their one-stroke 2013 PAC-10 championship loss to Methacton as they traveled to Skippack Golf Course Tuesday afternoon.

Having lost to the Warriors by a single stroke both in the regular season and league championship last year, the Wildcats surely had this match circled on their calendars during the off-season.

In the end, however, Methacton — spearheaded by Kyle Vance's 34 and Dan Rieger's 36 — defeated Owen J. Roberts 186-192 in an early season showdown of PAC-10 title hopefuls.

"Obviously this was a match we wanted to win,' said OJR head coach Ted Snyder, whose team fell to 2-1 in the PAC-10. "But we knew this would be a tough challenge, beating the defending champions on their home turf.'

With its greens having been aerated a few hours prior, Skippack provided a little extra challenge for the players on this particular day. The aeration forced the players to compete on the par-35 back nine, which even the Methacton players weren't completely used to playing.

"We knew coming in that this match with Owen J. would pretty much define our season,' said Methacton head coach Kevin Flanagan. "I'm proud of the way we played today. Half of our guys haven't played in varsity matches before this year, but they looked confident out there.'


Advertisement

One player who looked exceptionally confident for the Warriors (2-1) was Vance, last year's District 1 individual champion.

The sophomore No. 1 player finished with eight pars and a birdie en route to his 1-under effort.

"All around, I was happy with my performance on the course,' said Vance. "My putting killed me on a few holes, but for the most part I felt pretty consistent with any club.'

Alongside Vance, No. 2 man Rieger looked equally impressive throughout the round.

On the 13th hole, a 425-yard par five, both sophomores put on a clinic as Reiger made eagle while Vance finished with a birdie.

Rieger hit a low second shot out of the rough to within just feet of the pin and nailed the putt for his eagle.

"That hole felt really good; it got me real fired up for the rest of the round,' he said. "It definitely got the momentum rolling. After that, my confidence was up and I was able to make par pretty consistently.'

After his tee shot landed behind a tree stump and on top of a rock, Vance hit a beauty of a shot onto the green. After barely missing his eagle bid, he tapped in for birdie.

According to Flanagan, the team will consistently depend on Vance and Rieger while getting contributions from others.

"I was really impressed with our performance as a team from top to bottom,' said Flanagan. "Our top guys performed well and our five through eight guys came up big as well.'

Also for Methacton, T.J. Cinelli finished with a 37 while Adam Duca shot a 38 and Max Rennie had a 41.

"I went out there and was just looking to hit the ball well,' said Cinelli. "I'm usually the number six on the team, so it feels good to pick up the team and help earn a win.'

For Owen J. Roberts, Conner Ruyak and Eric Faust each shot a team-low 36 while junior Maddie Sager finished with a 38.

"After losing by one stroke to (Methacton) twice last season, we were motivated coming into this match,' Ruyak said. "So we're definitely disappointed after losing today. But they're a good team, and we hung with them. No reason to be let down.'

Sager, who finished fifth in the PIAA girls tourney last season, struggled with her drives throughout the day.

"I wasn't hitting the ball straight, which got me in a lot of trouble,' said Sager. "This course is pretty tight, so it's definitely important to be accurate off the tees. It's something I'll need to work on before our next match.'

Ward McHenry (39) and Dave Brown (43) rounded out the top five for OJR.

"I was pleased with the way we scored,' Snyder said. "Their depth just proved to be too much for us today. But I think we proved to ourselves that we can beat them when we see them again.'

Follow Thomas Nash on Twitter at @ThomasNash 10.