"We knew we were starting the season with a high-quality opponent, and our kids measuring themselves against that quality," Moffett said. "We want to start the season on the right note."
This is the third straight year that the teams have met in a game decided by a goal. In 2011, the Pioneers defeated the Patriots, 2-1, and two years ago Conestoga won, 1-0.
Close in proximity, the two teams are very familiar with each other, which led to a very back-and-forth, tight game. The Patriots relied heavily on the play of their central midfielders, senior captains Thomas Schwartz and Tyler Wellener. Together, they shut things down for the Pioneers and got the Patriots on the attack.
Senior goalkeeper Hector Palos had an eight-save shutout. While there were not many shots on goal, Palos' main job was corralling crosses and cleaning up long balls. His back line was organized and solid all game long.
Last season, the Patriots lost in the first round of the District 1 Class AAA playoffs, finishing with a 9-3 record in league play and a 12-6 mark overall. Behind a lineup with eight returning starters, Great Valley set the tone for the rest of the season, but Moffett, while acknowledging the importance of the win, matter-of-factly stated, "We are only as good as our next game."
"It is a long season with a lot of games," Moffett said. "We have 17 more to go."
Nonleague. Freshman forward Cody Wax scored his first varsity goal and it proved to be an important one as Harriton defeated visiting Phoenixville, 1-0, on Saturday morning.
The goal came 20 minutes into the first half after sophomore forward Jansen Aowoma set Wax up with a nice square ball into the zone.
For the remaining 60 minutes, the Rams' defense shut down the Phantoms and goalkeeper Sam Blumenthal stopped nine shots for the shutout.
Harriton (1-0) hosts Academy Park on September 7 and Phoenixville travels to Upper Perkiomen.
In other nonleague action, Roman Catholic defeated visiting Franklin Towne Charter, 3-1, behind two Chris Jones goals.
The senior midfielder's first goal came 8 minutes into the game, when he headed in a Mike Flanagan corner kick to take a 1-0 lead. Jones added another goal and teammate Dylan Rutledge had the other.
Adam Stangler scored the lone goal for Franklin Towne Charter.
Roman Catholic is 1-0 and will travel to face Springside Chestnut Hill next.
Junior midfielder Moira Petrie proved why she is a player to watch in the Central League, as she scored both goals en route to a 2-0 Lower Merion win over host Perkiomen Valley in a nonleague game.
Both goals came in the second half, just minutes apart, and were unassisted.
The first came in the 61st minute, as Petrie capitalized on a misinterpretation by defenders. A bad header found its way to Petrie's feet and she buried the ball in the back of the net.
On the second goal, the Providence commit showcased her speed on a breakaway.
The Aces goalkeeper, Danielle Baer, had nine saves in the shutout. It was her second in as many games. The Aces improved to 2-0, also defeating Notre Dame, 2-0, on Friday.
Andrea Gunderson finished Ashlyn Kearney's through ball in the first half and West Chester Rustin dropped Episcopal Academy, 2-0. Gunderson later assisted Maddie Moran with a cross from the right side in the second half.
HelenAnn Lawless and Ayla Leary combined for the shutout as Ridley blanked host Sun Valley, 3-0. Karleigh Yori and Monica Walked paced the offense with a goal and one assist.
Spring-Ford relied on three goal scorers to turn away host West Chester Henderson, 3-1. AleyKate McKinley, Simone Stewart, and Sammy Stipa found the net for the Rams.
Shannon Moore's first-half goal was enough for West Chester East to top visiting Radnor, 1-0.