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Cummings, Henesey score, Lansdale Catholic hands St. Hubert 1st PCL loss

 

PHILADELPHIA >> After coming up empty numerous corner and free kicks in the first half, Colbie Cummings finally eased the Lansdale Catholic girls soccer team’s frustrations.

With her right foot, the senior Crusader lofted a free kick from outside the right corner of the St. Hubert 18-yard box over Bambies keeper Briana Pudlo and into the top left corner of the goal.

“We practice that a lot. Lena (Staropoli) and I we always do that every practice, we start with those,” Cummings said. “And I just felt pretty confident so I tried to take it and it went in.”

But the strike, which gave LC the opening tally in Tuesday afternoon’s contest between the Philadelphia Catholic League top sides at Pennypack on the Delaware, almost didn’t happen.

“I think right before Cummings scored I leaned over to our coach, I say to Armando (Moral), ‘You know I wonder if (Kate) Henesey should take this,” Lansdale Catholic head coach Tom O’Donnell said. “And then in an instant later, Colbie hits it, goes right in the upper corner. He congratulates me on a great move.”

Cummings’ moment of brilliance put the Crusaders ahead while Henesey added some insurance late in the second half as LC claimed a tough, physical 2-0 victory to hand St. Hubert its first loss in league play.

“I hope it makes a statement that we’re here to win,” Cummings said. “Sometimes we mess up, we lost to Little Flower, but this is our turn. It humbled us when losing to them and it’s just a good start to playoffs coming up.”

Lansdale Catholic (14-2-1-0) has won six straight since falling 2-0 to Little Flower Sept. 26, Tuesday’s victory pulling the Crusaders and Hubert (11-4-1, 9-1-0) level at the top of the PCL standings with each team playing their last league game on the road 3:45 p.m. Thursday.  LC faces Hallahan with the Bambies taking on Bishop McDevitt.

“I think we’re working pretty hard. I think we’re just going to train as hard as we can at practice and work on the things we feel we need to work on,” Cumming said. “We just saw our best competition and now we know what to work on to make it even better.”

Lansdale Catholic had most of the possession in the first half with St. Hubert making a few counterattacks, Kylie Bowers hitting the side netting with one shot. Henesey’s runs at the Bambies defense created several LC corners and free kicks, but most ended up without a shot on goal.

“They were teasing us with a high number of corner kicks early in the game and we had some scramble in front but I’m not sure we ever really were dangerous on those corner kicks,” O’Donnell said. “I mean, inherently they’re dangerous plays, but after we put the ball in play in front I never saw anybody really jump up and knock one off the crossbar or something like that. I said ‘Wow, we’re not getting our money’s worth out of these corner kicks.”

The closest before Cummings’ strike came on a free kick from the right corner, as Staropoli’s ball into the box got by Pudlo, but Gabby Quattrone could not get a clean foot on it.

“It was very frustrating but we just pulled together,” Cummings said. “We’re that kind of team that when it doesn’t come to us, we just keep working until it does.”

St. Hubert put more pressure on the LC defense in the second half and came closest to an equalizer on a corner kick,. Crusaders keeper Cailey Maxwell got a hand to the ball but it stayed airborne in the box for a Bambies header, but that effort was off-target.

Henesey – who set a new Lansdale Catholic single season record for goals at 32 with a hat trick in Monday’s 4-1 win over Souderton – finally gave her side some breathing room late in regulation. Taylor Connelly played a ball forward for Henesey, who beat a sliding tackle to win it and one-on-one with Pudlo deftly slid a shot into the low opposite corner for No. 33.

“It was just such a nice, quick turnaround and ground ball, she found her and wow,” O’Donnell said. “That really, really took some pressure off.”

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