BENSALEM >> Caitlyn Cliggett’s eyes went one way, the ball went the other, and her well-placed penalty kick sent Archbishop Wood on its way to a 3-1 victory over St. Hubert in a Philadelphia Catholic League girls soccer semifinal game Tuesday night.
The victory advances the Vikings to Saturday’s 2 p.m. final at the South Philly Super Site to take on top-seeded Lansdale Catholic, a 2-1 winner over No. 4 Archbishop Ryan.
“It feels great to be moving onto the final,” Cliggett said after this chilly contest at the United German Hungarian Soccer Club. “I’ve been on varsity since my freshman year, and we’ve had some difficult times throughout the season and it’s great to see my team move on and become a better team together.”
With the game tied 1-1 and No. 3 Wood putting on the pressure, the Vikings’ Kasey McCormick was pulled down in the box, awarding a PK to Wood with 35 minutes left in the second half.
Cliggett got ready to take the shot.
“It was definitely very nerve-racking but we’ve been practicing it a lot and I knew where I was gonna place it,” the junior said. “I tried to look to my left and place it the opposite side because the keeper looks at your eyes.
“I was really happy that my team was able to get another goal (to make it 3-1), especially being down 1-0 (in the first half). I think, as a team, we played very well together, we worked for each other, and there was no letting down after a goal.”
The Vikings made it 3-1 with 10 minutes to play, with Maggie Maley sending a pass to Sophia Filippo, who snuck it into the far corner for her second goal of the contest.
“It was a tough season in the beginning and the girls improved every game,” Wood coach Bill Cappo said. “We’re peaking at the right time.”
St. Hubert scored just nine minutes into the contest, with a goal by Dominique Calio, but Wood tied it with eight minutes to go before the break on a score by Filippo. Cliggett’s PK broke the tie and sent Wood on its way.
St. Hubert, which lost out on a tie-breaker to LC for the top seed, got off to a strong start but could not keep it going.
“We didn’t play up to our potential,” coach Mick McGroarty said. “We got beat. We got beat to balls, and when you get beat to balls, that dictates the play.
“Last year we finished in sixth place and it was the worst finish we’ve ever had. It’s been a good year this year. We have 11 seniors and I feel bad for them, making it this far and now we lost, but now we still have the district game (in District 12-AAAA).”