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Lower Moreland reaches District 1/12 AA final with win over Philadelphia Academy Charter

LOWER MORELAND >> The only thing Lower Moreland boys soccer coach Matt Crouch was really concerned about heading into Wednesday’s District 1/12 regional Class AA semifinal matchup with Philadelphia Academy Charter was the 10-day layoff his team had in between games.

The Lions quelled those concerns early as Bryce Horn gave them the lead 3:05 into the game. The sophomore forward took a pass from Devon Asplundh, took a couple touches at the top of the box, and buried a near-post shot.

“I made a nice move, I saw the goalie, it just came right off me,” Horn said of the goal. “I haven’t been able to shoot the ball the last couple of game, it felt good to hit the ball.”

Less than seven minutes later Zach Firko found a ball in the box and got on one to give Lower Moreland a two-goal advantage just less than 10 minutes into the game.

“I was honestly worried how we would start this game due to the 10-day layover we had,” Crouch said. “I didn’t know who was going to show up and even for me personally that first goal allowed me to see a little bit clearer as well.”

After achieving the desired quick start it was looking for Lower Moreland never looked back putting in three first-half goals as it closed out the Chargers for a 4-0 win to move on to the regional championship game.

It was another tally by Horn that put the finishing touches on the Lower Moreland win as he put the fourth goal in off a bouncing ball that was deflected around off of a corner kick.

“I think Matt (Turetsky) headed the ball toward the net, everyone was in there, all of us hungry for a goal and I found that ball (and) put it in the net,” Horn said.

Defensively the Lions were never legitimately threatened as the midfield of the Lions took care of most of the dangerous plays. Lower Moreland keeper Fred Shub didn’t even have to make a save on the game.

“Our midfield, there’s two (groups) of them, and I feel that when the second group comes in often times we even get stronger,” Crouch said. “I feel like the six of them is a big reason why the ball was shut down early.”

The Lions take on Lansdale Catholic in the regional final. Lower Moreland doesn’t know that much about the Crusaders but Crouch likes it that way and doesn’t intend on studying up too much on their next opponent.

“My preference at this point is to not really dig and not to get to know too much about them,” Crouch said. “If that sounds counterintuitive, maybe it is but the mystery of the unknown for them right now is keeping them on their toes.”

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