SPRINGFIELD >> Neither side had any delusions about Friday’s game.
Archbishop Wood knew it was going to lose to La Salle and the Explorers knew they were going to defeat Wood.
And to no one’s surprise, the Explorers chopped down Wood, 17-4, in a contest that was played with a running clock for the entire second half.
The Explorers will now meet St. Joseph’s Prep 6 p.m.Monday at Plymouth Whitemarsh High School for the Philadelphia Catholic League championship.
Chris Mokaitis led the Explorers with three goals, but on this day La Salle could have named the final score.
“We got a lot of offensive practice against a zone,” said Explorers head coach Bill Leahy after the team built a 15-1 halftime edge and then coasted home. “We’ve been seeing a lot of zone lately. We saw it against St. Augustine and against (Cardinal) O’Hara and we saw it again today.
“So it was good practice for us.”
The practice began early as the Explorers jumped out to a 6-0 first-quarter lead and never looked back.
Wood, on the other hand, had the same expectations, although they were not about winning.
“We’re not a nationally-ranked team like La Salle,” said Vikings head coach Jared Mayes. “We were fortunate enough to play them fairly close at the beginning of the season when neither of us were was playing as well as we are now, and the game was little closer.
“We knew this wasn’t going to be as close.”
And it wasn’t.
Trailing throughout, the Vikings got all four of their goals from Rhys Vaughn, but never really seriously challenged the Explorers.
“We spent most of the game on defense,” Mayes said, “so that gave us an opportunity to make adjustments on the fly.
“We had some good clears and our goalkeeper (Brian Graham) played very well.”
The Explorers lead became 15-1 by halftime, and La Salle worked on some peripherals for most of the second half.
“We have a lot of guys beat up, so we gave them a chance to rest,” Leahy said.
“We got a lot of players the chance to play for long periods of time, which is how you get them prepared to play.”
As for Mayes and Wood, the loss is just the beginning of what the coach hopes is a long postseason run.
“We’re still waiting on the Prep-LC result,” the coach said. “But it looks like we’ll be playing Lansdale for a district title and maybe a berth in Double-A states.
“So the important part of our schedule is just beginning.”
LA SALLE 17, ARCHBISHOP WOOD 4
Archbishop Wood 1 0 1 2 – 4
La Salle 8 7 1 1 – 17
Wood Scoring: Rhys Vaughn (4).
La Salle Scoring: Chris Mokaitis (3); Brendan Meagher (2); Zach Coar (2); Logan Lazasz (2); Robert Foster (2); Sean Duffy (2); Kurt Wessner (1); Robert Roak (1); Ethan Mascucci (1); Blake Rondeau (1).
Top Photo: La Salle’s Ethan Masucci advances the ball past Matt Arcidiacono Friday during their PCL semifinal on Friday, May 19, 2017. (Jeff Davis/For Digital First Media)