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Cooney’s 2 goals lift Lansdale Catholic over Archbishop Wood in PCL semis

Archbishop Wood’s Paige Hoeger (right) attempts a kick as Lansdale Catholic’s Taylor Mercier defends during their PCL semifinal at the United German Hungarian Club on Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017.(Stephen Godwin Jr./For Digital First Media)

BENSALEM >> It was another classic game between the Lansdale Catholic Crusaders and Archbishop Wood Vikings, but it was also about sweet revenge for the Crusaders.

Lansdale Catholic got that revenge when Sarah Cooney scored two goals in a 3-2 win against the Vikings in the Philadelphia Catholic League semifinals Thursday at the United German Hungarian Club.

Both goals for Cooney came from nearly the same spot, which was deep in front of the Archbishop Wood goal.

“This year we have been driven since we started in July,” Cooney said. “We have had our eyes on this prize and we just stayed motivated. I think last year we were a little too high on ourselves. We were on top of the league and we had beaten them in the regular season. This year I think it was just our drive. There was no way we were going to let them knock us out two years in a row.”

Last year, it was the Vikings who had the last laugh with a 2-1 overtime win in the PCL championship, but this year promised to be different.

Lansdale Catholic came out of the gate guns blazing and put 13 shots on Viking goalie Isabella Loffreda-Mancinelli.

This made life easy for the Crusaders goalie Lauren Crim in the first half, but both goalies made great saves to keep their teams in the game.

In the 21st minute, Kellie Gillen of Lansdale Catholic stole a ball and scored to give her team the 1-0 lead early on.

Lansdale Catholic had a size advantage, but Archbishop Wood had a speed advantage.

The latter came to fruition in the 39th minute when Maggie Cliggett took a pass from Kasey McCormick to tie the game at one at halftime.

This flipped the field for both teams.

The Crusaders dominated the first half offense with a 13-6 shot advantage, 6-1 on corner kicks and throw-ins 12-1.

In the second half, it was the scrappy Vikings who piled up the shots with seven and held the Crusaders to just three shots.

Despite this it was Lansdale Catholic who retook the lead when Cooney scored her first goal of the game in the 48th minute.

A few minutes later Archbishop Wood’s Leah Brzezicki got pulled down in the penalty area.

Brzezicki took advantage of her chance and tied the game at 2.

Each team had its scoring chances, but in the end, it was Cooney winning it in the 74th minute to send Lansdale Catholic to the championship for the third straight year.

“It is always a great feeling,” Cooney said. “They are a great team. I give them a ton of credit. They had a great season after one of their top players got hurt during the year unfortunately. It is awesome. I am looking forward to playing whoever it is in the final.”

Lansdale plays Archbishop Ryan, a 3-0 winner over Conwell-Egan in the second semifinal, 1 p.m. Sunday at Northeast High School.

“It is always a great feeling,” Cooney said. “They are a great team. I give them a ton of credit. They had a great season after one of their top players got hurt during the year unfortunately. It is awesome. I am looking forward to playing whoever it is in the final.”

Lansdale Catholic will making its the sixth overall trip to the PCL final since joining the league in 2008. The Crusaders are still looking to win their first title.

“I thought our girls played well,” LC coach Tom O’Donnell said. “I was really impressed with the way the Wood girls played. It is playoff time and I keep saying this to people over and over again. It is a different season. They were all we could handle and thank God we got some good shots from the outside. Cooney came up big as a midfielder for us.”

Archbishop Wood ends its season after a 11-8 campaign, but Kasey McCormick said the Vikings have nothing to hang their heads about.

“I thought we capitalized on everything,” Kasey McCormick said. “It was just kind of an unlucky thing where once they got their third goal everything kind of went down from there. There is nothing we can do now. We wanted this and they wanted it just as bad as we did.”

Lansdale Catholic 3, Archbishop Wood 2
Archbishop Wood 1 1 – 2
Lansdale Catholic 1 2 – 3
Goals: LC: Sarah Cooney (2), Kellie Gillen. AW: Maggie Cliggett, Leah Brzezickie.
Assists: LC: Kellie Gillen. AW: Kasey McCormick.
Saves: LC: Lauren Crim 11. AW: Isabella Loffreda-Mancinelli 16.

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