WORCESTER >> Mount St. Joseph’s Academy’s season came to an end Tuesday night with a 2-1 overtime loss against Manheim Central in the first round of the PIAA Class 2A playoffs at Methacton High School.
“So proud of our girls,” Mount coach Mary Beth Stefanowicz said. “We did a great job. We had a great season. I wish it ended differently tonight, but it is probably the worst conditions we’ve played in by far in a long time, but it was a good game. (Manheim is) a very talented team.”
Those terrible conditions were temperatures just above freezing and consistent rain throughout the game.
“No doubt it had an effect on us, but it also had an effect on the other team,” Stefanowicz said. “We’re both out here. Can I say it would have ended up differently? Who knows. We won’t know. It’s just Mother Nature at its worst.”
Manheim’s Codi Bollinger scored the game-winning goal with 4:20 left in the first overtime. Maddie Hoster lofted a ball towards the net and Bollinger deflected it out of mid-air and into the back of the cage.
Manheim Central, the fifth seed out of District 3, had some good chances earlier in overtime, but Mount goalkeeper Maeve McCarthy kept them off the board. She made four of her eight saves in the extra session.
The Magic had some chances in overtime, too. Julianna Kratz had some opportunities to score in transition but couldn’t out-run Manheim’s defenders. Grace Wallis made a beautiful move to the left of the cage and sent a pass in front of the goal, but no one was there to knock it home.
The Mount, the District 1 runner-up, appeared to take a one-goal lead late in regulation. Kratz passed to Wallis and Wallis shot wide of the cage, but it deflected off a defender and into the goal. It was ruled a goal, but after the refs huddled to discuss, it was ruled illegal because Wallis hit it from outside the circle.
“Very proud of our girls,” Stefanowicz said. “They did everything they could. It was tough having that goal called back, but I think the refs did a great job.”
Those two connected on MSJ’s only goal to tie the game at one. Wallis found Kratz for the equalizer with 20:43 left in regulation.
Manheim took a 1-0 lead with 10:01 left in the first half. Jenna Lutz scored on an assist from Lilly Sipel.
This Mount team will lose four starters to graduation before coming back hungry next season.
“We have a lot of young talent coming up to the team,” Stefanowicz said. “I think they’re going to be just as good, maybe better. Who knows. Great group of girls.”
Manheim Central will face District 3 champion Donegal, who was a 2-0 winner of Merion Mercy, in the quarterfinals Saturday.
Manheim Central 2, Mount St. Joseph 1
Manheim Central 1 0 1 — 2
Mount St. Joseph 0 1 0 — 1
Goals: MC: Jenna Lutz, Codi Bollinger. MSJ: Julianna Kratz.
Assists: MC: Lilly Sipel, Maddie Hoster. MSJ: Grace Wallis.
Saves: MC: Mikayla Regan. MSJ: Maeve McCarthy 8.
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