PHILADELPHIA >> A scrappy group that has learned how to bring it all together, Sacred Heart continued its postseason thrill ride on Wednesday afternoon, pulling away to a 4-1 win over Lansdale Catholic in the PIAA-1A first round.
“We came out and we scored twice in nine minutes,” Mary Lauren Franz said after this windy day on the turf at the Germantown Supersite. “And we knew we couldn’t take them lightly after that.
“We haven’t made it this far in a long time,” Franz said of the Lions’ first trip to states since 2009 (Class 2A), “so this is just a crazy experience. Once we got all the way to the district championship, we knew it was gonna be a crazy ride from there.”
Franz scored twice, as did teammate Julia Flood, and Sacred Heart — the District One Runner-Up — ensured itself a trip to the Class A State Quarterfinals against Greenwood on Saturday.
“We’ve had a few rough games in the past,” Franz said. “Once we understood how to play as a team, we really started picking up the pace and getting the scores we wanted.”
The Lions bolted to a 3-0 lead by halftime.
Franz scored both of her goals in the first half and Flood added one, as Sacred Heart’s passing — from the defensive backs to the midfielders to the forward line — was on point all afternoon.
The District 12 Champion Crusaders held off Sacred Heart for the first 20 minutes of the second half and even cut into the lead, as LC got a goal off the stick of Jenna Babb.
“We just had more energy and we were moving the ball better in the second half,” Babb said. “We got the ball off quicker so it really helped us.”
Sacred Heart was able to close out the scoring with nine minutes to play, with Flood putting away her second. The Lions move on, bringing to an end what was a breakthrough season for LC as well.
“I think we did really well. Losing in the (Philadelphia Catholic League playoffs) was hard but we kept our spirits up for states and we won our district,” Babb said. “So we’re really happy about that. It was a good season overall.”
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