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Villa Maria falls short in loss to Archbishop Ryan

PHILADELPHIA >> Compared to some of their other state tournament brethren, Villa Maria’s girls soccer team didn’t have to travel too far for Tuesday’s PIAA Class 3A opener.

But the ride home from Northeast High School ended up being the final bus ride of the season for the Hurricanes, after a 2-1 loss to District 12 champion Archbishop Ryan Tuesday night.

Villa Maria, which finished second in the District 1 tournament, got its lone goal from Ashley Reilly in the second half.

Villa Maria head coach Gary Christopher was thrilled about what his team did this season to get to the state playoffs.

“We’re very appreciative to make it this far and be in the top 16 in the state,” said Christopher. “We had some challenges during the regular season that the girls figured out and we scratched our way into the playoffs and I’m proud of them.”

Both defenses stood tall in the first half as they kept the game scoreless at halftime.

Just three minutes into the second half, Archbishop Ryan got the go-ahead goal from Kaitlyn Brace, before Reilly got the equalizer about 10 minutes later to tie the game at 1-1 with 30 minutes left.

Villa Maria later had many chances to score but Archbishop Ryan defense kept the game tied at 1-1 with less than 20 minutes.

Finally, Archbishop Ryan got the game-winning goal from Emily Deluisi with 12 minutes left in the game.

Archbishop Ryan’s defense eventually prevented Villa Maria from taking a shot in the last 10 minutes to secure the win.

“We played a really good team today,” said Christopher. “But we just didn’t play our best today and I’m proud of what they did this season.”

With the win, the Archbishop Ryan advances to the PIAA Class 3A quarterfinals, where it will take District 3 runner-up Mechanicsburg on Saturday.

Archbishop Ryan 2, Villa Maria 1

Villa Maria 0 1 – 1

Archbishop Ryan 0 2 – 2

Villa Maria goal: Reilly 1.

Archbishop Ryan goals: Brace 1; Deluisi 1.

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