Gaus, Opdyke lead Lansdale Catholic to PCL quarterfinal win over Archbishop Carroll

LANSDALE — Playing under the weather finally took its toll on Sarah Opdyke last week.

“I haven’t been feeling good since the beginning of the school year, actually, so it kind of progressed,’ the Lansdale Catholic girls soccer junior said. “I took a couple of days off and I’m back.’

The Crusaders were happy to have her return to action Monday afternoon for their Philadelphia Catholic League quarterfinal with visiting Archbishop Carroll. Opdyke assisted on Grace Gaus’ first-half goal, then scored early in the second as third-seeded LC advanced with a 2-0 victory over the No. 6 Patriots.

“Playing with it wasn’t good. It was definitely hard and a struggle to get through every game,’ Opdyke said. “I found my way through but again I was off to the side, (Lansdale Catholic coach Tom O’Donnell) saw me struggling a little bit, so (he would) take me off. Today, I definitely felt 10 times better than I did.’

Lansdale Catholic (13-4-2) had little trouble advancing to the PCL semifinals for the seventh straight year. A few big saves from Carroll goalkeeper Alex Varricchio kept the Patriots level, but Gaus finally put the Crusaders up 1-0 with her tally in front of the net.

“That was a relief.” Opdyke said. “We definitely needed that one goal just to kind of calm ourselves down. We were getting many shots, but weren’t getting in the net, so that helped us build our confidence and then we went throughout the game.’

Opdyke added to the lead shortly after halftime and was close to collecting more goals throughout the contest as she denied by Varricchio in the opening half then by the crossbar in the second.

“Our girls look for her and they’ll find her,’ said O’Donnell of Opdyke. “And it’s no knock on any of the kids out there, she’s kind of created her own little aura and our players look for her. She was sick the past two weeks, she had some kind of a virus that really had weakened her. So fortunately, she had a good week to just sit home and get better. And this was the Sara that we saw earlier in the year.’

Lansdale Catholic moves on to face second-seeded Archbishop Wood — a 2-0 winner over Hallahan Monday — Thursday at Archbishop Ryan. Wood beat LC 1-0 on Sept. 21, but the Crusaders won the teams’ last postseason meeting — a 2-0 victory in the 2012 PCL semis that ended the Vikings’ three-year reign atop the league.

“This is where I expected to be at the beginning of the year and quite frankly no matter what we would have done in the first meeting with the Woods, the (Archbishop) Ryans and the Little Flowers, you know darn well this is when it counts,’ O’Donnell said. “This where you’re hoping now we’re motivated. We lost 1-0 and counting on the kids carrying a little chip on their shoulder for the rematch. If we’d won the first game, the Wood kids would have had that up on their locker room wall.’

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply