Randolph’s goal lifts Pennsbury over Radnor

RADNOR — It took exactly 37 seconds for Radnor’s season to end. The remaining 79 minutes and 23 seconds were all filler.

Pennsbury’s Keion Randolph scored early in the game, and that was all his team needed for a 1-0 victory over Radnor Thursday in the first round of the District One Class AAA playoffs. The Raiders’ season comes to a close, while the Falcons advance to the second round this weekend to face No. 1 Unionville.

Radnor (10-9) was seeded 16th entering this match, Pennsbury was 17th. Outside of that super-quick goal, the rankings were just. The teams played evenly, they traded chances, they traded big saves and near-misses. In the end, the early strike held up.

“But they were resilient,’ Radnor coach Joe Caruolo said. “That’s the way the game goes.’

The Raiders best chance to score come in the 45th minute when a shot in the crowded box hit the goalkeeper’s leg, unbeknownst to him. The rebound was eventually struck into the net, but was called offside. They had a few corners denied, too, but mostly Pennsbury goalkeeper Eric Gagliardi kept Radnor at bay.

It was frustrating for the hosts, but fitting.

“I would say we had a hard time hitting the back of the net all season,’ team captain Adrian Moscol said. “Super proud of my team for fighting like that. If you’re gonna go out, that’s how you (should go).’

About 13 minutes from the final horn, a Radnor corner was defensed away. The remaining time mostly belonged to Pennsbury — it had a shot hit the crossbar in the 73rd minute and a spectacular save from Ben Toomey prevented an insurance goal — as it substituted a bunch and aptly killed clock.

When the match came to a close, it put an end to a solid season from the Raiders. They came in fourth place in the Central League and played fairly evenly with a Pennsbury side that has now won 13 games this season.

The end of the season didn’t go as planned, but the journey getting there was memorable.

“They were resilient through the ups and downs,’ Caruolo said. “We struggled through the latter part of the year, but to come out and play like this … I’m proud of how they played and how they responded to the adversity.’

Moscol was proud of that, too, but ultimately disappointed in the end result. Now, like the other eight seniors on the squad, he’ll have to figure out what’s he going to do next.

“It still doesn’t feel over,’ Moscol said. “It’ll probably hit me tomorrow.’

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