Wood stopped by Ryan in PCL finals

PHILADELPHIA — For the second time this year the Archbishop Wood Vikings fell to the Archbishop Ryan Ragdolls. However, this time the stakes were a little higher as the Ryan girls defeated Wood 3-0 in the Philadelphia Catholic League(PCL) championship game.

In the first half the Vikings struggled to really get it going.

Ryan dominated the possession battle and had the ball on Wood’s side of the field for what seemed like the entire half. However, the defense for the Vikings did a good job of protecting the net and not letting their opponents get any quality scoring chances.

It looked as though Wood was going to be able to survive the first half without surrendering a goal, but that’s when a bouncing ball found the foot of an unlikely Ragdoll, freshman Haley O’Neill, and was buried home for the opening goal of the game, giving them the 1-0 lead in the 39th minute, a lead that they would take with them into half.

O’Neill had just come into the game on a late first half substitution, something her head coach says was a move that he just went with his gut on.

“With six minutes left in the first half I just decided lets go with a gut,’ said Ragdolls head coach Ryan Haney “Let’s throw her up top and she gets a lucky bounce and happens to tap one in.’

The Vikings weren’t surprised by the strong effort from the Ryan girls in the first half .

“We knew what we were up against,’ said Wood head coach Bill Cappo. “We were up against a good team that’s having a great season. The first goal was a sneaky gimme but the other two they scored were good goals.’

Wood didn’t let the bad first half get them down and came out much stronger in the second half. The Vikings controlled the ball much better and had some quality chances but struggled to find the back of the net.

Unfortunately, the better play didn’t lead to a better result. In the 55th minute a ball sent towards the Wood goal bounced out to the edge of the box, and was struck beautifully by junior Forward Julianne Blank putting Ryan ahead 2-0.

Then, just four minutes later, Blank sent a perfect cross towards the center of the box that found junior Taylor Woods. Woods was able to control the ball take a step and blast a perfect strike towards the top shelf that would give her team their third goal, and give them more than enough of a lead to finish out their third straight PCL championship.

The season was still a great success for the Vikings, but being able to beat the Archbishop Ryan powerhouse that knocked them off earlier in the season and capturing the PCL title would have been a much sweeter story.

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