Delco Christian gives itself a shot at district title

WARMINSTER — Bill Neef smiled when the clock had gone to three zeroes.

“This,’ said the Delaware County Christian School coach, “is our time.’

Second-half goals from the Knights’ top two offensive catalysts assured Delco Christian of a 2-0 victory over Calvary Christian Monday night and a repeat trip to the District One Class A championship match.

The Knights got goals from Julia Kyne and Kailey Neef to punch their ticket to Wednesday’s district final, where they will face top-seeded Christopher Dock. The Pioneers defeated Delco Christian in overtime in last year’s district title match.

“Our goal from Day 1 was to play Dock in the championship game again this year,’ Bill Neef said. “We lost last year, and we want to win this year. It doesn’t get any sweeter. We’re going to do whatever it takes to win. They’re a talented team, but we’re going to persevere.’

“We’re right where we want to be.’

Second-seeded Delco Christian outplayed Calvary Christian following a scoreless first half.

Kyne tracked down a terrific through-ball from Brenna Richards just outside the goal box. The Knights’ leading scorer, Kyne took one touch to elude her defender before slotting a skip shot along the turf at Alumni Stadium and into the back of the net. Then, in celebration, Kyne took off on a sprint toward midfield, outrunning her teammates.

From that point, Delco Christian played with a brand of confidence the Knights seemed to lack during the opening half. It was rare that the ball left their half of the field and, when it did, it wasn’t long before Delco Christian was leading a counter-attack.

“We knew once we got one goal,’ Kailey Neef said, “that we’d get another.’

Delco Christian’s first goal — Kyne’s 35th of the season — was a long time coming. Its second goal was a thing of beauty.

Alone on the left side of the field, Neef had a look from 25 yards away. She hit a well-struck ball that sailed over the outstretched arms of Calvary Christian goalkeeper Ruthie Hueber and deposited it into the netting just inside the far post.

“I had a little hesitation, but I knew I curled it in,’ said Neef, the junior. “I just to wait a little to see if it would go in.

Neef’s tally in the 67th minute gave Delco Christian a cozy 2-0 lead and Delco Christian required only one save from goalkeeper Ronnie Marie Falasco to post the shutout against inexperienced Calvary Christian.

Tactically, there was no comparing the teams.

Calvary Christian possessed little in the way of form, and possessed little in general. The Cougars, who are reasonably new to the District One playoff structure, lack a championship pedigree. Their program has never won a league or district title. So happy to have reached this stage, Calvary Christian’s players somersaulted across the field and emptied a water cooler over their coach’s head following the season-ending loss.

Delco Christian, meanwhile, has other plans before ending its season.

“Last year was heartbreaking to lose to Dock in overtime,’ said Richards. “We’re going to give everything we have to make sure it doesn’t end that way this time.’

If you are to take the Knights at their word, this is their time.

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