Saba scores twice, Lansdale Catholic shuts out Conwell-Egan

LANSDALE >> Noah Saba staked the Lansdale Catholic boys soccer team out to an early lead, then in the second half made sure to seal the Crusaders’ Philadelphia Catholic League win over Conwell-Egan.

The junior collected a goal in each half and the LC defense earned its second straight shutout in a 2-0 victory over the visiting Eagles on a sunny Tuesday afternoon.

“We definitely played good as a team,” Saba said. “Kept it together in the back, played through the midfield, our midfield go me the balls and I just put them in.”

Saba has had the scoring touch so far this week. Monday, he put in two at Lansdale Catholic (4-2, 2-0 league) blanked Bishop McDevitt 4-0. Tuesday, he volleyed in a ball off the far post then took advantage of a mishit clearance by Conwell-Egan to double the LC advantage. He came close to a few more goals, but some quality chances in the first half were denied by Eagles keeper Stephen Carroll.

“Saba’s really coming on,” Lansdale Catholic coach Joe Wilson said. “Those were his fifth and six goals of the season. We’re six games in, that’s like one goal a game. So, he’s coming on nice. Also, he’s got a bunch of assists. So, I’m really happy to see how he’s working. He’s an underclassman, but he’s picked it up and he’s got a nose for the goal.”

Jack Kane made six saves to earn the clean sheet. Conwell-Egan had some offensive momentum at the end of the first half that carried over to the early minutes after the break, but could not create dangerous chances against a young LC defense.

“I was very pleased with this win it was really important that we set the tone early in the this game, which we did and we got that first score in,” Wilson said. “And after that made it a little easier for us to work on improving our communication in the midfield. Our defenders right now they’re working really hard at making really good decision, they’re very young. We only have one experience corner back there (senior Ryan Magarity), every body else is new.”

The Crusaders look to pick up another win over another fellow PCL Class AA side Friday when it hosts Bonner-Prendergast at 3:45 p.m. The two-time defending District 12-AA champs then visit North Penn 10 a.m. Saturday for a non-league contest.

“We have to win these games for our district,” Saba said. “We want to get back to the district (final), then we make it to states and then when we play La Salle, Roman (Catholic) and (Father) Judge, we’re coming at them with everything that we got.”

Along with four victories, Wilson has seen steady improvement from the Crusaders as they began to see the tougher challenges on their schedule.

“Every time we step out on the field we’re progressing and the chemistry’s starting to really come around” he said. “And when that chemistry does click, we’re going to be ready for the bigger teams.”

Saba made it 1-0 courtesy of a lofted ball in to the 18-yard box by Josh Yurasits. Saba could not get a touch on it before it hit the ground, but got his right foot on it after the first bounce, sending a shot past an outcoming Carroll, off the far post and into the back of the net.

“I was making a run in and he found me the ball, he played it in and I found the net and that’s all I was looking for,” Saba said. “Trying to get it over the keeper.”

Saba got a open look as a cross into the box took a fortuitous hop gave him an open look, but the junior’s try was directly right at Carroll. Later in the opening half, Saba made a run into the box and he shot to the far post was stopped by a diving Carroll save.

“I definitely had a lot of chances,” Saba said. “I’m just glad I could get two it, help the team win.”

Saba finally got another ball past Carroll in the second half, pouncing on a poor clearance by the Conwell-Egan backline. Saba drove towards goal, eluded an Eagle defender and beat Carroll with a shot at the near post.

“I was coming down the midfield and he just mishit it, I got in, got past one man and just put it through, put it in,” he said.

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