Conwell-Egan Catholic blanks Bishop McDevitt (VIDEO)

WYNCOTE – Conwell-Egan Catholic (CEC) must have outshot Philadelphia Catholic League (PCL) foe Bishop McDevitt 18-3 in the first half and yet, here they were holding onto the slimmest of margins at halftime Tuesday afternoon, Sept. 22 at Thomas Williams Park.

After the break, Eagles head coach Barry Roxberry shifted sweeper Jake Kemery to the midfield.

“We bring him up when we want to control the midfield and try to get better selections,” said Roxberry. “It really helps us out because he possesses the ball real well.”

Seven minutes after the intermission the move paid off. Kemery sent a through ball over the defense and across the goal mouth where senior Vito LoDuca got a foot on it, sending it to the back of the net for that all important insurance goal.

“I knew he was gonna cross it so I called for it and I got behind the defense,” said LoDuca, who tallied twice in this game. “I ran diagonal and caught up to the ball and just put it in the net.”

Moving Kemery to a forward line is something Egan does when they absolutely positively have to have a goal.

“He’s probably the most skilled on the team so when he has the ball in the middle of the field, it spreads everything out,” explained LoDuca.

Against the Lancers, Egan didn’t really need Kemery playing in the back.

“They weren’t really doing too much up front except dump and chase so we really didn’t need him back there,” explained Roxberry. “But we were hoping to get a few more goals in order to get comfortable.

“It just didn’t happen.”

For his part, LoDuca picked a good time to register his first and second goals of the season. The senior also scored off a feed from freshman Paul Leible with nine minutes gone in the first half when the McDevitt defense left the pair all alone in front of the net.

“It feels good to be the only person that scored, and basically get the game-winner,” said LoDuca. “We should have put a lot more in; it shouldn’t have just been me – something to build off of, I guess.”

Though 2014 goalkeeper Kyle Beswick did not return for his final season in goal, the Eagles’ roster is loaded with upperclassmen. Kemery and senior Nick Dykes anchor the defense while classmates Aidan DeCamillo and Chris Halasa solidify the midfield. Up top, LoDuca is the right wing while senior Ryan Richards is positioned on the left.

In this game, both Richards and LoDuca had multiple opportunities throughout both halves with Richards pounding opposing keeper Alex Wilson with several chances in which the pair arrived at the ball at the same time. On one such opportunity with 10 minutes left in the battle, the Lancers keeper went down. To his credit, Wilson got up and finished the final minutes with valor.

“We knew we had to keep up the pressure and not let up,” explained LoDuca. “Ryan Richards is a monster – always bringing it.”

“We tried to put the ball in more though; we should have had at least eight goals. We just couldn’t get them.”

Now at 2-3 overall and 1-3 in league, this was Egan’s first win of the season against a Catholic League opponent.

“Our record shouldn’t be what it is because we’re a hard-working team,” added LoDuca. “We play as a team, we play together and we play hard.”

Really, the score could have been so much more lopsided than it was had it not been for the efforts of Wilson, the senior netminder for the 0-5-1 Lancers, who took a few balls to the face, several to the gut and even had the wind knocked out of him late in the second half, forcing the officials to call an injury timeout.

“He stepped up,” stated BM head coach A.J. Heintz of his goalkeeper. “He takes a beating back there most games so he sometimes gets a little timid. He certainly came to play today.”

In the second half, Heintz had Wilson station himself at a more forward position on the field. The move seemed to lessen the Eagles’ chance on offense.

“That allowed less breakaway opportunities in the second half,” added Heintz. “He came up and won the ball, he slapped that one out, he picked a couple up that they would chuck in.”

“They kept looping balls over the top and they’d roll to the 18 and he wouldn’t come out and get them. In the second half, he came out and got them and I think that changed the whole complexion of the game.”

In goal for the Eagles this season is junior Steve Carroll, who recorded his second shutout of the season versus McDevitt. The first was a 3-0 victory over non-league rival Academy Park Sept. 16 in Delaware County.

Since falling 5-0 Sept. 11 at UGH, Carroll has limited opponents to just four goals in four games. In between the win over AP and this one over the Lancers, Egan played defending PCL champion and cross-county rival Archbishop Wood tough in a 2-1 loss to the Vikings.

After Wood sophomore Mike Smith scored early before putting the Vikes on top 2-0 with 10 minutes to go, Richards struck for the Eagles. While Egan kept the pressure up, CEC could not obtain the equalizer before the final gun.

“It was a good game – both ways,” said Roxberry, of the battle with Wood. “A couple of calls could have went our way. We hit the post a couple times but it went both ways. It was an even-up game. Both teams were pretty tight.”

Last year with then senior Jake Webb (Lycoming) anchoring the midfield, the Eagles finished 7-8-1 before falling 1-0 to Archbishop Carroll in a PCL play-in contest.

“We’re trying to get into the playoffs – that’s the main goal,” explained LoDuca. “If we play how we’re supposed to play, we’ll go far.

“We gotta get there first.”

Conwell-Egan continues its quest Sept. 25 at LaSalle before traveling to Carroll Sept. 29 then hosting St. Joseph’s Prep Oct. 2.

Looks like the Eagles have their work cut out for them.

Contact the author at, or @BucksLocalSport on Twitter

Conwell-Egan 2, Bishop McDevitt 0

(Sept. 22 at Thomas Williams Park)

McDEVITT 0 0 – 0

EGAN 1 1 – 2

GOALS: CEC — Vito LoDuca 2, ninth minute, 47th minute; BM — none.

ASSISTS: CEC — Paul Leible, Jake Kemery; BM — none.

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