Lower Moreland falls to Bishop Shanahan in districts

Whenever a team has significant time off between the regular season and its first playoff game there’s always a factor of rest versus rust.
For Lower Moreland heading into Tuesday night’s PIAA District One Class AA game against Bishop Shanahan, it sure looked like the latter for the majority of the contest as the Lions season came to an end at the hands of the Eagles with a 1-0 loss.
Lower Moreland was able to put together some quality performances at the end regular season for example a 4-1 win against Upper Moreland and a hard fought 2-1 overtime loss against the top seeded Holy Ghosts Prep just a few day later.
The Lions never had a crispness or sharpness to their game that was need all night. It started off with good energy but quality of play never followed.
“The first half when we came out we had a lot of spark. We got a little deflated after the early goal,” LM Head Coach Matt Crouch said. “We had a great start, great push, but there was definitely a momentum shift after that first goal by Shanahan.”
Not helping Lower Moreland was an early Shanahan goal that was scored on a tremendous individual effort from senior forward Jack Ziegler as he dribbled around and through several Lions defenders and cranked one past the Lions keeper.
“He didn’t need a lot of room, he got more room than he needed and turned and fired and he hit a beautiful shot. It was unsaveable,” Crouch said.
As the second half wore on the speed and overall quality of the Shanahan forwards put pressure on the Lions defense that led to even sloppier play with missed passes and squandered opportunity.
“I think guys were pressing in the second half it was on their mind that they needed that goal,” Crouch said. “It’s tough to play with that one goal looming over your head.”
Even though Lower Moreland didn’t bring its ‘A’ game it still only needed to make one play for the majority of the game. The Lions were awarded plenty of free kicks and had five corner opportunities they just failed to cash in.
“The ball was playing a little heavy all night long and the chances that we had were heavy through,” Crouch said. “Maybe we were playing for that perfect touch instead of playing to the big spaces.”
Although the season ends with disappointment for Lower Moreland a season that ends with a district appearance is at least somewhat a success. The Lions will lose four starting seniors, nine in total, but the Lions program is left some good talent both currently on the roster and upcoming.

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