Lansdale Catholic routs Benjamin Rush to claim District 12-AA title

PHILADELPHIA >> The District 12-AA girls soccer championship game was a matchup between David and Goaliath. This time, Goliath won.
Lansdale Catholic topped the Arts Academy at Benjamin Rush, 9-0, Wednesday afternoon at Charles Martin Memorial Stadium at Northeast High School in Philadelphia.

The win gives the Crusaders the District 12 AA title and sends them to the PIAA Class-AA state playoffs, where they face the District 11 champ — either Southern Lehigh or Notre Dame Green Pond — in the first round at a site and time to be determined Tuesday.

“This was a tremendous release for us,” Lansdale Catholic coach Tom O’Donnell said. “We had a big, emotional win over Archbishop Wood to get here and then a real disappointment playing against Archbishop Ryan in the (Philadelphia Catholic League) championship game. We knew we had this game (District 12-AA championship) regardless of what happened when we played Ryan … The Ryan game was so disappointing, but this was the next game to wipe that taste out of your mouth.”

“It’s really great,” sophomore Kate Henesey said. “We’ve been working all year for this, so it’s a combination of all of our successes.”

LC’s Jules LaSanta and Henesey made it clear early on in this one that there would be no upset. The two connected for three goals in the first 13 minutes of the game with LaSanta scoring twice with one assist and Henesey scoring once and assisting on two goals.

“We work really well together,” Henesey said of her and LaSanta. “I mean we practice together all the time. We are a team up top.”

Henesey completed the hat trick with two second-half goals and set a Lansdale Catholic single-season scoring record with 31 goals.

“I’m ecstatic,” she said, at a loss for words. “I’m just so happy.”

Erin Toburen added two goals and Cayla Hopkins and Tara Sheridan each scored once to complete the Crusaders’ scoring.

The LC offense possessed the ball nearly the entire game and goalie Cailey Maxwell did not face a single shot.

The Public League AA champion Knights were led by goalie Courtney McNesby. The senior made 17 saves including a few diving highlights.

Tuesday’s possible first-round matchup against Southern Lehigh presents a unique situation for O’Donnell. He will be coaching against someone that he once coached.

“I think their head coach at Southern Lehigh,” O’Donnell said, “she played on a club team that I coached back in the late 90s. I couldn’t believe it. That’s where she’s been after college — Stevie Osche — coaching at Southern Lehigh. I saw the name going through the websites and I said, ‘Are you kidding?’… It’s funny how that circle comes around.”

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