Lansdale Catholic wins 3rd straight District 12-AA crown

PHILADELPHIA >> With Lansdale Catholic controlling the ball for the majority of the first half while working at finding the right combination, the Crusaders’ ninth shot of the night was the one that got through, as Ryan Magarity took a pass from Noah Saba and drilled a hard ground ball into the far corner.

From there, the Crusaders generated additional pressure, held off a few surges by an energetic Furness team, and clung to their one-goal lead to win 1-0 over the Falcons, as LC won its third straight District 12 Class AA title on the turf at Northeast High School.

“It feels great. I’ve been here for all three of them,” said Magarity, a senior captain. “Everyone’s very enthusiastic and everyone’s lovin’ it right now. They can’t wait to do it again next year.

“We didn’t want to lose this one. We wanted to keep it going.”

Both teams will now move onto states, with LC back at Northeast for a 5 p.m. game on Tuesday against District 3 runner-up Gettysburg. Lansdale Catholic fell to the Warriors 2-0 in state opener last season.

The Crusaders held an 11-6 advantage in shots in the first half, taking advantage when Saba connected with Magarity.

“Noah passed me the ball and I just put it right in the bottom corner,” Magarity said of the junior. “I just tried to do my best to score. (Geri Alimadhi’s) a great keeper, and I just got it past him.”

“That was real pretty,” Crusaders coach Joe Wilson said.

LC nearly doubled its lead with 10 minutes to go, a long ball by Magarity banging off the crossbar.

“We just kept doing give-and-go’s because the defenders were doing one-on-one,” the senior said. “Our give-and-go’s were working, and we scored off one of them.”

One was all it took, and LC was able to consistently clear the ball out, despite some pretty good speed on the forward line for Furness.

“My instructions to the boys was ‘control the pace of the game, control the ball, and try to get the shot that we want,’” Wilson said.

Jack Kane secured five saves to earn the shutout, and the Crusaders didn’t allow the Falcons any shots in the final minute, with LC junior Josh Yurasits dribbling the clock out as time expired.

“It was a lot of weight on our shoulders and a lot of pressure on the boys to come back and do it again,” Wilson said. “But this was their goal. This is what the seniors wanted. At the beginning of the season, they talked to the team and rallied the team.

“It feels different than it has the past two years,” Wilson said. “It seems to us that we have a lot more confidence this year. So we’re looking for a good game Tuesday.”

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