Archbishop Wood streaks past Lansdale Catholic

LANSDALE >> Putting some accurate finishing touches on an impressive performance by Archbishop Wood, Viking senior Brenna Lynch scored from several spots and a total of five times in all, helping to propel her team past host Lansdale Catholic on Tuesday.

“We were on fire in the second half — it was exciting,” said Lynch. “We just realized we had to find each other in the open cuts and step up our game. We all came together with a bunch of energy and intensity.”

Wood blew the game open in the second half, pulling away to a 19-5 victory over the Crusaders in a Philadelphia Catholic League contest. Senior midfielder Sarah Opdyke scored twice for the Crusaders on LC’s Senior Day.

Blending balanced offense with some standout defensive efforts, the Vikings (11-1) won their PCL finale in commanding fashion, locking down the No. 2 spot and a bye as the playoffs approach.

“We have so many girls that can put the ball in the net,” Lynch said of the eight players that scored for Wood. “It’s huge (to be playing this well),” said Lynch, who will play Division II next year at West Chester, “because the way we’re playing now is the way we’ll be playing once we get to the playoffs. Just seeing us play at this level is a huge confidence booster.”

In a showdown between the second- and third-place teams in the league, the Vikings built an 8-3 lead by the half and then used a 8-0 run in the second half to pull away.

Jacqui Jester scored to bring the Crusaders within 7-3, but Erin Welsh’s defense on Jester was near-perfect, holding one of the top Crusader weapons to just one goal.

“Communication,” Welsh said of what was key for the defense. “Everybody was marking up around the eight, but if we were gonna double someone — leave our girl and double someone else, we were talking. It was all communication and teamwork.

“I think all of the girls know what we can do,” Welsh said. “We just have to do it. We all want the same thing so we just gotta work for it.”

Erin Eckhert’s abilities on the draw control further tilted control to Wood, which has just one loss this spring, to Archbishop Carroll.

“We were pleased because we knew that LC was doing a great job this year and they have some really nice players on their team,” Vikings coach Dipavali Bhaya said. “I was pleased with our offensive output in the second half. And our defense did a nice job.”

Wood will battle Suburban One League power Pennsbury on Thursday, on the road, and LC is back at it Wednesday at The George School.

The Crusaders (7-2 PCL) are in good shape for the playoffs, holding the No. 3 spot. They would have a first-round game against the sixth-place team and a win in that contest would earn them a rematch with Wood.

“They blew my mind with how well they set themselves up coming into this year. They’re what my college (field hockey) coach (at Cabrini) would have called low-maintenance players,” LC coach Alexis Setley said of her squad. “They don’t require a lot of coaching on the field.

“They know their game and they know what to do. And my seniors have all played together for four years. I have a solid group of girls.”

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