LANSDALE >> They set three goals for the game — communication, passing and finishing – and scored four.
A long-overdue Opening Day exceeded expectations for the Lansdale Catholic field hockey team, as the Crusaders earned a rousing 4-2 victory over Archbishop Ryan on Wednesday afternoon.
“We went from zero to 60 but the girls have been so great with it,” Crusaders coach Kieran Brady said of the brief, 15-day preseason leading into the opener. “They were just so ready to come and have fun.”
Grace Shragher scored twice, and Madeline Bogle and Bridget Reape each added a goal for LC, which broke the game open after a 1-1 tie at the half.
Brady’s advice to her team was simple: “I always say,” she offered with a grin, “I will live a bit longer if you guys make the lead a little bit wider.”
The Crusaders’ control of the game eventually translated to the scoreboard.
“I felt like we were dominating in the circle,” Brady said. “This is our first 11-on-11 game and we were working out the kinks too. This group hasn’t played together so we were slowly trying to figure it out – being open, getting the passing going, stick on the ground – and I kept saying we’re gonna score goals on second shots.
“That’s what it was – a lot of second-shot opportunities and getting those close goals, not those big hits. So that’s what we kind of refocused on for the second half.”
The communication was there and the passes began to connect.
“Great way to start the season,” said senior Lauren Grello. “A little bit of a jam-packed season but I’m excited. We started off a little slow — first-game jitters — but after that second quarter, we really got there.
“We’re coming together and that’s what’s making our skills come together. All of us have certain skills that make us a team. No one’s a hundred-percent star athlete. We all come together and make a cohesive good team.”
Added Shragher: “We’re coming together more as a family. We’re all good at reading each other and seeing where everyone is.”
The Crusaders built the lead to 4-1. Ryan, which opened the scoring courtesy of Kait Winkis, capped the day with a tally by Mackenzie Reed. Katie Herron made a pair of saves to keep LC in front.
“Great start. I’m happy we got goals in and we were able to adjust on the move,” Brady said. “We’re gonna be playing 10 games in two and a half weeks. And we want to have fun and play.
“So being able to adjust on the move without practice is going to be huge for us and they were able to do that. So that’s a promising sign.”
Lansdale Catholic 4, Archbishop Ryan 2
Archbishop Ryan 1 0 0 1 – 2
Lansdale Catholic 0 1 1 2 – 4
AR-Kait Winkis (Kaila Etorma), 3:20.
LC-Grace Shragher (Lauren Grello), 2:18.
LC-Madeline Bogle, 12:31.
LC-Shragher (Meghan Duffner), 12:05; LC-Bridget Reape (Lexi Ringen), 9:57.
AR-Mackenzie Reed (Dana Moser), 6:13.