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Lansdale Catholic in PIAA semifinals for first time with win over ELCO

MANCHESTER >> Wrapped up in the moment, Kellie Gillen helped make history.

“I don’t even remember it. It’s so crazy,” she said of her go-ahead goal for Lansdale Catholic Saturday. “I just remember cutting it back from the defender and having a wide-open shot at net.”

Gillen’s two goals helped lift the Crusaders to a 2-1 victory over ELCO out at Northeastern’s Bobcat Stadium, as LC advanced to the state semis for the first time ever.

“It’s insane because we’ve never done this before,” Gillen said. “This was our goal all season, to get as far as we could in states. So this is a really happy day for us.”

The Crusaders will take on either Northwestern or Lake Lehman in a PIAA-2A semi on Tuesday.

After being tied 1-1 at the half, LC controlled things the rest of the way and got the goal it needed.

“After how the first half ended, our goal was to just get another one in,” Gillen said. “And it took a little longer than we thought it would but it was important just to get the ball out of any dangerous situation and get it forward for any chances.”

Gillen also helped LC get off to a fast start, kicking the Crusaders to an early 1-0 advantage.

“I think that we started strong, which is something that we haven’t done all year,” LC coach Bree Benedict said. “So for us to get a goal in the first couple minutes of the game was really fantastic. But I definitely think we’re a team that plays into games a little bit better. So it didn’t surprise me that we had another goal in us in the second half.”

The lead was preserved by rock-solid defense and goaltending.

“Our defenders are kind of like bulldozers,” Benedict said. “They’ll do whatever it takes to keep the ball out of the back of the net. Brynne (U’Selis) was just fantastic in goal today. And a lot comes down to our midfield too.”

Now, they get ready for another one.

“We’re kind of a funny team. We do better when we take a little bit of a break,” Benedict said. “So we’ll take off Sunday, have one practice and play on Tuesday. I think as long as we keep things light, have fun and play for each other, that’s all we need to do.”

Said Gillen: “We’re really excited. We never made it to this game. We’re gonna train really hard Monday and try again.”

PIAA-2A Quarterfinals
ELCO 1 0 – 1
Lansdale Catholic 1 1 – 2
First Half
LC: Kellie Gillen. E: Katelyn Rueppel.
Second Half
LC: Gillen (Delaney Molettiere).

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