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Lansdale Catholic stuns Lake-Lehman in PIAA-2A semis, heads to first state final

Lansdale Catholic defeated Lake Lehman to earn its first trip to the state final on Nov. 12, 2019.

NEW TRIPOLI >> Taylor Connelly knew her corner kick was headed for a special place.

“As soon as it got up, you could just see the spin on it,” the Lansdale Catholic senior said.

Connelly’s corner found its mark, serving as the winning goal in the Crusaders’ stunning 3-2 victory over previously-unbeaten Lake-Lehman Tuesday night at freezing Northwestern Lehigh High School.

“We’re a real resilient group,” Connelly said of LC’s rally back from 1-0 and 2-1 deficits. “We’re used to being down 1-0, 2-0 and coming back. And it just drives us. We sit down at halftime and look up and we’re like ‘one at a time, one at a time.’ That’s been our mindset for every game this season.”

Connelly’s goal, coming with 10 minutes to play, provided the difference. The Crusaders head to the PIAA-2A State Final, to take on the winner of Wednesday’s North Catholic and Villa Maria contest. 

“In the second half, we looked up and saw it was starting to snow a little bit,” Connelly said. “We’re like, ‘wow, this is end-of-season weather.'”

This seems to be LC’s time of season, especially the seniors.

“They’re kind of just a history-making senior class,” Crusaders coach Bree Benedict said. “This senior class is really a special group. Last year, they won the PCL for the first in school history. This year, they’re going to the state final for the first time in school history.

“It comes down to the fact that they don’t love soccer – they love being together. So they are fighting tooth and nail to spend another two days together.”

Lake-Lehman went ahead 1-0 on a goal by Madison Brdaric, 10 minutes in.

The Crusaders came back to tie it, evening things at one apiece when a nifty shot by Ava Mercier trickled in from eight yards out.

Lake-Lehman went up again, 2-1, when Brdaric scored her second. It was 2-1 at the half.

Lauren Delpo got things even for LC with 15 minutes to play, and Connelly did the rest.

“She has a knack for being able to curl a ball,” Benedict said.

LC is headed straight, to the state final.

“This is crazy. This is the furthest our school has ever gotten,” Connelly said. “It’s a great group of people to do it with.”

PIAA-2A Semifinals
Lansdale Catholic 3, Lake-Lehman 2
Lake-Lehman 2 0 – 2
Lansdale Catholic 1 2 – 3
First Half: LL – Madison Brdaric, 10th minute; LC-Ava Mercier, 16th minute; LL – Brdaric, 27th minute.
Second Half: LC – Lauren Delpo, 65th minute; LC-Taylor Connelly, 70th minute.

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