Lansdale Catholic stuns Arch. Wood

Posted: October 25, 2012

Three years ago had been the last time the Lansdale Catholic Crusaders defeated Archbishop Wood in girls' soccer.

But the overtime regular-season victory in 2009 was nothing compared to Wednesday's 2-0 defeat of the Vikings in a Catholic League semifinal.

"I feel like I'm floating on a cloud right now," Lansdale coach Tom O'Donnell said.

The feeling was contagious, as the Crusaders barely contained their excitement after the game ended.

"As soon as that whistle blew, we all just broke down into tears," said Bryn Wassel, a senior captain. "This has been our goal the entire year, and I am so grateful for this entire experience."

Entering this season, the Vikings (14-3-2 overall, 10-1-1 league), ranked fifth in Southeastern Pennsylvania by The Inquirer, had made it to three consecutive PCL championship games. Before Wednesday, the Vikings hadn't lost a league game all year.

"If you are going to break a streak, this is when it counts," O'Donnell said.

Underdogs, the Crusaders (14-4, 9-3) lost to the Vikings, 1-0, in just their second game of the year. While they might have been the underdogs, they sure didn't play like it, coming out with a lot of energy after a scoreless first half.

Lansdale exploited Wood's weakness, balls served high into the box, by scoring on a header from sophomore Shannon Ozzimo off a corner kick.

Just seven minutes into the second half, it looked as if Wood was going to respond with a goal of its own, but the shot missed the frame. Then with 13 minutes remaining, sophomore Brianna Coughlin knocked a ball in off a direct kick, solidifying the victory.

"They are our biggest rival," Ozzimo said. "It feels really good."

The Crusaders will play Archbishop Ryan, a 4-1 winner Wednesday night over St. Hubert, on Monday. In the regular season, Lansdale Catholic lost to Ryan, 2-1.

Lansdale must win Monday's final to continue its season, as a loss would mean that Wood could play in the District 12 title game because of more total points.

"These girls have had the biggest thrill of their life, and somehow you have to come back and do it again," O'Donnell said.

Lansdale Catholic   0 2 – 2

Archbishop Wood   0 0 – 0

Goals: Shannon Ozzimo, Brianna Coughlin.

Saves: LC-Alyssa Messina 5; AW-Deanna Messner 6.


Contact Kate Harman at rallysports@phillynews.com.

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