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GIRLS SOCCER: Another Big Week in PCL Action: Playoff Contenders are Taking Shape in This Week's Notebook

By Marc Narducci (photos by Donna Eckert), 10/08/21, 4:30PM EDT


By Marc Narducci

Archbishop Wood would have been excused if there was a slight letdown after the Vikings’ epic 1-1 draw with Archbishop Ryan.

Yet in the first Catholic League game after that tie, the Vikings earned an impressive 5-0 win over visiting Archbishop Carroll on Tuesday.

Coach Tom DeGeorge felt his team, which led 2-0 at intermission, played much better in the second half.

“We talked about putting in a full 80 minutes and in the first half I thought some of that was missing what we needed,” DeGeorge said. “The way we played in the second half is what we need to do for 80 minutes, the intensity, and how clean our passing was.”

Could there have been a letdown in the first half after playing at Ryan before a huge crowd?

“I wouldn’t say letdown, but it’s hard to create that environment every game,” DeGeorge said.

Still, considering the competition, this was a big win. Archbishop Carroll is a talented team that figures to be participating in the PCL playoffs.

With young players such as sophomore Olivia Stout showing great two-way play, the Patriots are a highly competitive team.

Then again, when Wood is on its game, the Vikings are difficult to beat.

Wood has playmakers in the middle of the field, including sophomore Ava DeGeorge, whose creativity allows her to constantly break down defenders. She also has great vision and is always looking to find an open teammate.

Archbishop Wood vs. Archbishop Carroll. (highlights/Donna Eckert for PSD)

Another player who helps get the attack going is Emily Beck. The Vikings like to have Beck creating offense.

“She is a senior captain and very skillful,” DeGeorge said of Beck. “We put her in the middle of the field and want the ball at her feet and she is very impactful in what we are doing while attacking.”

What is also difficult about stopping the Vikings is that they have such great offensive depth.

Against Carroll, five different players scored – Madison Kennedy, Megan Hickey, Alyssa DeGeorge, Ava DeGeorge and Grace Hoeger.

Isabella Diodato and Natalie Gablein split duties in goal, each playing a half.

Archbishop Wood senior captain Emily Beck in game vs. Archbishop Carroll. (photo/Marc Narducci for PSD)

Here is a look at the rest of the week in the Catholic League.

Monday Oct. 4

Archbishop Ryan 3, St. Hubert’s 0

Ryan continued its stingy defense and also received two goals from Gianna Rivera and one from Carly Walsh. Also during the week in non-league action, Ryan beat Nazareth Academy, 7-4 as Rebecca Dalton recorded a hat trick. The other goal scorers were Chelsea Ritter, Anna Lonbardi, Sierra DiDonato and Adrianna Deieso.


Lansdale Catholic 3, Cardinal O’Hara 1

For the winners, Casey Sabolsky took on a striker role and the move paid immediate dividends as she scored the first goal. O’Hara tied the score on a first half goal by Kellie McCarthy. The Crusaders then took command in the second half by finishing two corner kick opportunities with goals by Maddy Calafati and Megan Steinbach.

“Casey Sabolsky provided a much needed spark to our attack,” Lansdale Catholic coach Bree Benedict said. “Her dynamic runs off Megan Steinbach opened up space for 1v1 opportunities on center backs and she capitalized early in the game.”

Lansdale Catholic senior Casey Sabolsky in game vs. Archbishop Wood. (photo/Donna Eckert for PSD)

Sabolsky’s versatility stood out in the win.

“Casey is very underrated but her ability to attack and produce goals as well as her discipline in the back makes her a difficult decision for any coach,” Benedict said. “If I could clone Casey and put one in the back and one up top I would, but I am grateful to have her on our team. She gave us the energy we needed up top and then joined the back line to seal the victory. She was essential to our 2019 team that won State and her potential is limitless. It has been amazing watching her grow, she is an exemplary leader, and an awesome human being.”

Lansdale Catholic put constant pressure and O’Hara goalie Ava Hnelski, who was forced to make nine saves.


Conwell Egan 7, Bonner-Prendie 0

Five different players scored for the winners. Rylee Joyce and Angelina Andujar scored two goals each. Julia Driscoll, Madison Stackhouse  and Gianna Vorgity all added one goal. This was a true offensive show and Conwell Egan coach Andy Adamiec credited the Bonner-Prendie keeper who had more than 30 saves.

Thursday, Oct. 7

Archbishop Wood 5, Lansdale Catholic 2

Wood took a 3-2 halftime lead and then put the game away with two second half goals. The goal scorers for the Vikings were Shaina Kios, Grace Hoeger, Alyssa DeGeorge, Madison Kennedy and Ava DeGeorge. It was the second time this week that the Vikings had five goals by five different scorers, demonstrating tremendous balance.

“We moved the ball well which put us in good position to capitalize on our chances,” Wood coach Tom DeGeorge said. “A lot of the play started with our backs, led by Daryn Savage. The midfielders did well with distribution.”


Archbishop Wood vs. Lansdale Catholic. (highlights/Donna Eckert for PSD)

Lansdale Catholic coach Bree Benedict said her team started the game strong. The Crusaders received both of their first half goals by Megan Steinbach, one on a penalty kick.

“Megan Steinbach showed today that she is easily one of the best players in the Catholic league,” Benedict said.”She put the team on her back and carried us. To score two goals the way she did in a big game like this is just on another level. I’m really proud of my team and felt they deserved more from that game.”

Not only did Steinbach convert the penalty kick, she caused it.

Lansdale Catholic's Megan Steinbach is swarmed by teammates after penalty kick in game vs. Archbishop Wood. (photo/Donna Eckert for PSD)

“Megan drove into the box and beat the outside back who was forced to foul her,” Benedict said. “She got up and buried the PK. Unfortunately the direction of the game changed after the goal and got pretty physical and chippy. We lost our goalkeeper when they scored the second goal on a corner.”

After that, Lansdale Catholic was forced to put a field player in goal.


Archbishop Carroll 3, Cardinal O’Hara 0

It was Senior Day at Carroll and the winners responded with goals by Reagan Duzy, Olivia Stout and Amanda Armstrong. Ella Wright contributed two assists and keeper Bridget Robinson made seven saves. Ava Hneleski made 12 saves for Cardinal O’Hara.

The win improved Carroll to 5-5-2 overall and 4-2-1 in the PCL.

"I am very proud of our effort and finishing on the day,” Carroll coach Tom Quintois said. “Our kids worked very hard and continue to improve.  Thank you to our seniors and parents for four great years!"

Archbishop Carroll celebrates Senior Day in game vs Cardinal O'Hara. (photo courtesy Archbishop Carroll Athletics)

Ryan 12, Bonner-Prendie 0.

Chelsea Ritter and Rebecca Dalton each scored a hat trick while Gianna Rivera added two goals. The other goal scorers were Riley Lukach, Nicole Ramirez, Natalie McFadden and Adrianna Deieso..