Oakford, PA – With its semi-final match against St. Hubert tied at one early in the second half, Archbishop Wood was looking for a momentum-building play. It came in the unlikeliest of ways when Hubert’s goalkeeper Briana Pudlo tripped up midfielder Kasey McCormick, resulting in a penalty kick.
Wood head coach Bill Cappo called on junior Caitlyn Cliggett in the game’s biggest moment. “She stepped up herself and wanted to take it,” Cappo said.
A spirited crowd, at the United German Hungarian Soccer Club, grew louder in anticipation as Cliggett lined up the ball on one of autumn’s coldest nights yet. The junior approached the ball just as she had dozens of times in practice, looked right, and kicked left to beat Pudlo and give the Vikings their first lead on the way to a 3 -1 win.
“It was definitely very nerve-wracking,” said Cliggett. “I knew where I was going to place it and I just placed it in the same spot… I was really happy that my team was able to get another goal especially being down 1-0, and I think as a team we played very well together.”
It didn’t always look like Wood was going to come out on top. St. Hubert’s started the first half with a lot of energy and had the Vikings on their heels. And at the nine minute mark, senior midfielder Dominique Calio drilled a free kick underneath the crossbar to give the Bambies a 1-0 lead.
“They were pressing us and we just had to settle down - a little bit of the jitters,” Cappo said. “Once they settled down and controlled themselves we came out and played.”
Wood regained its poise as the half wore on, and got on the board in the 32nd minute with the first of two goals by forward/midfielder Sophia Filippo. The senior got herself open and drilled one over Pudlo’s head from an angle 18 yards out.
“I didn’t even aim it,” said Filippo. “I knew where the net was and I just aimed for the net. I didn’t look where the goalie was. I just wanted to get a shot because I felt the defender coming on me.”
Filippo’s second goal came in the 69th minute. She raced down the left side, used her speed to edge around the defender, and deposited the ball in the far left corner to clinch a date with Lansdale Catholic in Saturday’s final.