PHILADELPHIA CATHOLIC LEAGUE BOYS’ SOCCER
For decades, Archbishop Ryan has been a staple of Catholic League soccer excellence.
This season, the Raiders are not supposed to win the league title. They certainly might, but in all truth, it would be a surprise.
That said, Ryan still maintains high expectations.
On Tuesday night in front of a boisterous Father Judge crowd, the visiting Raiders clinched a playoff spot by defeating the Crusaders, 2-0. Ironically, Father Judge also secured a post-season berth because of other Catholic League results at different venues.
“We always knew we were gonna be in the playoff picture,” said senior Will Stackhouse, who netted his seventh goal of the season. “We just needed to come together and play as team and grab some key wins.”
Stackhouse, whose goal was assisted by sophomore Bob MacWilliams, also set up a tally by senior Georg Montag. Meanwhile, senior goalie Adam Young and his defense kept the Crusaders off the scoreboard.
Archbishop Ryan Goalie, Adam Young - Photo Courtesy of Samantha Megaw
“It feels great to have another opportunity in the playoffs, and I hope the team and I can take it all the way,” said Young. “The effort that went into tonight's game was not just being physically prepared, but mentally prepared, too.”
The Raiders were able to ignore Father Judge’s fervent rooters.
“We needed to be able to keep our composure with such a large crowd and not let them get to us,” said Young. “The crowd was screaming in our ears. In the end, we won.”
Fresh off its first league loss, 3-0, to La Salle on the previous Friday, Roman Catholic bounced back to defeat Archbishop Carroll, 4-1. Junior Jared Dillon scored twice, giving him 10 goals this fall. Senior Mike Galdo and junior Kieran Boyle each scored his second goal of the season.
“We were hungry to get back in the win column,” said Roman coach Ray DeStephanis.
Senior Jared Fielding, who has contributed five goals and four assists this year, agreed.
“The only thing we could do was put the loss behind us and to look forward to our next opponent,” said Fielding. “We have to make sure everyone is focused and going 100 percent in practice and preparation for our upcoming opponents.”
Roman Catholic senior, Jared Fielding - PSD photo by Kevin Murphy
Following the win over Roman that kept them undefeated in first place, the Explorers of La Salle overwhelmed Bishop McDevitt, 7-0. Senior Chris Metzler’s two goals led the way.
La Salle junior, Chris Metzler #13 - PSD Photo by Bryan Kelly
“I think it was more that we were able to dominate the game by working hard and moving the ball around quickly,” said Metzler. “We came into the game knowing that anything can happen and the three points aren’t secured until the final whistle, so we don’t treat any game as a feel-good game.”
Several La Salle players received more playing time because of nagging injuries to several starters.
They made the most of their opportunity.
“Some of the reserve guys had to play major minutes and did a really nice job to get us the three points,” said La Salle coach Tom McCaffery. “It was a solid team performance. Everyone is feeling good after the way the team performed Friday night and that mentality showed (Tuesday) in how people stepped up and played well to keep the train rolling.”
St. Joseph’s Prep blanked Lansdale Catholic, 2-0. Junior Pat Diviny and sophomore Aiden O’Neill scored for the Hawks. Junior Aiden Hartey goaltended the first half and was followed by senior Chris Ix. The Hawks are on the verge of becoming the sixth team to clinch a playoff spot.
“That was a big win for the team,” said Prep senior Colin Marshall, who shares captain duties with both Ix and Pat McHale. “We had great energy and were able to come out with the big win. We know that our last, I guess, two weeks of the regular season, we need to win out to get a good position in the playoff rankings. Starting off the two weeks with a big win is a huge help and a huge confidence for our young squad.”
Archbishop Wood also shut out an opponent, 2-0. The Vikings’ victim was Bonner-Prendergast.
“It's always your goal to get a shutout as a goalkeeper because it means that you did your job and did pretty much all you could to help your team win the game,” said Wood junior goalie Connor Ford. “We knew that we would have to play hard and be organized defensively against a strong team like Bonner that was giving everybody a tough game. All of our backs stepped up and did a great job limiting their opportunities and possessing the ball. Our attackers were eventually able to break them down and score two goals.”
(John Knebels can be reached at Jknebels@gmail.com or on Twitter @johnknebels.)
Catholic League Standings (Through October 5)
La Salle 8-0; Roman Catholic 7-1; Archbishop Wood 7-1; Archbishop Ryan 5-2-1; Father Judge 4-3-1; St. Joseph’s Prep 3-2-3; Cardinal O’Hara 2-4-2; Bonner-Prendergast 2-5-1; Lansdale Catholic 2-5-1; Archbishop Carroll 2-6; Bishop McDevitt 1-7; Conwell-Egan 0-7-1.
Tag(s): Home Schools Philadelphia Catholic Soccer Boys Soccer Philadelphia Catholic League Arch. Carroll Boys Soccer Arch. Ryan Boys Soccer Arch. Wood Boys Soccer Bishop McDevitt Boys Soccer Bonner & Prendie Boys Soccer Cardinal O'Hara Boys Soccer Conwell-Egan Boys Soccer Father Judge Soccer La Salle Soccer Lansdale Cath. Boys Soccer Neumann/Goretti Boys Socce Roman Catholic Soccer Saint Joseph's Prep Soccer