CONSHOHOCKEN, PA – A powerful defense, two goals and a single final buzzer was all it took to crown this year’s Philadelphia Catholic League field hockey champion.
On Thursday evening, the Archbishop Carroll Patriots and Cardinal O’Hara Lions took the field at the Proving Grounds in a title match that ultimately ended with the Lady Patriots galloping around the field with the 2018 Catholic League plaque in hand.
“One word that just describes them the best is ‘relentless,’” said Archbishop Carroll head coach Christina Elisio.
“They never give up. They keep pounding, they keep going. When things get tough, they rise above it, and they’ve always done a great job of that and I’m really proud of them.”
“Relentless” is one fine adjective to describe Archbishop Carroll’s team, other words could be poised, focused, prepared or determined. Junior Megan Curry, who scored the second goal in Carroll’s 2-0 victory, would describe the victory as interstellar.
“I’m over-the-moon,” said Curry. “I’m so, so happy and I’m so blessed. I can’t even put it into words. This is the first time we’ve won in my high school career and it feels so, so great and I’m very proud of me and all my teammates.”
Curry’s goal came as insurance in the second half, as senior teammate Katie LaBella scored the Patriot's first goal in the opening half of the game.
“The main thing that our coach told us going into it was that we are not going to get pretty goals, it’s going to be off the goalie’s pads,” said LaBella. “It was messy, but a goals a goal. It really propped us up.”
Archbishop Carroll, who finished the season with an unblemished 9-0 PCL regular season record, defeated Franklin Towne Charter 11-0 yesterday in the District 12 2A championship to advance to the PIAA state tournament.
“I’m hoping that this win really lights that fire and keeps our momentum going and that we can continue to win and continue to play. It’s so much fun and I have the best team ever,” said Curry.
While O’Hara did not come home with the PCL title, the Lions claimed the District 12 Class 3A Title with a 1-0 victory Saturday against Northeast High School. This marks O'hara's 7th straight district title and a ticket to represent the Catholic League in the PIAA state tournament.
First-year head coach Carlie Spaeder praised her team.
"I'm really proud of them. They came out everyday and worked so hard. All I asked was that they gave me a hundred and ten percent and play with their heart. That's all that I asked and they did that every day at every practice and at every game. I could not have asked for more," said Spaeder. "Congratulations to Carroll, they did really great. They had an undefeated season, they have so much to be proud of and congratulations to Keri Daly for being named MVP."
This Tuesday, the Patriots will play District 1 team Merion Mercy, in the first round of the PIAA Class 2A Tournament.
Also on Tuesday, Cardinal O'Hara will face District 1 team Central Bucks East, in the first round of the PIAA Class 3A Tournament.