Lansdale Catholic versus Archbishop Ryan Girls’ PCL Championship
As the old boxing announcer Howard Cosell might have intoned, “Down go the Crusaders.” Archbishop Ryan’s Gianna Monaco, “as poised as can be,” calmly went on a 40-yard breakaway. Receiving a clearing pass from her defense with nobody in front of her except lonely goal keeper Lauren Crim, in a 0-0 PCL Championship game, she broke down field with Kiera O’Sullivan of Lansdale Catholic valiantly chasing her.
Monaco slowed at about the 25-yard mark when she saw Crim make her move. She could not have been more self assured and confident while retaining a placid look on her face. As she fired with the right foot to Crim’s left, the ball slowly trickling into the net for the only score of this contest while Crim writhed on the ground in an attempt to stop the shot in this exciting PCL final.
The first half had gone by with an ebb and flow that showed how closely matched these two squads were, ending with no scoring but definitely some physical and talented play by the two squads that have been aiming towards this finale all season long. Both the Ragdolls of Ryan (17-2-2) and the Crusaders of LC (16-4-1) were clearly the best teams all along and rightly so met in this match.
Kate Henesey of LC, who scored 110 goals in the last three years, was bottled up all night. She was surrounded, doubled, tripled and had Maria Deluso of Ryan so close to her all night that she must have felt like a conjoined twin.
The Crusaders were in their third straight final, never having conquered their opponents previously. They will have to wait out another year for PCL glory, as the Ragdolls returned to the top where they have been before, but not in several years.
Ryan moves on to play Central of the Public League for the 4A classification final, and LC will stay in the hunt playing Rush also of the Pub in the 3A final. Both squads must win to move on in the state tournament.