Phoenixville stands tall, but Villa Maria moves on

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - SPORTS - By Barry Sankey For Dig­i­tal First Me­dia

MALVERN » Villa Maria Academy’s girls soc­cer team is mov­ing on while Phoenixville is pack­ing up the gear for the 2016 sea­son.

Sep­a­rated by just one notch in the higher ech­e­lon of the District 1-AAA seed­ings, the two teams put on quite a dis­play of ex­cel­lence de­spite pour­ing rain Thurs­day af­ter­noon.

The host Hur­ri­canes wound up us­ing a sec­ond-half goal by sopho­more Sarah Gold­blum to edge the Phan­toms, 1-0, in the quar­ter­fi­nal round of the tour­na­ment.

Gold­blum’s goal came with 22:28 re­main­ing in reg­u­la­tion time.

Villa Maria, the num­ber four seed, ad­vanced to the semi­fi­nals, which will be played Nov. 2. The Hur­ri­canes (11-7) will take on Villa Joseph Marie, which de­feated Mount St. Joseph’s, at a site and time to be de­ter­mined.

Phoenixville, the No. 5 seed, saw its sea­son end with a 14-

6-1 over­all record, which ranks as third-best in the his­tory of the girls soc­cer pro­gram at Phoenixville. The pro­gram has ex­isted for around 20 years. Phoenixville also played a num­ber of young play­ers this sea­son, who wound up step­ping up and con­tribut­ing might­ily to the team’s suc­cess.

The heavy rain took away what could have been even greater per­for­mances by both schools, who pos­sess a lot of quick, fast play­ers all over the field.

Villa Maria fresh­man goal­keeper Gabriella Maclach­lan recorded the shutout with three saves. Phoenixville’s Han­nah Sands made five saves.

“We kind of had a break­down at mid­field where we got pulled out of po­si­tion a lit­tle bit,” said Phoenixville coach Tim Raub. “Their girl got around us and made a nice goal. Give Milla Maria credit. They were the bet­ter team to­day.”

Villa Maria se­nior cap­tain Vic­to­ria “Tori” Kent is glad to see her fi­nal scholas­tic sea­son stay alive for the next round of play­offs.

“The rain def­i­nitely equal­ized the game,” said Kent. “But Phoenixville is good. They are al­ways a tough team. They fight un­til the end. It comes down to who is more ag­gres­sive and who wants it more.”

The Hur­ri­canes also got a big game from se­nior Mor­gan Mon­teith, who played an ac­tive role on both ends of the field.

“It comes down to who is ready to play,” said Mon­teith. “It was hard with the rain, but you can’t let the con­di­tions bother you.”

Raub and Villa Maria coach Gary Christo­pher lauded both sides for ex­hibit­ing such an out­stand­ing game de­spite such lousy con­di­tions.

“It was an in­cred­i­ble game,” said Christo­pher. “It was re­ally a bat­tle.”

“It was an in­cred­i­ble game. It was re­ally a bat­tle.” — Villa Maria coach Gary Christo­pher

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