Souderton Independent - - OPINION - By Mike Cabrey

Three times since the LDQVGDOH CDWKROiF JiUOV VRFcer team joined the Phi­laGHOSKiD CDWKROiF LHDJuH iQ 2008, the Cru­saders’ ti­tle hopes have been dashed by Arch­bishop Wood.

Wed­nes­day at Arch­bishop 5yDQ, LC fiQDOOy SuW DQ HQG to its post­sea­son frus­tra­tions against the Vik­ings.

Shan­non Ozzimo and Jil­lian Gi­ampa scored in the secRQG KDOI DQG LDQVGDOH CDWKRlic ended Wood’s three-year reign as league cham­pion, knock­ing off the Vik­ings 2-0 iQ WKH 3CL VHPi­fiQDOV.

“This is stuff you dream of and you think off and then you go home after­wards and you lost again and you sit there and you’re like, ‘What a fool, why would I keep think­ing we’re go­ing WR wiQ WKiV.’ LC FRDFK 7RP O’Donnell said. “And four years run­ning and here it is.”

The Cru­saders (15-4-0) ad­vance to the league cham­pi­onship for the third time in four VHDVRQV DQG WKH fiUVW WiPH ViQFH 2010. LC IDFHV HiWKHU AUFKEiVKop Ryan or St. Hu­bert — which played Thurs­day night at Ryan — on Mon­day.

“They’re been our ri­vals for­ever. And it was rough los­ing to them in the reg­u­lar sea­son,” said Ozzimo of the 1-0 loss to Wood on Sept. 6. “It felt re­ally good to beat them in the playoffs be­cause if you win, you win and then if you lose, you go home.”

Along with look­ing to FODiP iWV fiUVW-HvHU 3CL cham­pi­onships, the Cru­saders need to win the league in or­der to make the PIAA Class AA Tour­na­ment for the third straight year.

“That’s go­ing to be tough,” O’Donnell said. “We talked about that, where we want to play these in the cham­pi­onship round, be­cause now that we won this game, how do you get back up Mon­day night. That’s go­ing to be my chal­lenge.”

,Q 2008, LDQVGDOH CDWKRlic fell to Wood in the semi­fiQDOV, WKHQ GURSSHG EDFkWR-EDFk fiQDOV DJDiQVW WKH Vik­ings in 2009 and 2010. LDVW yHDU, WKH CUuVDGHUV ORVW WR LiWWOH )ORwHU iQ WKH VHPiV.

“We re­ally wanted to come out, all of us give 110 per­cent and do our best, be­cause we knew it was Bryn (Wassel) and Han­nah (Whitby’s) se­nior year and we re­ally wanted to win,” Gi­ampa said. “And Wood hasn’t been de­feated in a long time, so we just re­ally wanted to win this.”

Ozzimo ended the score­less tie off a cor­ner kick, as the ball cleared a crowd in front of goal where the sopho­more was free to head it in.

The Cru­saders pro­ceeded to make it 2-0 on free kick given af­ter Gi­ampa was fouled. Whitby took the restart, send­ing a ball to the right side of the 18-yard box, where it bounced out of a group of play­ers to Gi­ampa, who put it into the back of the net.

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