Moon topples Wood for title
If Archbishop Wood’s season could be summed up into one word. That word would be bittersweet.
The Lady Vikings fell 1-0 to Moon Area High School in the PIAA Class AA championship game Saturday at HersheyPark Stadium. Despite their best effort and constant resiliency, they could nRW finG Dn HTuDOLzHU DnG WKH clock struck midnight on and impressive season that fell just short of greatness.
“I think we got caught up in the excitement and didn’t play our best soccer in the fiUVW KDOI,” :RRG FRDFK BLOO Cappo said. “I told them to calm down and play their game at halftime and they came out in the second half and did that, especially in the last 20 minutes. We just got RuWSODyHG Ln WKH fiUVW KDOI.”
Moon came out aggressively on offense and, with the big pitch at Hersheypark Stadium, stretched the Wood defense. Wood was on the EDFN IRRW IRU PRVW RI WKH fiUVW half except in spurts. Goalkeeper Deanna Messner came up huge on a couple of saves to keep Moon off the scoreboard early, while the back line continued to absorb pressure well as it has done all season.
“We sort of went in a deIHnVH PRGH Ln WKH fiUVW KDOI, but that didn’t create any offense,” Cappo said. “They were just kicking it with no rhyme or reason for what they were doing. We have a tough time scoring here in Hershey.”
With 15 minutes left in WKH fiUVW KDOI, 0RRn JRW RuW on the counter attack after a UDUH :RRG IRUDy uS fiHOG DnG made the Lady Vikings pay. While out on the run, Moon PLGfiHOGHU APDnGD .DFKDyOR hit a streaking Antonia Grese with a quality service on the ground. Grese beat the defense and poked the ball past a sprawling Messner to give Moon what would be the decisive goal in the match.
Wood played well in the second half, especially in the last 20 minutes, but it just could nRW finG WKH HTuDOLzHU nR PDWWHU how hard it pushed. With just less than 22 minutes remaining in the match, Laura Romano almost tied it, but just before the ball rolled into the corner of the net, Kachaylo made a heroic sliding stop to quell the danger. The Lady Vikings pushed defenders up, pressured the ball
and won set pieces, but it just seemed like a state title was not in the cards.
The loss was tough for the program, but none were more affected than the seniors. Romano, Jackie Pierson, Leah Check and Jessica Scarpello were all part of the Wood team two years ago that fell in the state championship game and to relive it a second time was terrible for them. For some reason, the second place trophy just doesn’t cut it.
“Since we didn’t win the PCL, we had a mindset that we wanted to win states, we got close but it just didn’t happen for us,” Messner said. “It was really nerveracking for me in the net. I was telling the backs that it was all or nothing. I kept asking for the ball in the back so I could just boot it.”
But the Lady Vikings should hold their heads high. They could have packed it in after being knocked out of the PCL tournament in the VHPLfinDOV, EuW WKHy WRRN DLVtrict 12 and gave themselves new life. A deadly mixture of seasoned veterans, young talent and stout defense reDOOy GHfinHG :RRG’V VHDVRn, not the loss in the title game. Finishing with as champs of District 12 with an 18-3-2 record is nothing to scoff at and although they will lose some key players to gradua- tion, there are many talented underclassman ready to take up the mantle and give this another go next season.
“Our seniors are leaving a lot for us,” Messner said. “Those seniors are the most inspiring people that I’ve ever played with and we are really going to miss them. We had such a good team this year and I’m just hoping to get the freshmen and sophomores in shape in the off season. I’m IHHOLnJ SrHWWy FRnfiGHnW.”
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