Moon top­ples Wood for ti­tle

The Globe - - LETTERS - By Nick Iuele

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.”

Photo cour­tesy of Subur­banone­s­

TEM­PLE-BOUND... Chel­tenham’s Gabby Szczepanek signs a Na­tional Let­ter of In­tent to Tem­ple Univer­sity to play lacrosse as coach Dave Bur­ton looks on.

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