Lansdale Catholic beat Villa Maria, 1-0, in the PIAA Class 2A girls’ soccer final Friday to capture its first state title in program history. Kellie Gillen’s goal just 6:37 into the game was all the Crusaders needed to come away with the win.
On the boys’ side, Carter Houlihan scored both goals for North Penn in its 2-0 win over Central Bucks West in the PIAA Class 4A final. Both goals came in the second half.
In just her second year as head coach, Bree Benedict has led Lansdale Catholic to capture three titles. Last year, the team won the Catholic League for the first time in program history while also winning a District 12 Class 2A championship as well. Benedict attributes all three wins to the players she’s been able to coach, but the state title came with a little more outside help, especially after the team scored within the first seven minutes of play.
“I have to attribute that [the quick score] to our student section,” Benedict said. “I think it was close to almost 400 kids and I think the adrenaline to play in front of the school, friends and teachers really got them going. I had to use a couple subs because the adrenaline was so high. I have to give it up to the fan section, they were incredible.”
Benedict also wasn’t shy to add the influences of former coaches, both at Lansdale Catholic and ones that she played for, that have helped her and the team chase its recent success. Benedict added that she is “incredibly lucky” to lead a team and groups of players that former 24-year head coach Tom O’Donnell led before retiring after the 2017 season.
“I went to CB West and played for Chris Freudig who won 7 titles for West and idolized him... my biggest goal would be to continue the success at Lansdale Catholic,” Benedict said. “You can’t be happier than this.”
Mikayla Moyer’s game-winning goal in double-overtime led Boyertown past Conestoga in the PIAA Class 4A final. Moyer found the back of the net on a free kick with 6 minutes, 34 seconds remaining in the golden goal period.
New Hope-Solebury lost to Quaker Valley, 2-1, in the PIAA Class 2A championship. Ben Koeppen scored in the loss for the Lions.