By Matt Gelb
INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
After a year experimenting with a condensed playoff format, the Catholic League will expand it this time around in the name of fairness.
In the first season as a part of the PIAA, the Catholic League played an eight-team league tournament last year, with six teams advancing from the Red Division and two from the Blue.
This year, 12 teams will make the tournament — six from each division. Play begins Monday.
Gwynedd-Mercy Academy needed a second-half goal by Morgan Sheridan to break a tie and win, 1-0, over visiting St. Basil in an Athletic Association of Catholic Academies soccer game Tuesday.
Goalie Courtney Sullivan, a freshman, prevented the Panthers from getting the equalizer by turning back all nine shots she faced. It was Sullivan’s fourth shutout of the season.
Catholic. Megan Poiesz scored three goals and added an assist for host Lansdale Catholic in its 6-0 win over Cardinal O’Hara.
Mentioned: Academy of Notre Dame de Namur | Conestoga High School | Ridley High School | Cardinal Dougherty High School | Archbishop Wood High School | Cardinal O'Hara High School | Archbishop Ryan High School | St. Hubert High School | Abington Friends School | St. Basil Academy | Springside School | Archbishop Carroll | Conwell-Egan | Delco Christian | Girard College | Gwynedd-Mercy | Harriton | Lansdale Catholic | Little Flower | Marple Newtown | Nazareth Academy | Neumann-Goretti | Phil-Mont Christian | Pottsgrove | Westtown
Conwell-Egan’s Bill Castor found the range in spite of a fierce Lansdale Catholic defense and helped the Eagles come from behind to earn a dramatic Catholic League Blue Division soccer win at the United German Hungarian Club in Oakford Monday.
Castor scored from 19 yards out with a minute left to give Conwell-Egan a 2-1 victory. As a result, the Eagles (8-2-2 overall, 7-2-1 league) moved past the Crusaders (6-4-1, 6-3-1) into second place in the division.
Sean Rooney gave Lansdale Catholic a 1-0 lead in the first half, but John Richards tied the game when he converted a goal from 55 yards out. Mike Keenan stopped 22 shots to earn the win in goal for the Eagles while Crusaders’ goalie Chris Takemori turned aside 15 shots.
Mentioned: Pottstown High School | Hatboro-Horsham High School | Wissahickon High School | Central Bucks South High School | Cardinal Dougherty High School | La Salle College High School | Archbishop Wood High School | Cardinal O'Hara High School | Norristown Area High School | Archbishop Ryan High School | Valley Forge Military Academy & College | Pennridge High School | Central Bucks West High School | West Philadelphia Catholic High School | Plymouth Whitemarsh High School | Penn Wood High School | Archbishop Carroll | Church Farm | Conwell-Egan | Devon Prep | Father Judge | Glen Mills | Interboro | Kennedy-Kenrick | Lansdale Catholic | Lincoln | Mercy Vocational | Monsignor Bonner | Neumann-Goretti | Olney | Phila. Academy Charter | Pottsgrove | Quakertown | Souderton | St. Joseph's Prep | St. Pius X | Upper Merion | Upper Moreland | Woodlynde | Wyncote | Franklin Towne Charter | Kimberton Waldorf | Springfield (M)
Penncrest stunned Ridley with three goals in the second half, but the Green Raiders chipped away at the lead, forced overtime, and finally beat the visiting Lions, 4-3, in a Central League game.
Sydney Mitchell, Caroline Moore and Maura Waldron scored to give Penncrest a 3-0 lead, but Julia DiiGiacomo scored for Ridley off an assist by Courtney Najmola with 5 minutes, 41 seconds left in regulation to tie the game, 3-3.
Najmola scored the last of her two goals on a penalty kick 1:22 into overtime to complete the comeback started by a goal from Annemarie Cericola.
Gabrielle Petrancuri stopped four shots for the Green Raiders and Alex Mitchell turned aside nine shots for the Lions.
Jackie Glanfield scored with 30 seconds remaining in the second of two overtime periods and gave Garnet Valley a 1-0 win over visiting Harriton.
Brianna Fecando assisted on the goal and Carly Plasha turned aside six shots. Alexa Hoffman stopped nine shots for the Rams.
Freshman goalie Krissy Walsh earned her first shutout and Michaela Whitelaw added a goal in the 67th minute to boost Strath Haven past visiting Lower Merion, 1-0.
Strath Haven (7-2-1, 5-1-1) is ranked seventh in The Inquirer’s top 10 poll and Lower Merion (7-3, 3-3) is ranked ninth in the Southeastern Pennsylvania Soccer Coaches Association poll.
Whitelaw scored off a pass from Jenna Frost. Katie Balmer, a junior center back, played excellent defense in front of Welsh who stopped eight shots.
Mentioned: Haverford High School | Conestoga High School | Ridley High School | Cardinal Dougherty High School | Archbishop Wood High School | Cardinal O'Hara High School | Upper Darby High School | Archbishop Ryan High School | Radnor High School | St. Hubert High School | Abington Friends School | Strath Haven High School | Archbishop Carroll | Archbishop Prendergast | Bishop McDevitt | Bishop Shanahan | Conwell-Egan | Garnet Valley | Harriton | Kennedy-Kenrick | Kennett | Lansdale Catholic | Little Flower | Lower Merion | Marple Newtown | Neumann-Goretti | Octorara | Penncrest | St. Pius X | Springfield (D) | West Chester Henderson
Howard Linn played all but the final 10 minutes in goal for Northeast in a 6-0 Public League win over visiting Southern, then moved up to forward and scored a goal to provide the highlight of the day for the Vikings (5-1).
Linn, a senior, scored Northeast’s sixth goal. It was the first of his career, making for some happy teammates.
“The team went wild,” was Northeast coach John Psoras said. Linn was one of six goal-scorers for the Vikings.
Freshman Joey Powell played a big part in Masterman’s 3-2 comeback with over visiting Olney.
The Blue Dragons (2-4) were down, 2-0, at the half when Powell assisted on Ty Martin’s two goals. Then Tyler Hunt delivered the game-winning goal with six minutes left off a feed from Zach Plona.
David Casasola and Brice Joseph scored first-half goals for the Trojans.
Leroy Mombo’s first-half goal stood up for Washington in a 1-0 win at Lincoln.
Emmanuel Acquoi assisted on the goal and the story of the game after that was the Eagles’ defense in front of goalie Tim McCrossen, who needed to make only one save for the shutout.
Washington is now 4-1-1 overall, 4-0-1 league.
Mentioned: Pottstown High School | Hatboro-Horsham High School | Wissahickon High School | Phoenixville Area High School | George School | Archbishop Wood High School | Perkiomen Valley High School | Abington Senior High School | Abington Friends School | Central Bucks West High School | Friends Central Upper School | Academy Park | Archbishop Carroll | Bishop McDevitt | Boyertown | Central Bucks East | Christian Academy | Conwell-Egan | Council Rock North | Father Judge | Fels | Girard College | Hill School | Kennedy-Kenrick | Lansdale Catholic | Lincoln | Malvern Prep | Masterman | Methacton | Neumann-Goretti | North Catholic | Northeast | Olney | Owen J. Roberts | Pottsgrove | Quakertown | Southern | St. Pius X | Upper Merion | Washington | West-Mont Christian | Episcopal Academy | Franklin Towne Charter
Here are the latest rankings of local girls' volleyball teams by local coaches:
1. Bishop Shanahan
2. Merion Mercy
3. Cardnal O’Hara
4. Archbishop Carroll
5. Council Rock North
6. Upper Merion
9. Avon Grove
Lauren Heisse’s goal two minutes into overtime gave Archbishop Ryan a 2-1 Catholic League win at Archbishop Carroll. Kerri Ritter assisted on two goals for the Ragdolls (6-2-1 overall, 5-2 league), including one by Michelle Saklad 12 minutes into the second half. Julia Stipa scored for the Patriots.
Jenna Richards scored both goals as host Conwell-Egan topped St. Hubert, 2-0. Kelly Mott had seven saves for the Eagles.
Kerri McClay scored once and assisted twice for host Archbishop Wood in a 4-0 win over Lansdale Catholic.
Mentioned: Pottstown High School | Conestoga High School | Archbishop Wood High School | Perkiomen Valley High School | Cardinal O'Hara High School | Archbishop Ryan High School | St. Hubert High School | West Philadelphia Catholic High School | St. Basil Academy | Archbishop Carroll | Bishop McDevitt | Boyertown | Conwell-Egan | Delco Christian | Downingtown West | Lansdale Catholic | Little Flower | Merion Mercy | Mount St. Joseph | Nazareth Academy | Neumann-Goretti | Pottsgrove | Upper Perkiomen | Villa Joseph Marie | Villa Maria
In Monday's boys' soccer games:
Catholic League. Seven players scored for Conwell-Egan, six in the second half, to beat host West Catholic, 7-1.
Emmett Filipelli scored twice and Pat Hanna added a pair of assists for Archbishop Carroll in a 5-0 win at Neumann-Goretti.