Philadelphia Catholic League (PCL) Champions from 2009 to 2011, Archbishop Wood wanted to get back to the league title game and win it this year after getting bounced in the semifinals last season.
While the Lady Vikings — who went unbeaten once again this season in the PCL — got back to the league title tilt this year, they didn't win it. Instead, archrival Archbishop Ryan, a team Wood beat during the regular season, took a 1-0 heartbreaker in double overtime.
With the PCL crown out of their grasp, the Vikings want to get back to the state title game. Wood went to the PIAA Class AA championship last year and lost 2-0 to Moon Area.
"Ever since we lost in PCLs, that's our goal. We wanna win states,' said AW senior forward Meghan Sears. "We've gotten to states and we've lost in very sad turnouts.
"We want it, especially the seniors.'
Like last year, to get to the title game, the Vikes will have to get past District One Class AA champion Villa Joseph in the PIAA opener. The Jems captured their third straight D-I title today (Oct. 30) with a 2-1 victory over Phoenixville.
Trailing VJM, 1-0, in the 2012 state tournament, Wood stunned the Jems last season at Council Rock North with a goal in the 74th minute by Aubree Brown and another by Laura Romano with 55 seconds left in overtime.
The Vikings took the first step today (Oct. 30) toward getting back to the state championship, walloping Benjamin Rush by a 13-0 score at Northeast High School's Charlie Martin Memorial Stadium to capture the District 12 championship.
Wood won't have things nearly this easy in its state-opening battle with Villa Jo.
"It definitely changes your motivation. This game — you've just got to get through the game,' explained Sears. "That one — you have to get goals and you have to keep it going the whole game.
"We just have to get back into the groove of really getting to it.'
The Vikings had 11 different scorers in the D-12 title tilt with just two players — freshman Sophia Filippo and junior Maddie Centofani — tallying more than once, both in the first half.
Wood assembled a 10-0 edge by the intermission and was ahead 3-0 less than eight minutes into the game on goals by senior Carolyn Yoos, Filippo and Brown. Wood got the continuous mercy clock rolling by the 25-minute mark, taking a 6-0 lead on strikes by freshman Kylie Menarde, junior Marie Wild and Fillipo, again.
Senior Carly Hoelsworth, junior Sarah Eisele and Centofani (2) wrapped up the first-half scoring. Junior Katie Neveil, Cristina Babyak and Meghan Sears tallied second-half strikes for the Vikings.
Asked if his team will be ready to face Villa, a team bent on revenge, in the state opener set for Tuesday, Nov. 5, Wood head coach Bill Cappo had this to say:
"We're going to have to be ready. We wanna go all the way again. We wanna be the first Catholic League team to win the states.'
"We just have to be ready mentally and play hard.'
"Villa's tough, a top team. We just have to reach out and do the same thing.'
Cappo says the hardest part of the preparation for Villa Jo and states is the mental aspect.
"You have to make them understand it's a tough game and you're going to have to bring out your best and you have to work hard.
"You can't go by a game like this.'
Wood also went to the state championship in 2010 when the Vikings lost to Peters Township in the Class AAA title game. Now Wood wants to get back there and win.
NOTES: Last year, Peters Township capped a PIAA three-peat with a win over Cumberland Valley in the final.
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Archbishop Wood 13, Benjamin Rush 0
(Oct. 30 at Northeast HS)
WOOD 10 3 — 13
RUSH 0 0 — 0
GOALS: Carolyn Yoos, Sophia Filippo (2), Aubree Brown, Kylie Menarde, Marie Wild, Carly Hoelsworth, Sarah Eisele, Katie Neveil, Cristina Babyak, Meghan Sears.
ASSISTS: Katherine Hennessey, Neveil, Eisele, Brown (2)
SHOTS: Wood 46, Rush 2
SAVES: Deanna Messner (AW) 2, Kayla Keller 33