For the eighth time in the last decade, the Cardinal O’Hara Lions girls’ field hockey team clinched the District 12 3A championship. They did so in an 8-0 win over the Northeast Vikings on Thursday, Nov. 2 on their home turf.
Cardinal O’Hara dropped a tough 5-1 decision to longtime rival Archbishop Carroll in the Philadelphia Catholic League (PCL) championship match Oct. 29 at Neumann University. Nevertheless, this year’s PCL outcome made the Lions even more pumped to come out, do their job, and recapture the coveted district trophy.
“I think it was the emotion coming from the PCL championship where we unfortunately lost,” said sophomore Megan Rullo. “We want to see how far we can get this. Winning districts was helpful for our motivation going into states.”
With this result, O’Hara improved its overall record to 10-8 on the season.
“We stuck together,” said senior Caroline McManus. “We had a tough loss on Sunday. We knew this game was ours in the beginning. We just came out strong. We finished strong.”
It was a big day for Rullo who scored a total of five goals during this crucial game. She completed a hat trick right off the bat in the opening quarter.
“The motivation was definitely up there,” said Rullo.
Tri-captain Sam Connolly secured a goal early in the second quarter. Tri-captain Anna McManus extended the lead to 5-0 as she registered a goal with 10:47 to play until halftime.
Although the score did not change for quite some time, the latter part of the third quarter belonged to Rullo as well. She was determined to prove that her hat trick was simply a precursor of what was yet to come. She tallied additional goals with 2:52 and 1:54 left in the period.
“I was just trying to get the score high and help the team get the win,” said Rullo.
Connolly was not done either. She scored again in the middle of the fourth quarter. From that point on, O’Hara just played it out before earning yet another District 12 trophy.
The win did not come easy. The Lions undoubtedly had to get past Vikings’ goalkeeper Karn Le who finished with nine saves. Le’s teammate defenders were all over the place. O’Hara was on to them, nevertheless.
“Their goalie is very strong,” said McManus. “I think that our practice led us into this game. I think our goalie prepared us for this goalie.”
O’Hara goalkeeper Laura Angelopulas prevailed on defense.
“[The]defense was really good today,” said Angelopulas. “I personally think we have an amazing defense on this team. I’m really proud of all of them this season.”
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