DOYLESTOWN, PA –Two more. Just two more wins, and the Archbishop Wood boys’ soccer team would be state champions.
The Vikings dispatched Holy Ghost Prep, 3-1, in the PIAA Class 3A state quarterfinals Saturday afternoon at Doylestown’s Central Bucks East High School. Wood will face District 1 champion Strath Haven 7 PM Tuesday at West Chester East High School.
“Being the only PCL team left means a lot because we want to represent our league well and prove that we can compete with anyone,” said Wood junior center defensive midfielder Ryan Morgan.
“From now on we just have to take it one game and time and get mentally prepared for the semifinals.”
The Catholic League and District 12-champ Vikings jumped ahead on senior Koty Taylor’s goal nine minutes into the game. Taylor scored again 15 minutes later to double the lead.
Wood seniors Koty Taylor (2) and Joe Trodden (12) take flight to celebrate Taylor's scored goal - Photo courtesy of Donna Eckert
The Firebirds (20-2-1), a Bicentennial League juggernaut who next year may be moving to the Catholic League, became the first team to score on Wood in the entire six-game postseason with about eight minutes remaining in the half.
Undaunted, Taylor tallied a third goal midway through the second half to finish a hat trick, his third this year and fourth of his career. Taylor has now scored 51 career goals, 26 this fall.
“The win was great,” said Taylor. “We knew going into the game that it was going to be a competitive one and that we needed to play hard the whole game. Getting the early lead helps a lot, and with a strong back line to support us getting forward plays a huge role.”
Taylor, who also scored the only goal in Wood’s 1-0, first-round victory over Lower Dauphin four days earlier, very much appreciated the horde of Wood faithful that braved cold weather to lend a vocal hand.
“With a big crowd coming out to support us, we as a team knew we had to come ready to play and only play our game,” said Taylor. “Scoring the three goals to let some pressure off of everybody on the team is definitely a great feeling.”
Morgan complimented the potent Firebirds.
“It was a very good win all around from top to bottom,” said Morgan. “We played solid consistently throughout the whole game. We knew we had to shut down their key players in order for us to get the job done. Once we started attacking from the flanks, it opened up a lot of opportunities for us.”