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Allentown Central Catholic blanks Olympians

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    Heidi Washel (9) of Jim Thorpe tries to split Central Catholic’s Bridey Lawler (24) and Kaleigh Haas. RON GOWER/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS

Published October 30. 2019 12:18PM

Allentown Central Catholic has been flexing its defensive muscles during the postseason.

That trend continued on Tuesday as the Vikings defeated Jim Thorpe, 4-0, in the District 11 Class 2A girls soccer semifinals at Northern Lehigh High School.

Allentown Central Catholic has now played three postseason games, allowing a total of just one goal.

Jim Thorpe was aware of Central Catholic’s defensive strength entering the game. But the Olympians weren’t intimidated, and managed to get off 10 shots during the contest.

Thorpe wasn’t able to cash in on any of the chances, however, as the Vikings’ defense did a nice job of preventing the Olympians from getting continuous pressure or easy scoring opportunities.

“It was a really physical game,” said Jim Thorpe coach Tom Condly. “We played hard, but we weren’t able to sustain enough pressure offensively.”

With how well Allentown Central Catholic has defended during the last couple of weeks, sustaining pressure wasn’t going to be easy. The Vikings opened postseason play by holding top-seeded and powerful Parkland to just one goal in a loss during the opening round of the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference playoffs. They followed that up with a 3-0 victory over Tamaqua in the District 11 quarterfinals last week.

While the Allentown Central Catholic defense was doing its thing, the offense was impressive as well. The Vikings had 14 shots in the game, and eventually were able to make some of them count.

The No. 2 seeded Vikings grabbed a 1-0 halftime lead on a goal by Katie Winchilla at the 26:59 mark.

Allentown Central Catholic then broke the game open in the second half when Isabel Devos scored with 37:06 remaining in the game to make it 2-0. Maya Kauffman got the third Central goal with 20:44 remaining, before Devos closed out the scoring less than two minutes later.

The loss ends a successful season for Jim Thorpe, which finished with a 12-7-1 record. The Olympians, who were the No. 6 seed in the district tournament, were coming off a dramatic overtime victory against Salisbury in the quarterfinals that was eventually decided on penalty kicks.

“I’m very proud of the season we had,” Condly said. “It was a record-setting year for us. We gained a lot of valuable playoff experience reaching the district semifinals, and are excited to build on that for next season.”

UP NEXT ... The Vikings (13-7-1) will meet Northwestern on Thursday at a site and time to be determined for the District 11 2A title.

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