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Girls’ Team of the Week: Archbishop Wood finally does its Ghost-busting and defeats Abington as coach bests daughter

Monday, 30th March 2009

Categories Features, Girl's/Women's, High School  

By Chris Goldberg, Posted 3/30/09

    It was one of those bittersweet moments for Archbishop Wood girls’ coach Chris Aquilino.

    His team had won one of its biggest games ever on Thursday, a thrilling 6-5 triumph over state-ranked Abington. But he also was heartbroken for the Ghosts’ All-American goalie – his daughter, Alisha Aquilino.

    “It was bittersweet either way,” said coach Aquilino, whose team is the year’s first Samson Lacrosse Festival Scholastic Girls’ Team of the Week.  “I know a lot of the (Abington) girls and I feel for them.

   “But then you look at our program and it’s a huge win for my kids. Going in, they know what Abington’s all about.”

    The Ghosts were ranked No. 6 in the state in the Pennsylvania Media Rankings and fifth in the PIAA-only rankings coming into play. Wood, now 2-0, had never beaten Abington, and this victory, played on a very wet field, was not easy.

    Caitlyn McCartney had three goals and scored the game-winner in overtime for the Vikings. Alisha Aquilino, a first-team All-American last year who is signed with St. Joseph’s, was strong in the cage with 10 saves. But this time, dad won.

     “To my daughter’s credit, she handled it with class,” said Chris Aquilino. “She congratulated me and then we move on. With my kids, we need to bring them down to Earth and not let this be the highlight of the season.”

    Wood is hoping this type of win can give it the confidence to contend with eight-time defending champion Archbishop Carroll in the Catholic League. Wood has fallen to Carroll in the Catholic League title game each of the past four years.

    Wood had many contributors in the win. Aubrie Ahrens scored twice and Alyssa Andress had one for Wood. Senior goalie Kate Smart was masterful, making 10 saves..

    “The kids were ecstatic,” said Chris Aquilino. “Many people were happy for me. Some of the (Wood grads) were texting me and wishing congratulations, saying ‘You finally beat Abington.’  The last two times we played them it was over within 10 minutes. The score was like 10-1 or 10-2 and it was done.

   “This year we felt were a little bit better, and could compete. For our girls, this is one of those moments that brings a team together. Everyone played their roles.”

Honorable Mention teams of the week: Merion Mercy, Boyertown. (Special consideration for Team of the Week is given for squads that perform community service. To nominate a team, e-mail us at



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