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Conestoga edges Central Bucks East; La Salle captures PCL title in high school postseason action

Logan Schwartz plays the hero for Conestoga with a goal in the 76th minute; a 50-yard free kick decides a South Jersey tournament title

Matt Ralph

A curling goal through traffic in the 76th minute from Logan Schwartz booked Conestoga a spot in the state tournament on Saturday, while giving them the sweet taste of revenge against a Central Bucks East team that beat them in the District 1 final and state semifinal last season.

The win for top-seeded Conestoga in the District 1 Class 4A semifinal at Teamer Stadium also pushed the Pioneers unblemished record to 20-0-0 on the season. On the losing side, Central Bucks East, which had its fair of chances to break the scoreless tie late in the game, now have to make it to states the hard way by winning out against North Penn and the winner of Lower Merion and Neshaminy to earn the fifth spot from District 1.

Conestoga, which checked in at No. 2 in the last national high school rankings, will host North Penn and West Chester Henderson will host Council Rock North in the semifinal matches on Wednesday with the final to follow on Saturday. No. 2 West Chester Henderson booked a spot in the state tournament with an overtime win over Lower Merion while North Penn and Council Rock North each had one-goal victories to advance and earn state tournament berths.

Philadelphia
La Salle scored twice in the first 67 seconds and got a six-save performance from goalkeeper Brett Werner to hold off defending champs Roman Catholic to capture the Catholic League boys’ soccer championship on Saturday.

The league championship was the first for the Explorers since 2012.

Central Pennsylvania
In Central Pennsylvania, top-seeded and nationally-ranked Lower Dauphin continued to cruise in the District 3 Class 3A playoffs with a 5-0 win over Daniel Boone on Monday. Lower Dauphin has outscored opponents 17-0 in the first three rounds and will play third-seeded Gettysburg in the final at Hersheypark Stadium on Thursday.

Independent Schools
The Pennsylvania Independent Schools tournament kicked off on Monday with a 5-0 win for top-seeded The Hill School (Pottstown) over No. 16 The Phelps School (Malvern). Devon Murray scored his first two goals of the season for The Hill School and Ryan Wallace, Chase Clemens and Kevin Cummings added goals.

South Jersey
Max Bond scored on a wonder free kick from 50 yards out to lift Cherry Hill West to a 1- win over Williamstown in the South Jersey Coaches Association Tournament final at Rowan University on Saturday.

The title was the fourth for the Lions in the tournament and their first since 1997. Cherry Hill West, a fourth seed in the NJSIAA South, Group 3 tournament, kept the momentum going from the win with a 5-1 win over Highland on Monday.

The top seeds in South Jersey all advanced in first round action on Monday, including Ocean City with a 3-0 win over Timber Creek in Group 3, Clearview with a 4-0 win over Vineland in Group 4, Delran with a 4-0 win over Manchester Township in Group 2 and Haddon Township with a 5-1 win over Woodbury in Group 1.

Second round matches will be played on Thursday.