RYAN GIRLS SOCCER PCL Champions 2012-2013-2014-2015
           RYAN GIRLS SOCCERPCL Champions 2012-2013-2014-2015

Philly.com Article

Penn Charter #5 Brigitte Gutpelet (far left), goalie Mackenzie Listman and # 25 Hannah Fox (far right) look to clear the ball as Archbishop Ryan # 7 Haley O'Neill presses on in the 1st half of the Penn Charter at Archbishop Ryan H.S. girls soccer game on October 7, 2015. (ELIZABETH ROBERTSON / Staff Photographer)
Read more at 

Whenever No. 17 for the Archbishop Ryan girls' soccer team puts the ball down on the field for a set piece, there's a pretty good chance what happens next results in a goal for the Ragdolls.

Jules Blank, who wears the jersey in question, is a playmaker and goal scorer, but beyond her speed and finishing abilities, her biggest asset is how she can strike a service into the box.

Which is why it was so strange when the senior forward took a first-half corner kick Wednesday night and it didn't go anywhere near the net, but rather landed out of bounds.

"I think I hit the ground - I don't know what happened," Blank said after Ryan's 2-1 win over visiting Penn Charter. "That was probably the first one I hit out all year."

"Possibly the second," Taylor Woods said.

"Maybe," Blank retorted.

More important than the number of times Blank has had a corner kick veer left or right of the net this year was what happened shortly after her rare misstep.

With less than six minutes remaining in the first half against the Quakers (4-2), Blank sent a great service near the 6-yard line. Woods got her head on it and sent it into the back of the net for the go-ahead goal. It was the 10th goal the Ragdolls (12-0-1) scored off a corner this season.

"It started at Little Flower - remember Little Flower," Blank said, motioning to Woods.

Two years ago, as sophomores, Blank chipped a ball onto Woods' head for a goal against Little Flower. Later in that game, they connected again, and ever since then, the duo has become quite the offensive threat.

"I think if the ball gets to my head I have a pretty good chance of getting it into the net somehow," Woods said.

Blank, who scored the first goal, and Woods have combined to score 32 of Ryan's 41 goals this season. Blank has registered a goal in all but one game this season, and has already reached 20 goals.

Woods' winner against the Quakers was her 12th tally in 13 games.

"As soon as I get the ball, it's a natural instinct to just look for Jules," Woods said. "Usually, nine out of 10 times she's open. I just try to play her the best ball I can."

Seems to be a strategy that's working out just fine.

Penn Charter 1 0 - 1

Archbishop Ryan 2 0 - 2

Goals: PC-Dom DeMarco; AR-Jules Blank, Taylor Woods.

Saves: PC-Mackenzie Listman 6; AR-Devon McDonald 5.


Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/high_school/20151008_Blank__Woods_lead_Ryan_past_Penn_Charter.html#kIbp4Vj7MFq7sPrX.99

NorthEast Times Article

Ready for a repeat


At least off the soc­cer field.

Mc­Don­ald is the sopho­more goalie on the Arch­bish­op Ry­an High School soc­cer team, and she comes in­to her first year as the varsity goal­tender with high ex­pect­a­tions. She knows what she’s good at. And she also knows what she’s not good at.

“We’re get­ting ready to do our tal­ent show, and our group is rap­ping,” Mc­Don­ald said with a laugh dur­ing a re­cent prac­tice. “I’m not a good rap­per, but we have a lot of fun.

“What rap­per am I like? I’d have to say Nicki Minaj!”

You could dis­agree with Mc­Don­ald’s rap­ping role mod­el, but it’s hard to ar­gue with her help­er on the field.

Last year, Jazmin Gonza-lez was one of the top play­ers in the area and a key reas­on the Rag­dolls won their third straight Cath­ol­ic League cham­pi­on­ship. She didn’t al­low a goal dur­ing the Cath­ol­ic League sea­son and al­lowed 12 goals in 23 games. For her ca­reer, she pos­ted 55 shutouts.

Im­press­ive num­bers. 

But she also helped the team this year, too, by help­ing provide Mc­Don­ald with a blue­print for suc­cess. Couple that with Mc­Don­ald’s tal­ent and work eth­ic, she didn’t leave a massive hole in the Rag­dolls’ net as she left for Char­le­ston South-ern Uni-versity in South Car-o-lina.

“Jaz taught me a lot,” Mc­Don­ald said. “She was very help­ful, she would tell me what to do, she would give me tips dur­ing prac­tice. She was really good, so it helped hav­ing someone like that just give me tips and all. She was very help­ful.”

So help­ful, in fact, that Mc­Don­ald is fully con­fid­ent head­ing in­to her sopho­more cam­paign.

It also helps that she has the full con­fid­ence of her team­mates.

While the Rag­dolls have a young, but pol­ished, goalie, the rest of the team is full of up­per­class­men. And those seni­ors and ju­ni­ors have done everything they can to help Mc­Don­ald get ac­climated to the role of start­ing net­mind­er.

So far, so good.

“They’re really help­ful and have helped give me con­fid­ence,” Mc­Don­ald said. “Dur­ing prac­tice, if I don’t call something out, which I’m sup­posed to do, they’ll tell me and it helps be­cause next time I know what to look for.”

While Mc­Don­ald is now a stel­lar goalie for both Ry­an and her Hul­meville club team, she star­ted out as a field play­er, and her cous­in Kylie Quinn was the goalie. They changed po­s­i­tions, and it was for the bet­ter.

“My cous­in didn’t play well at all, but we were really little,” Mc­Don­ald said. “My uncle was the coach, so he tried me (at goalie) and I stopped the first shot with no gloves. Ever since then, I’ve been in net.

“And Kylie now plays for (Spring­side Chest­nut Hill Academy) and she’s not a goalie, so she’s do­ing great, too.”

Mc­Don­ald knows the Rag­dolls come in­to the sea­son with a tar­get on their backs. When you win three straight league crowns, rivals start gun­ning for you. Mc­Don­ald might be a sopho­more, but she’s ma­ture, and isn’t wor­ried about Novem­ber. She’s wor­ried about the next game.

“She is com­ing in with wide eyes and she’s get­ting bet­ter every day,” said Ry­an coach Ry­an Haney. “She comes in with a soc­cer back­ground, she worked out with Jaz and is very fa­mil­i­ar with what we do.

“It’s a new era. There will be a lot of eyes on her, but she is con­fid­ent and she is learn­ing a lot. She is tak­ing it all in stride and I be­lieve she will con­tin­ue to get bet­ter and her bet­ter days will come in Oc­to­ber and as the sea­son goes on.”

Mc­Don­ald cer­tainly wants to see the Rag­dolls con­tin­ue the suc­cess they’ve en­joyed the past few years, so that means she needs to put in a lot of work. Luck­ily, she loves soc­cer and loves play­ing with her team­mates, so there’s no reas­on she can’t have some fun while fo­cus­ing on the im­port­ant things.

“It’s been a lot of fun,” Mc­Don­ald said. “It really helps to have so many girls who were here be­fore and who can help me when I need it. And they’re listen­ing to me. Some­times, I have to tell people what to do and where to go, and they trust me, so that means a lot.”

And she be­lieves that trust could mean an­oth­er crown for the Rag­dolls.

“We want to win the Cath­ol­ic League and hope­fully win states,” Mc­Don­ald said. “We have a lot of good play­ers back, we just have to keep work­ing hard and keep get­ting bet­ter, and play as a team. I’m really ex­cited for it.”

Archbishop Ryan High School

11201 Academy Road
Philadelphia, PA 19154