By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 3/29/08
If the Abington girls’ lacrosse team was looking for a little respect, it clearly found it Saturday morning.
Senior Lisa O’Donnell pumped in eight goals and four other players had at least two scores as the Ghost thumped visiting Ridley, 17-5.
The victory gave Abington a 3-0 start and avenged losses to the Green Raiders in each of the last two seasons in District 1 Class AAA play. Last year, Abington was seeded higher than Ridley in districts, but fell to the eventual runner-up Raiders, 9-7, in the second round.
Ridley (2-1) entered play ranked third in the Phillylacrosse.com Top 10 Poll. Abington was unranked.
“They beat us two times in the playoffs and we came out here wanting to make a statement that we are something to reckon with,” said O’Donnell. “There’s no one player anymore. Our whole team works together.”
Abington’s attack the past few seasons was based around MaryKate Lomady, a two-time All-American now at James Madison. This team has shown more balance; on Saturday, Rachel Dirksen had three goals while Marist-bound Kelly Condon, Kailee Ashby and Devon Affleck added two apiece.
Condon, strong on the draws, Dirksen and Jen Kelly paced the defense while goalie Alisha Aquilino made 12 saves.
The game was never in doubt as Abington raced to an 11-1 halftime lead. The Raiders (2-1) finally gained the momentum and scored three straight goals to make it 12-4 at point of the second half, but O’Donnell caused a turnover and then scored with nine minutes to play and the Ghosts dominated the rest of the game.
“They’re a well-coached team and we took it to them right from the beginning,” said Abington coach Julie Martinez, whose team went 19-3 last year and tied for the Suburban One National crown with North Penn and Council Rock North. “The difference in this Abington team is that we‘re a full team. We had five different multiple goal scorers.
Maryann Miller led Ridley with three goals, but the Raiders were further deflated late in the game when senior standout Steph Markunas appeared to reinjure her surgically repaired knee (torn ACL and meniscus) and was taken off in a cart.
O’Donnell said her team is aiming high this year. Was it a surprise to beat Ridley this handily?
“You could say that, but I know how much we’ve improved,” she said. “I knew we could beat them. We want to go undefeated (in the regular season) and win our league – last year we tied with two teams – and we want to make it beyond the second round of the playoffs.”