By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/27/08
We’ve seen this before from the Ridley girls’ lacrosse team. In fact, we saw it last year.
In 2007, Ridley struggled through a slow start (2-7) and then caught fire later in the season, but held just the 11th seed for the District One Class AA tournament.
Then, the Green Raiders knocked off Radnor (sixth seed), Abington (third seed) and West Chester Rustin (second seed) before bowing to top-seeded West Chester East, 12-10, in the championship game. That snapped a 10-game Ridley winning streak.
This year, the Raiders started 3-4, but finished the regular season by winning nine of their final 12 games, and claimed the 10th seed in districts. In Thursday’s first round, they triumphed, 7-4, at No. 7 Downingtown East.
That sets up Wednesday’s battle between Ridley (13-7) at No. 2 seed Downingtown West (19-2). The winner faces the survivor of the contest between sixth-seeded Abington and third-seeded Bayard Rustin.
Abington (18-1) was cruising along with an undefeated record until being upset by North Penn, 13-12, on May 8, forcing a tie for the Suburban One National Conference crown.
Abington probably would have gotten the second seed if not for the loss, but, after losing a coin flip with North Penn, it got the sixth seed. The Ghost whipped Council Rock North, 21-3, in the first round and appears geared for the challenge of facing a top seed like Bayard Rustin.
Also in Class AAA, top-seeded and undefeated Radnor (20-0) hosts Central League rival Conestoga (13-6) and fourth-seeded Boyertown (17-3) hosts North Penn (15-5). The Bears dominated the Maidens, 18-4, in the season’s first game, but should not take the Maidens lightly (ask Abington).
In today’s second round, one of the most intriguing match ups pits fourth-seeded Villa Maria Academy (19-2) hosting fifth-seeded Unionville (11-7).
The Hurricanes won the Catholic Academies League championship and has lost only to the No. 5 team in the Phillylacrosse.com Poll, Strath Haven, (13-11) and No. 1 Radnor (19-6). Villa Maria went undefeated in the league and routed defending champion Merion Mercy, 18-9, in the league title game.
Last week the Hurricanes coasted past Owen J. Roberts, 19-7, in the first round of districts. Unionville, meanwhile, has shown to be the giant-killer of the regular season, with overtime wins over third-ranked Springfield-Delco (12-11) and fourth-ranked Great Valley (15-14). The latter prevented the Patriots from sharing the Ches-Mont League American Conference crown with Bayard Rustin.
Unionville also dropped one-goal games to Rustin (7-6) and Catholic League champion Archbishop Carroll (10-9) and early in the year to Ridley (7-6). Unionville coach Wendy Landry, though, has admitted her team has been an enigma at times, as evidenced by a 17-5 loss to Downingtown West and an 11-4 loss to Rustin.
Other games today feature top-seeded Great Valley (17-3) hosting eighth-seeded Phoenixville (11-6), second-seeded Springfield-Delco (16-3) hosting seventh-seeded Merion Mercy (14-6) and third-seeded Strath Haven (17-3) hosting sixth-seeded Pottstown (15-6).