Senior Annie Brophy said the winning tradition at Archbishop Carroll simply gets passed down from each senior class to the rest of the team.
“Every year we always have a strong senior class and since our freshman year we’ve watched the seniors every year lead the team to a championship,” Brophy said.
“When we get out there, it’s just like the whole intensity rises, and we’re all ready to play. It’s a really good feeling; we’re expected to play well, and we know we can.”
Thursday night at St. Joseph’s University Brophy and the Patriots (15-4) rolled to their eighth straight Catholic League championship, as they downed Archbishop Wood, 17-4.
The victory was the 107th straight in league play for Carroll, which has been a dominant program in the Philadelphia area since the highly-respected Lorraine Beers took over in 2000. the Pats are ranked seventh by Phillylacrosse.com.
“It’s an amazing feeling,” said Brophy, a James Madison-bound midfielder who scored two goals. “We had a huge motivation with the ‘Eight in 08.’ That motivated us to keep winning and working hard every day.
“We knew every team was going to come out to beat us. But we worked hard and improved a lot. We had a lot of solid players and we pulled together to win.”
Gabby Capuzzi scored five goals and Olivia Salata added four as Carroll raced to a 7-0 lead and led 8-2 at halftime. Aimee Gennaro added two goals and Kaitlin Harris, Maggie Mauer, Eileen Boneck and Caitlin McNichol had one each.
Wood (16-3), which has fallen to the Pats each of the past three years in the league finals, had given Carroll a battle when the teams met in the regular season. But Patriot defenders Marlee Hagan, Melissa DiTomo and twins Carolyn and Alex Burns and goalie Megan Corliss stymied the Vikings attack and Carroll’s team speed and stick skills took over.
“It’s going to be sad to see these kids leave,” said Beers. “Talent-wise, this is the strongest group we’ve had. When it all clicks and they do the right thing, they can really play.
“I think we played well and I think our kids, obviously, having been there before at St. Joseph’s, love playing there. They like the turf and it’s fun for them.”
For Brophy, the win was the final chapter for the Brophy family at Carroll. Her sister Tricia was a member of Beers’ first team in 2000 that fell to St. Hubert in the championship game. Sister Jess, a standout who graduated three years ago, will be a senior at James Madison and get to play with Annie next year.
Another Brophy, Mary Beth, was a captain last year and was a freshman at Georgetown this year. Beers wishes there were more Brophy sisters.
“It’s a pushing factor,” Annie Brophy said of the program’s tradition. “No one wants to be the group that messes it up. It’s a good motivator. And coach Beers has definitely built this program.
“You watch the seniors do it every year and you learn from the older players. That part of it pushes you harder. You need to win every game. We played Wood earlier in the season and they have a couple of really good seniors and they did pretty well against us.
“We knew they could give us a good game, but our defense was amazing.”
How does Beers keep turning out powerhouses?
“It’s magic,” she joked. “Actually, anybody could do this, it’s not rocket science.
“We get enough really good athletes. As long as a coach is interested in teaching the game, I think you can be successful. That’s what we’re doing, a lot of coaching.”
Taylor Peltzer led Wood with two goals and