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Girls’ notebook: Great Valley off to good start in Ches-Mont League

Tuesday, 8th April 2008

Categories Girl's/Women's, High School  

By Chris Goldberg, Posted 4/6/08

The move from the Southern Chester County League to the Ches-Mont League did not cause much of a change for Great Valley’s girls’ lacrosse team.

Already, the Patriots – who went undefeated in winning the SCCL last year – were playing many of the Ches-Mont’s big-school teams such as Downingtown East and West and Henderson. Now, in their first season in the Ches-Mont’s American Conference, Great Valley will have to beat out Bayard Rustin if it wants to repeat as a league champion.

“It will be a very challenging season in a new league that includes Rustin and Unionville,” said Great Valley coach Joe Tornetta. “Both have very strong squads and are (good enough) to win the Ches-Mont American Division.”

Great Valley is off to a 3-0 start after three convincing non-league wins and is ranked fourth, right behind Rustin, in the latest Top 10 Poll. The Pats are led by senior midfielders Kim Wenger and Emily Ellisen and senior attacker Keelin Hood while Haley Sheehan, Carolina Dodds and Colleen O’Malley have helped them average 19 goals per game.

Defensively, junior Kristina Hahn is a key and senior goalie Steph Berger is a mainstay.

“Our team returns a lot of experience from last season,” said Tornetta, whose team went 18-3 last year and fell to Strath Haven in the District 1 Class AA semifinals. “Steph Berger has been the team’s starting goalie for the past three seasons and should help to anchor down an experienced defense.

Great Valley had its non-league showdown against Central League power and No. 2 Radnor postponed last week due to rain. This week the Pats host Georgia power Milton Tuesday and then open Ches-Mont American play Thursday at Unionville before hosting No. 8 Downingtown West Friday.

Downingtown East looking strong

First-year Downingtown East coach Caitlin Barbakoff is impressed with her team’s 5-0 start. The Cougars – ranked 10th by – are 2-0 in the Ches-Mont’s National Conference and Tuesday they defeated No. 9 Boyertown, 14-13.

“I am impressed with the speed, sticks skills and just pure athleticism of this team,” Barbakoff said. “Our challenge is to build the team rapport and chemistry quickly.

“With many younger players and a new coach, there is always the challenge of establishing a style and rhythm, but I think we are well on our way to a strong season this year.”

Conestoga tops Georgia power

Brooke Campbell scored three goals, Murphee Greeley had two goals and Taylor Mallory added a goal and four assists as host Conestoga (3-1) downed the top-ranked team in Georgia according to Laxpower, Milton, 8-3.

Kim Shoup recorded five saves for the Pioneers. Milton (8-3-1) has lost only to out-of-state teams.



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