By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 1/11/09
The field for the 9th Annual Katie Samson Lacrosse Festival will be the largest yet when action takes place April 25 at Radnor High.
There will be 26 games – 13 each for the boys and girls – played on six fields for the event that has raised over $800,000 for spinal cord injury research. The festival honors the spirit of Katie Samson, a former standout at Radnor and Middlebury College who was paralyzed from the waist down due to a sledding accident nine years ago.
The field is loaded with most of the top public and private school teams from the Philadelphia area, as well as teams from New Jersey, Delaware and Connecticut.
One of the marquee boys’ contests will feature defending Pennsylvania state champion La Salle and Haverford School at 11:30 a.m. La Salle, 31-2 last year and the five-time Philadelphia Catholic League champion, finished the season ranked No. 1 by Lacrosse Magazine. The Explorers already have eight Division I signees, including returning All-Americans Niko Amato (goalie, Maryland), Tyler Knarr (long stick midfielder, Georgetown), Tucker Durkin (defenseman, Johns Hopkins) and Peter Schwartz (midfielder, Duke). Amato was the Phillylacrosse.com Player of the Year last season.
Haverford School, a perennial Inter-Ac league heavyweight, returns All-American goalie Dan Wigrizer (Duke) and three other Division I signees.
Also on the boys’ slate is Malvern Prep vs. Brunswick School (CT) at 1:30 p.m. Malvern, the defending Inter-Ac champion, was ranked 12th by Lacrosse Magazine and is led by returning All-American Billy Conners (defenseman, Duke) and five other Division I signees. Brunswick defeated Haverford School last year in a late non-league game.
Other key boys’ games include Central League power Springfield-Delco vs. defending Ches-Mont League champion Downingtown East at 11:30 a.m. and another Central League contender, Conestoga, vs. Catholic League runner-up St. Joseph’s Prep at 3:30 p.m.
The girls’ schedule is just as impressive. Defending District 1 Class AAA champion Radnor, which went 23-0 last year and was ranked No. 7 by Lacrosse Magazine, meets Inter-Ac contender Notre Dame at 3:30. Radnor features returning All-American Kelyn Freedman (junior) while Notre Dame is led by All-American Kelly McCallion (Penn).
Strath Haven, expected to compete with Radnor for the Central League crown, will meet defending Inter-Ac champion Episcopal Academy at 12:30. Strath Haven has All-American Emily Garrity, a North Carolina signee who has 292 career goals. Episcopal has All-American Sammi Arbitman (Johns Hopkins) and a strong group of underclassmen and senior returnees.
Springfield-Delco, which won its third straight Class AAA title and was ranked 14th by Lacrosse Magazine, will face Inter-Ac contender Penn Charter. Springfield features All-American Madison Poplawski (Penn).
Eight-time Catholic League champion Archbishop Carroll will meet District 1 Class AAA finalist Bayard Rustin (ranked 17th by Lacrosse Magazine). Carroll has seven Division I signees.
Other top games include District 1 Class AA finalist Great Valley (ranked 25th) and defending Catholic Academies League champion Villa Maria Academy (11 a.m.), and Suburban One National Conference co-champion Abington vs. Inter-Ac contender Baldwin School at 3:30.
Notes – Sponsorships are still available and those interested should contact Clare Girton at 610 293-9984.
Click here for coverage of last year’s Katie Samson Lacrosse Festival.
9:00, Downingtown West vs. Archbishop Wood – Boys
11:00, Great Valley vs. Villa Maria Academy – Girls
12:30, Strath Haven vs. Episcopal Academy – Girls
2:00, Springfield-Delco vs. Penn Charter – Girls
3:30, Radnor vs. Notre Dame – Girls
Library Field – All Girls’ Games
9:00, Henderson vs. Germantown Academy
11:00, Penncrest vs. Shipley School
12:30, Harriton vs. Archbishop Wood
2:00, Haverford vs. Lawrenceville, NJ
3:30, Downingtown East vs. Mount St. Joseph
Rowland Field – All Girls’ Games
9:30, Bayard Rustin vs. Archbishop Carroll
11:30, Bishop Shanahan vs. Agnes Irwin School
1:30, Conestoga vs. Merion Mercy
3:30, Abington vs. Baldwin School
Prevost Field – All Boys’ Games
9:30, Penncrest vs. Emmaus
11:30, Haverford School vs. La Salle
1:30, Radnor vs. Tatnall, DE
3:30, Penn Charter vs. Lawrenceville, NJ
Loop Field – All Boys’ Games
9:30, Harriton vs. Shipley School
11:30, Lower Merion vs. Germantown Academy
1:30, Hatboro-Horsham vs. Bishop Shanahan
3:30, Strath Haven vs. Central Bucks East
Creek Field – All Boys’ Games
9:30, Abington vs. Episcopal Academy
11:30, Springfield-Delco vs. Downingtown East
1:30, Malvern Prep vs. Brunswick School, CT
3:30, Conestoga vs. St. Joseph’s Prep
Tags: Katie Samson