By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 3/27/09
After losing a heralded class of seniors that led Radnor’s girls’ lacrosse team to a 23-0 season last year, there were indeed questions when the Red Raiders convened on their 2009 season.
So far, the Red Raiders have had the answers.
Today the Raiders handled their second challenge of the young season by dealing host Springfield-Delco a 15-5 loss in a Central League opener.
Beth Ellis scored five goals, Allie Martin had four and Kelyn Freedman had three for Radnor (2-0). Katie Geary made nine saves in goal as the Raiders broke open a 4-3 game with a 4-1 run to end the first half and dominated the second half.
Radnor, the District 1 Class AAA champion last year, is ranked No. 1 in the PA Media Lacrosse Rankings and in the Phillylacrosse.com Rankings. But heading into this week, the team’s identity was unknown.
Wednesday the Raiders downed a strong Unionville squad, 13-7. And today’s win over the three-time Class AA champion Cougars (1-2) stamped the Raiders as the team to beat in the first year of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) tournament.
“We feel pretty great. It’s really tough to come off of such an amazing season like we had last year,” said Ellis. “We feel like everyone is out to get us. It feels awesome to play against great teams and play well and prove to ourselves that we are as good as last year.”
Added Geary: “They’re such a strong team and today we had mix-ups on defense, but we held as a team. I think we’re a strong team; we know people are out to kill us, but we’re coming out strong and working together as a team.”
Also for Radnor, Courtney Campbell had two goals and Amalia Antonoplos scored once.
“We found some things we’ve been looking for today,” said Radnor coach Phyllis Kilgour. “Any time you win against Springfield, especially here, you’re happy. This picked up the confidence a little bit.”
The Cougars also are dealing with mass graduation. They return only four starters and will rely heavily on Madison Poplawski (two goals), who is headed to Penn. Junior Shannon Burns added two goals and Lindsay Kennedy scored once.
“We graduated 11 pretty good kids and we’re rebuilding our defense,” said Springfield-Delco coach Keith Broome. “We have a new goalie (Janal Folkomer) that never played varsity and we’re starting two freshmen. It’s a work in progress.
“It will make time. We’re still making dub mistakes. I thought the difference was that they beat up to the ball. Radnor was a step quicker. They wanted the ball more than we did. They ran through the groundballs, they ran through the draws ands were tentative.”