By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 6/7/09
HERSHEY – In a season of 25 victories and a state championship, it was the lone defeat that may have made the biggest impact on the lacrosse season for the Radnor girls.
“It showed us it was OK to lose,” said Radnor senior co-captain Sam Ellis after her Raiders defeated Strath Haven, 20-10, Saturday to claim the first Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) championship at HersheyPark Stadium. “It happened, and it’s in the past and we learned from it.
“We had a really bad game and Springfield definitely played the better game. It was just so nice to come out here throughout the entire PIAA tournament and show we are the best team. We proved it.”
Radnor’s title-game performance was quite an impressive show. The Raiders (25-1) fell behind, 2-0, and then rattled off 11 straight goals. Strath Haven (21-5) did rally briefly at the end of the first half to pull within 12-6, but the Raiders tallied the first three goals of the second half and never looked back.
“This is such a dream come true,” said Ellis, who scored a game-high six goals and was named a US Lacrosse First-Team All-American Saturday to go with her recent selection to the Under Armour Senior All-American game. “You couldn’t ask for a better last game.
“Of course, we were down, 2-0, but that always seems to happen. And sometimes before half, we (allow) the other team to score a few goals. It seems to be the trend for us.
“But this time, we said, ‘No, we’re not letting that happen.’”
Ellis (headed to Princeton) was one of only three seniors on this Radnor team, which graduated a number of standout seniors from last year’s 23-0 squad. The other seniors are defender Beasley Hays (Colgate) and goalie Katie Geary (William & Mary), who missed the second half of the year because of a condition of seizures.
But the Radnor underclassmen – including three others (Kelyn Freedman, Allie Martin and Alyssa Dunlap) named All-American Saturday – emerged this year. One of those younger players, sophomore Annie Woehling, ably replaced Geary in goal.
Ellis said that team camaraderie was the key.
“It’s really special,” she said. “We are a very close-knit group. There are 10 juniors, but you couldn’t differentiate between juniors, seniors and sophomores. I couldn’t have asked for anything more.
“I have an unbelievable team. We’re all family; we’re all best friends. Our coaches are just so supportive and there for everyone. And the fans, our family, the community; everybody was behind us and we played awesome.
“We conquered what we came out here to do.”