By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/31/09
Unionville used a brilliant 10-0 run to turn a 3-0 deficit into a 10-3 lead and held off a late rally by Springfield-Delco Saturday night to claim a 10-8 victory in the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) quarterfinals at West Chester East.
The win advanced the Indians (21-3) into the PIAA semifinals Tuesday against fellow District 1 foe Strath Haven at a site and time to be determined today. Strath Haven advanced by crushing Hempfield, 23-7.
Unionville, which fell to Springfield-Delco, 17-13, on May 1, found itself trailing 3-0 and lacking any offense late in the first half. In fact, if not for the efforts of junior goalie Melissa Lloyd (12 saves), the deficit could have been much worse.
But several minutes after a timeout, Lindsey Smith (two goals) converted for the Indians with 1:39 left in the half and Julie Truluck (one goal, two assists) took a feed from Julie Moran to score 35 seconds later.
Unionville then came out for the second half in complete control and reeled off eight more unanswered goals in a stunning 15-minute span to seize the 10-3 lead over the District 1 champion Cougars (22-3).
Erica Midiri scored three of the goals while Moran and Lisa Riondet each had two and Smith one. Most of the goals came on swift-passing plays as the Indians controlled nearly every draw.
“I think it was after the first goal we started to get our confidence back and that’s when everything started to click,” said Midiri. “All our passes were hitting and everything started working for us
“I don’t think we ever played that well. That was amazing. Everyone on the team was playing amazing – especially our goalie. We went into this game thinking we had nothing to lose and we just played our hearts out.”
The Cougars, though, did not fold. Shannon Burns (two goals) stopped the barrage with 6:01 to play to make it 10-4. Suddenly, the momentum shifted and Sam Tulskie (three goals) scored twice to make it 10-6, Madison Poplawski made it 10-7 with 3:37 left and Val Paolucci (two goals) drew her team within 10-8.
Tulskie won a draw control and went in on Lloyd with an open shot with 1:28 to play, but misfired and Unionville regained possession and salted the clock.
“Once we got control of the ball, we kept it,” Midiri said. “It was just difficult to get the ball back.”
Moran said the Indians had wanted to play Springfield-Delco ever since the first defeat.
“I’m speechless I am so excited,” she said. “We worked so hard for that. I feel like our heart won that game. We’ve gone on a spurt for a couple goals before, but that (10-0 run) was amazing and so cool to be a part of it.
Added Unionville coach Wendy Landry: “We played terrible on May 1 when we last saw them and I’ve been telling the girls it was our worst game of the entire season. They’ve never seen the true us play and I knew we could do it.
“In the first half I think we were playing a little intimidated, and once we go past that we got our momentum going and I could tell the girls believed in themselves that they could get it.”
Landry said the key was getting the draw controls.
“We’ve been practicing the draw because that’s one thing Springfield does well, so we were really, really trying to focus on that,” she said. “I probably pulled the stop (stall) a little too soon, but that’s OK, it worked out in the end.”
Springfield-Delco coach Keith Broome credited Unionville for its play.
“Their goalie kept hem in it and we were 0 for 5 or 0 for 6 on free positions early,” he said. “I don’t think our shooting was great, but their goalie played well.
“They moved the ball well, like all Unionville teams do and when you’re trying to get the ball away from a passing team, it’s hard.
“We had too much of a lull in the middle (of the game). I thought they took the draws for a good part (of the game) which gave them momentum. We didn’t play as smart as we’re capable of playing and we lost to the better team today.”
Broome admitted his team may not have been as hungry after winning the District 1 title with a scintillating 14-9 win over previously-undefeated and Central League rival Radnor. In the first round of PIAA play, the Cougars nearly lost to an upset-minded Boyertown, before prevailing, 14-13, in overtime.
“I told the girls that after they won the district title there was this letdown. You’re not as hungry. When you lose, you’re always hungry to get it back. Plus, we had to play District 1 teams in the states; there was no letup.”
Unionville 10, Springfield-Delco 8
Unionville 2-8 – 10
Springfield-D 3-5 – 8
Unionville: Erica Midiri 3g; Julie Moran 2g; Lisa Riondet 2g; Lindsey Smith 2g; Julie Truluck 1g. Melissa Lloyd 12 saves.
Springfield-D: Sam Tulskie 3g, Shannon Burms 2g, Val Paolucci 2g, Madison Poplawski 1g. Janal Folkomer 6 saves.