Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 4/20/10
Courtesy of SuburbanOneSports.com
The final seconds seemed like an eternity.
At least they did to Council Rock North, and at one point, Pat Toner looked at co-coach Carolyn Kacergis and said, ‘We can’t lose a four-goal lead in 42 seconds, can we?’
At least not the way the Indians were playing defense.
Granted, Abington managed a late-game flurry to trim a five-goal Indian lead to three, but for the better part of 50 minutes, Monday night’s National Conference showdown belonged to the relentless Indians, who downed the Ghosts 10-7 to stake an early claim on the conference’s top spot.
“I’m extremely proud of the girls,” Kacergis said. “They have been working so hard all season long. They have been playing together and supporting each other on and off the field.
“I’m happy with the way they’re coming together.”
The jubilant celebration when the final horn sounded suggested that this win over the defending National Conference champions was a special one.
“This is something we have been working up to the whole season,” said sophomore Hannah Plappert, who led the Indians (5-0 overall, 1-0league) with four goals. “It feels really good to finally get here and overcome what we knew was a goal. It shows us how our hard work is paying off now.”
On the other side of the field, the Ghosts (3-3, 1-1) will try to recapture the form they displayed when they scored three of the game’s last four goals after Rock North opened up a 9-4 lead.
“I’m really proud of the way the girls played because they fought,” Abington coach Julie Martinez said. “I think our defense did a great job. We held a very athletic team to 10 goals.
“We have a definitely more potent attack, but tonight – and you see it in all sports – we were unlucky. We slipped when we had possession of the ball, we hit a couple of posts at the end. It doesn’t always go your way, but I’m hoping the next time we play them we come out with the same fight and a little bit more sense of determination, but we’re a really young and inexperienced team.”
The tone for this one was set early when goalie Sarah Kiely came up with several big stops, and for Kiely, a newcomer to lacrosse who is bound for American on a basketball scholarship, the opportunity to play Abington is always special.
“Personally, the only vengeance I have with Abington is for basketball,” said the senior goalie, who turned away seven shots. “It’s just exciting because everyone is telling me stories of how every year the game is close, and then something happens, and Abington comes out on top.
“It’s a great feeling just beating Abington in any sport.”
Kara Magley (Strange assist) put the Indians on the scoreboard at the 20:16 mark. A goal by Lindsay Rheiner made it a 2-0 game at the 15:14 mark, but the Ghosts – or more specifically Courtney Cox – needed all of 27 seconds before answering with a goal off the draw.
Rheiner answered for the Indians, connecting 45 seconds later to give the Indians a two-goal cushion (3-1). Rock North’s Becky Ely came up with a ground ball behind the Indians’ goal and sprinted up the field.
Moments later, Plappert turned it into a free position goal that put the Indians on top 4-1 midway through the opening half.
“I felt like it was more of a possession game,” Plappert said. “It was draw control and ground balls that really set the precedent for the game.
“We’re both great teams, and it’s really head-to-head, so whoever has the ball is dominant.”
Abington’s Molly Seefried split the Indians’ defense for a goal to make it a 4-2 game at the 9:06 mark, but exactly 60 seconds later, the Plappert sisters connected for a goal when Elly found Hannah for the score and a 5-2 Rock North lead that held up until halftime.
“They kept getting the draw control and bringing it down and settling behind (the net),” Abington senior captain Liz Wilson said. “We kept shooting at the goalie’s feet, the goalie’s body and just passing it around. No one seemed like they really wanted to go to goal.”
Wilson came up with a ground ball near midfield after the draw to open the second half and moments later connected on a free position goal to make it a 5-3 game.
This time it was Elly Plappert who had an answer for the Indians when she scored on a no-doubt-about-it shot on a free position. When Hannah Plappert connected on a free position goal, the Indians led 7-3.
“They possessed the ball for probably 40 out of 50 minutes, and I always say – the game of lacrosse comes down to three things, and that’s draws, ground balls and possession,” Martinez said. “They beat us in draws, they possessed the ball a lot more than we did, and ground balls were 50-50.”
Seefried responded with a goal for the Ghosts, but Hannah Plappert came around goal for the score, and when Rheiner (Hannah Plappert assist) scored at the 10:34 mark, the Indians led 9-4.
Carly Fitzgerald (Seefried assist) scored back-to-back goals to trim the Indians’ lead to three.
Hannah Plappert scored a come-around goal before Cox – with 18 seconds remaining – answered with a goal that closed out the scoring.
“I think after the timeout, we came out like we wanted it and we knew we could beat them,” Wilson said of a Ghost timeout late in the half. “We had a fight in us.
“I’m looking forward to the next game. I know we can beat them.”
The unsung heroes in Monday’s win were Rock North’s defenders, whose speed and tenacity made life difficult for the Ghosts all night long.
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