By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 6/30/11
Team Philly coach Caitlin Barbakoff believes her team can contend for the championship in this year’s Under Armour Underclassmen Games at Towson University’s Johnny Unitas Stadium.
Barbakoff, the coach at PIAA runner-up Downingtown East, guided a young team to a strong fifth-place finish in last year’s games. Her assistants again will be Pam Wernersbach (Boyertown) and Jen Duckenfield (former coach at Strath Haven).
Team Philly opens Friday against the Midwest team at noon. Joining Philadelphia and the Midwest in the Yellow Division for pool play are Long Island, Washington D.C., and the West all-star teams. This year’s field has expanded from eight teams to 10 and the tourney runs from Friday until Sunday.
Last year’s Philly team was loaded with rising juniors and also rising sophomores (three), but rebounded from two early losses to win its final two games. This year Barbakoff said the squad has more balance and a perfect blend of experienced and youthful exuberance.
“We have a nice mix of some returning players and new players,” said Barbakoff. “We have a little more experience than last year and some kids from out of Philadelphia. I take that as a sign of growth.”
Team Philly indeed has a mix of players from Philadelphia and the surrounding regions. Three players – rising senior goalie Shannon Nee (committed to UConn), rising senior defender Molly Hendrick and rising senior midfielder Devon Schneider (Florida) – are from state-ranked Manheim Township (District 3). Rising junior defender Meghan Cobb is from Tower Hill, Del., and rising junior defender Hannah Wilcox is from Peters Township (District 7), near Pittsburgh.
Meanwhile, four of the team members played on Garnet Valley’s state championship team: rising senior midfielder Ally Heavens (Penn State), rising senior defender Melissa Koscinski, and rising senior attack players AnnaElise Morello and Kara Stroup.
The attack also features rising seniors Iris Williamson (committed to Penn/Germantown Friends) and McKenzie Rafferty (Delaware/Downingtown East), and Kate Skahan (Bishop Shanahan) and rising juniors Taryn Deck (Radnor), Olivia Gannon (Mount St. Joseph).
The midfield also features rising seniors Alyssa Andress (North Carolina/Archbishop Wood), Kelly Cross (Syracuse/Upper Dublin), Katrina Geiger (Loyola/Haverford High), Brooke Kiley (Penn/Germantown Academy), Bonnie McShane (Merion Mercy) and Kristina Gallivan (Kennett) and rising junior Taylor Quinn (Radnor).
The defense also features rising senior Laxi Mazur (Columbia/Strath Haven) and rising junior Annabeth Donovan (Unionville). The other goalie is rising sophomore McKenna Coyle (Kennett).
“There is not a dropoff of talent; they can all hold their own,” said Bartbakoff. “Maybe not all of them have the big names, but they are hustlers. We have a good mix of finesse players and what I call ‘ballers’ that can go get it and win draw controls.
“We also have a number of players that played in the post-season and are very poised and ready for this level of play. We have a team that plays the way I like to play – a speed and transition game.”
The schedule and full roster:
Upstate New York
New Jersey v New England Field 3
Philadelphia v Midwest Field 4
Upstate NY v South Field 3
Long Island v West Field 4
Philadelphia v Wash. DC Field 3
New Jersey v Baltimore Field 4
Midwest v West Field 3
New England v South Field 4
Upstate NY v New Jersey Field 3
Long Island v Philadelphia Field 4
Baltimore v New England Field 3
Wash. DC v Midwest Field 4
West v Philadelphia Field 3
South v New Jersey Field 4
Long Island v Wash. DC Field 3
Baltimore v Upstate NY Field 4
Baltimore v South Field 3
Wash. DC v West Field 4
Long Island v Midwest Field 3
Upstate NY v New England Field 4
Pink 1 v Yellow 2 Field 3
Yellow 1 v Pink 2 Field 4
Finals Field 3
2011 Philly Girls’ Under Armour Underclassmen Games Roster
Alyssa Andress 2012 Archbishop Wood Doylestown, PA Midfield
Meghan Cobb 2013 Tower Hill Wilmington, DE Defense
McKenna Coyle 2014 Kennett Avondale, PA Goalie
Kelly Cross 2012 Upper Dublin Oreland, PA Midfield
Taryn Deck 2013 Radnor Wayne, PA Attack
Annabeth Donovan 2013 Unionville Kennett Square, PA Defense
Kristina Gallivan 2012 Kennett Avondale, PA Midfield
Olivia Gannon 2013 Mt. St. Joseph Academy Blue Bell, PA Attack
Katrina Geiger 2012 Haverford Drexel Hill, PA Midfield
Ally Heavens 2012 Garnet Valley Garnet Valley, PA Midfield
Molly Hendrick 2012 Manheim Township Lancaster, PA Defense
Brooke Kiley 2012 Germantown Academy Lower Gwyn, PA Midfield
Melissa Koscinski 2012 Garnet Valley Glen Mills, PA Defense
Lexi Mazur 2012 Strath Haven Media, PA Defense
Bonnie McShane 2012 Merion Mercy Academy Media, PA Midfield
AnnaElise Morello 2012 Garnet Valley Glen Mills, PA Attack
Shannon Nee 2012 Manheim Township Lancaster, PA Goalie
Taylor Quinn 2013 Radnor Wayne, PA Midfield
McKenzie Rafferty 2012 Downingtown East Chester Springs, PA Attack
Devon Schneider 2012 Manheim Township Lititz, PA Midfield
Kate Skahan 2012 Bishop Shanahan Westchester, PA Attack
Kara Stroup 2012 Garnet Valley Glen Mills, PA Attack
Hannah Wilcox 2013 Peter’s Township McMurray, PA Defense
Iris Williamson 2012 Germantown Friends School Philadelphia, PA Attack