Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/12/11
Merion Mercy scored eight unanswered goals to open the second half and junior goalie Caili Guilday made nine of her 13 saves in the half as the Bears defeated Villa Maria Academy, 13-10, tonight at St. Joseph’s University to claim their third straight Athletic Association of Catholic Academies lacrosse championship.
Merion Mercy (13-4) – which lost both regular-season games to the Hurricanes – did not yield a goal in the second half until 6:38 remained in the game. By then, the Bears turned an 8-4 halftime deficit into a 12-8 lead.
“They had beaten us twice in the season, but it is really hard to beat someone three times in a row,” Guilday said. “We knew we were the underdog, but we knew we were the better team and I think our confidence really showed in the second half.
“We pulled it together. We knew it was our game and we wanted it more than they did.”
Bonnie McShane led Merion Mercy with five goals and three assists while Emily Corcoran scored three goals and Julianne D’Orazio added two goals and three assists. Olivia Nostrant had a goal and an assist.
“Everyone doubted us this year,” said Guilday. “Last year we had Margaret Corzel (a two-time All-American who is now at North Carolina) and she was our leader. People didn’t think we were going to win it this year. But we proved we could do a lot of great things.”
Merion Mercy has defeated Villa Maria in each of the past AACA title games, 17-13 last year and 15-14 in 2009. In 2008 Villa Maria defeated Merion in the finals, 18-9.
Merion Mercy coach Danielle McCaffrey said her team defense suddenly took over in the second half.
“The rivalry between Merion and Villa is so great,” she said. “We let them control the game in the first half. I let them have it a little bit at halftime.
“We were throwing the ball away. But in the second half our whole defensive unit, from attack to low defense did a great job of re-defending and doubling.
“That’s where the change came. They just jelled.”
Villa Maria coach Jess Chadwin said her team struggled with the mental aspect in the second half.
“We came out strong in the first half,” said Chadwin. “Unfortunately, we lost the game because we came out playing not to lose instead of playing to win in the second half.
“We did some great things individually but never came together as a team tonight.”
Merion Mercy 13, Villa Maria Academy 10
Merion Mercy 4-9 -13
Villa Maria Ac 8-2- 10
Emily Corcoran 3g
Julianne D’Orazio 2g, 3a
Olivia Nostrant 1g, 1`a
Bonnie McShane 5g, 3a
Monica O’Hara 2g
Caili Guilday 13 saves
Carolyn Griesser 4g, 3a
Jenna Mertz 3g, 1a
Catherine Bendinelli 2g
Erin Kelly 1g
Kerry Schubert 7 saves
Maddie McTigue 4 DC