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N.J. power Moorestown to play at Strath Haven in rare South Jersey-Philly girls’ lacrosse showdown

Monday, 7th February 2011

Categories Girl's/Women's, High School  

By Chris Goldberg, Posted 2/7/11

For the first time in seven years, Moorestown – which won 10 straight New Jersey state girls’ lacrosse championships from 2000-09 – will play a Philly team.

The Quakers will come to Philly to meet defending Central League tri-champion Strath Haven in Wallingford on Saturday, April 2 at 11 a.m.

Strath Haven went 18-4 last year while sharing the league title with District 1 and state champion Radnor and District 1 and district and state runner-up Springfield-Delco. The Panthers, who advanced to the state tournament last year, return four Division I senior recruits and a number of key underclassmen.

Moorestown went 22-1 last year, falling to Shawnee in a 7-6 overtime shocker in the NJSIAA South Jersey Group 3 championship game . The defeat snapped Moorestown’s remarkable decade-long streak of 228 victories vs. New Jersey competition.

Moorestown’s streak dated to the state final in 1999, when it lost to Summit, 5-4. Since then, Moorestown had suffered only nine losses, all to top out-of-state teams, and was named national champion by in 2001 and ’03. Moorestown has won 17 state championships, 11 under head coach Deanna Knobloch, who has a record of 377-23-4 in 19 seasons.

Moorestown last played a Philly team in 2004 when it toppled Inter-Ac League power Episcopal Academy, 17-6. In 2002, the Quakers handled another Inter-Ac heavyweight, Germantown Academy, 21-3.

Strath Haven first-year coach Rachel Busza said her team is looking forward to the challenge.

“I think this could be the game of the year,” Busza said. “They were No. 1 (in New Jersey) for years before they lost last year in the playoffs.

“If you look at the spectrum of Philadelphia lacrosse, if we (win), that would be huge for Philadelphia women’s lacrosse. But even if we were to lose by a goal or two, it would still be a triumph because we could say, ‘Hey, we can play with you.’ It’s a win-win matchup.”

Moorestown is led by senior goalie Bridget Bianco (signed with Northwestern), senior midfielder Nicole Shapiro (Villanova), senior midfielder/defender Erin McAfee (Penn State), senior defender Sheri Fauvell (Marist), junior midfielder Stephanie Toy (committed to Notre Dame) and junior midfielder Haleigh Dalmass.

“We’ve mostly gone to play teams from New York and Maryland, but we’ve always wanted to play Pennsylvania teams,” said Knobloch’s assistant and husband, K.C. Knobloch.



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