By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 6/7/11
Downingtown East scored three straight goals late in the game to erase a 7-6 deficit and claim a 9-8 triumph over Great Valley today in the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) semifinals, earning the Cougars a date with fellow District 1 rival Garnet Valley in the title game.
Downingtown East (25-1) will meet the Jaguars – a 16-6 winner over Penn Manor – in the PIAA championship game Saturday at HersheyPark Stadium at 1 p.m. The Cougars defeated Garnet Valley, 22-12, in the District 1 title game.
“It wasn’t that pretty as far as execution, but we certainly hustled the whole game and showed our heart and it definitely paid off in the end,” said Downingtown East senior Kelly Devlin, who had a goal and an assist. “We had to dig deep. we had the opportunities and we weren’t executing, but I think it was our heart that got us through.”
Great Valley, which placed second to Downingtown East in the Ches-Mont League race, took a 7-6 lead in this see-saw game when Katie Lasater scored with 13:23 to play. But the Cougars tied it 1:16 later when Linnea Faccenda (one goal, one assist) fed Haley Nelson.
Faccenda then put Downingtown East ahead for good with 8:48 to play and two minutes later Devlin dished off to McKenzie Rafferty (two goals) for a 9-7 lead.
Ali Karwoski (four goals) closed the gap to 9-8 with 4:41 to play, but Allie Murray (10 saves) made a key save on Emily Scullin (two goals, one assist) with 1:58 left on a free position shot and the Cougars salted the rest of the clock.
“They (the Patriots) played very well and and got into our heads and messed up our transition game,” said Downingtown East coach Caitlin Barbakoff. “I kept saying, ‘We have to play our game.’
“It was a pretty gritty game and it was frustrating, and we stayed mentally tough.
You can have al the talent in the world but if you don’t have that heart… so I’m pretty proud that things were against us and we hung in there.”
Downingtown East 9, Great Valley 8
Downinggown East 4-5- 9
Great valley 4-4- 8
Emily Solenberger 2g
McKenzie Rafferty 2g
Linnea Faccenda 1g, 1a
Kelly Devlin 1g, 1a
Haley Nelson 1g
Nicole Barretta 1g
Meghan Hubbard 1g
Allie Murray 10 saves
Ali Karwoski 4g
Emily Scullin 2g, 1a
Rachel Kalick 1g
Katie Lasater 1g
Jenna Morris 6 saves