Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/3/12
Courtesy of SuburbanOneSports.com
Host Hatboro-Horsham closed in on a Suburban One Continental Conference girls’ lacrosse championship Wednesday night by defeating North Penn, 12-7, in front of a large Pink Night crowd.
“We just wanted to win,” Hatter junior goalie Jackie Giovinazzo said. “We just wanted to win the title, we wanted to go out there and play our best, and we wanted to play our game 100 percent the whole game.
“I don’t think we’ve ever done that before tonight. This was a very big game for us.”
Giovinazzo certainly did her part to make sure the Hatters would take another big step toward a conference crown, collecting nine first-half saves and 10 overall – which included more than a few on free position shots – and allowing the Hatters to jump out to a commanding 10-2 halftime lead.
“Laura (Swezey) works with Jackie every day for 45 minutes, so she’s seeing many more balls this year,” coach Duncan Swezey. “Joe Vitalli has come and helped her out two or three nights a week, but literally every day Laura takes her for the first 45-50 minutes.
“We have never done that. We have never had a goalie coach. The other day Laura was banging tennis balls at her with a tennis racquet. It’s just the repetition of seeing more balls.
“Jackie’s progression from the beginning of the year to now and from last year to now has just been geometric. She had a record game, which was great.”
While Giovinazzo was frustrating the Maidens at every turn, the Hatters’ high-powered attack was busy working its magic at the other end of the field. Before the game was 15 minutes old, coach Jami Wilus Behm had burned both of her timeouts.
“We looked shell-shocked,” the Maidens’ coach said. “I’m not really sure why. We prepared at practice, and the girls seemed ready to play. They were talking like they were ready, but obviously, we weren’t ready on the field.”
The Hatters increased their stronghold on first place in the conference standings, improving to 8-0 (12-2 overall). The Maidens fell to 8-2 in league play (11-4 overall),
The Hatters’ lacrosse Pink Game, called “Shooting for a Cure,” has raised over $10,000 for Mary T Sachs Breast Center in Horsham, where many of the local residents go for mammograms and breast cancer treatment. Dr. Brian Buinewicz was the person of honor in the pink game for his lifelong contribution to reconstructive surgery for women with breast cancer. Dr. Buinewicz is the Chief of Plastic Surgery at Abington Hospital. Aside from the annual donation to Mary T Sachs Breast Center, the lacrosse program creates awareness for the community.
It took no time at all for the Hatters to seize control of Wednesday’s showdown. Although the Maidens won the opening draw, they lost possession almost immediately when they were whistled for a mouth guard violation. The Hatters took advantage of the opportunity, scoring a goal less than 90 seconds into the game when Lizzy Carr, who led the Hatters with three goals and two assists, found Caroline Hagan for the score.
“In a high-scoring game like this, whoever comes out and scores first, it definitely has a big impact on the game,” Giovinazzo said. “It was definitely good for us to get our momentum going.”
The Hatters reeled off eight straight goals and led 8-0 when Carr (Cortnee Daley assist) connected with just over eight minutes remaining in the opening half. The Maidens didn’t get on the scoreboard until the 5:56 mark when – while up a player because of a yellow card assessed to the Hatters – Brenda McDermott found Hannah Young for the score. Aubrie Stouffer followed with a goal to make it an 8-2 game, but the Hatters used goals by Julie McKay (Carr assist) and Carr to go into halftime with a 10-2 lead.
“The big difference was that their goalie was incredible in the first half,” Wilus Behm said. “We were kind of shooting at her, but she made all the saves.”
The Hatters still led by eight (12-4) at the 19:47 mark of the second half when Daley – after a stick check beyond midfield – raced through the Maidens’ defense for the score on a glittering individual effort. They would not score the rest of the way, but the Maidens never threatened as the Hatters rolled to the impressive win.
Swezey said he has spent a lot of time watching the film of the last meeting between the two squads that saw the Hatters eke out a 10-9 win.
“I watched that film three or four times,” he said. “I brought the girls over to my house for dinner, and we all watched the film.
“At practice for two days, we went over what their strengths were. I called the five seniors together and said, ‘This is it for you guys. You have to take this game upon your shoulders and try to get everybody to follow you. Let’s go play the game and have some fun.’
In addition to Carr, Daley had three goals and one assist and McKay (one assist) and Hagan both had two goals. Nicole Beck (one assist) and Laura Cresta each added one goal. Maria Guerra had one assist.
For the Maidens, Tara Rogers (one assist) and Kaitlin Suzuki both scored two goals. Young, Aubrie Stouffer and Gabby DiDomizio each added one goal.
Hatboro-Horsham 12, North Penn 7
Lizzy Carr 3g 2a
Cortnee Daley 3g 1a
Julie Mckay 2g 1a
Caroline Hagan 2g
Nicole Beck 1g 1a
Laura Cresta 1g
Maria Guerra 1a
Jackie Giovinazzo 10 saves
Brenda McDermott 1a
hannah Young 1g
Tara Rogers 2g, 1a
Kaitlin Suzuki 2g
Aubrie Stouffer 1g
Gabby DiDomizio 1g