By Harry Chaykun
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/23/12
They gathered in the parking lot at Neumann University. Some sat in the stands, others stood at the fence outside the lacrosse field and watched.
Representatives from almost all of the Archbishop Carroll teams that had won 11 Catholic League playoff championships in a row assembled to see if the 2012 Patriots could make it 12 in ’12. None left disappointed after Carroll rolled to a 19-3 title decision over third-seeded Cardinal O’Hara Wednesday night.
The win stretched the Pats’ remarkable winning streak over Catholic League opponents in those 12 undefeated league seasons to 157 games and put Carroll opposite Girls High (11-4) in the first District 12 title match, which takes place at 3 p.m. Thursday at Germantown High’s Benjamin Johnston Memorial Stadium.
“I’m very proud of our girls,” said Carroll coach Lorraine Beers, whose first team lost the 2000 title game to St. Hubert. “They’ve worked so hard this season. We have a great senior class, one of the best group of senior leaders I can remember in a long time. And that’s not taking anything from the girls we’ve had on our other teams.”
Junior Natalie Schmitt led the attack with four goals and one assist, junior Rachel Flynn had three goals and two assists, and freshman Isabelle Schmitt chipped in with three goals. Sophomore Megan Santoleri added two goals and one assist, and seniors Becky McHugh, who did not start, and Kerry Newy also scored twice.
Natalie Schmitt, a second-team All-Catholic selection, had a hat trick by the game’s seventh minute as Carroll claimed a 12-2 halftime lead, which allowed Beers to make good use of her bench in the second half.
Sophomore Sam Amicone and freshman Chelsea Fox scored in the opening half and junior Kasey Jones added a second-half goal for Cardinal O’Hara (13-5), which was attempting to win the school’s first lacrosse title since the 1995 and 1996 teams earned the first two Catholic League crowns.
“We were such a young team,” said O’Hara second-year head coach Lesley Ferriola, who started four seniors. “We’d like to build on the experiences of this season and get back here again next year.”
Seniors Maddie Lesher, Brooke Olsen and Jessica Lafferty helped lead the Carroll defense, which limited O’Hara to nine shots at goalies Katie Boyle (two saves in the first half) and Hayley Joyce (three saves in the second half). Lesher, Olsen and Lafferty are the Patriots captains.
“We never know how things will turn out in the games we play,” Lesher, who will play next year the Loyola (Md.), said. “I know when (the playoffs started) we thought we would be playing (Archbishop) Wood again. That’s why we work 100 percent at practice every day.
“We knew that no matter what the score was, we had to play our game and prepare for the state tournament. We expect our young players to learn from us and keep this going.”
The PIAA Tournament begins next Wednesday afternoon. A Carroll win in the District 12 final would pair the Patriots against District 1′s sixth-place team, which will be the loser of Thursday’s Strath Haven at Great Valley matchup. Carroll (12-8) has lost only four times to Pennsylvania schools, all of which (Garnet Valley, Harriton, Radnor and Springfield) remain alive in the district playoffs.
“There have been so many upsets in their districts,” Lafferty, who is headed to the University of Delaware and could continue playing on a club team or try to walk on with the Blue Hens, said. “That’s great for us.
“We don’t have that much history (in the state tournament). We’ll just go out and try to keep winning. We graduate June 7 and the state final is June 9. That could make for a great weekend.”
Olsen transferred to Carroll after spending a year at Episcopal Academy. She will major in Education at Shippensburg University. One of her first youth coaches was George Dick, who has his Harriton team in the District 1 third-place game against defending state champion Garnet Valley.
“We’ll be starting fresh when the (state tournament) begins,” Olsen said. “Our underclassmen have played a big part on this team, and we trust in them. It’s great to have this championship and know we’ll be playing again next week.”
Archbishop Carroll 19, Cardinal O’Hara 3
Cardinal O’Hara 2 1 – 3
Archbishop Carroll 12 7 – 19
Cardinal O’Hara—Sam Amicone 1G, Chelsea Fox 1G, Kasey Jones 1G.
Archbishop Carroll—Natalie Schmitt 4G 1A, Rachel Flynn 3G 2A, Isabelle Schmitt 3G, Megan Santoleri 2G 1A, Kerry Newby 2G, Becky McHugh 2G,Gabbi Hull 1G 2A, Maddie Lesher 1G, Emily Kruszewski 1G, Margaret Filippelli 1A.
Saves—Cardinal O’Hara: Kerry McCanns 5. Archbishop Carroll: Katie Boyle 2, Hayley Joyce 3.