By Harry Chaykun
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 6/5/12
Last week, Garnet Valley had to play Harriton for the third time this season.
The Jaguars, who had lost to the Rams in the District 1 Tournament third-place game, claimed victory and qualified for the semifinal round of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association Girls’ Lacrosse Tournament.
Tuesday afternoon at Haverford High, Garnet Valley and Radnor got together for the third time in 2012. The Jags, who lost to the Red Raiders in the semifinal round of districts, survived a late Radnor rally and earned a 15-14 decision to qualify for the PIAA championship game at Hersheypark Stadium Saturday at 12:30.
Garnet Valley’s opponent in the state final will be another Central League rival, Strath Haven, which will be back at Hershey for the first time since 2009, when the Panthers bowed to Radnor in the first PIAA title contest.
Allyson Heavens scored five goals and had one assist and Annaelise Morello had three goals and two assists, while Halley Barnes and Ashley Pyle each tossed in three goals for Garnet Valley (23-3), which led at halftime, 10-8, and had a three-goal lead with 14 minutes to play on a goal by Haley Warden.
Heavens scored GV’s last goal with 5:59 to play to make it 15-12.
But Shannon Quinn (four goals) and Moira Mahoney answered for Radnor, with Mahoney’s goal coming with 29 seconds to play.
The Red Raiders earned the draw control, but when they threw it away with nine seconds left, GV’s Lizahn Visser took control as her teammates on the sidelines prepared to rush the field to celebrate. One of the players who got the most attention in the post-game celebration was goalie Kate Stroup, who made nine of her 15 saves after halftime.
“Those saves were momentum changers,” Garnet Valley head coach Kate Henwood said.
Heavens backed up her coach’s sentiments.
“When Kate gets up and does things like that, it picks everyone up,” Heavens said. “She was a little down on herself at halftime, but she really stepped it up in the second half. All of us who are seniors didn’t want this to be our last game.”
Henwood made use of a number of different defensive schemes in the second half.
“We had to stop their (one on ones),” she said. “We had to find something that worked. We even used a zone defense. It helped to have someone like Heavens. She was everywhere. She’s a terrific leaders and wanted nothing less than a win today.”
Stroup is happy she will be back in Hershey for the second year in a row.
“I just didn’t have the right feel in the first half,” she said. “I knew I had to relax. At halftime (goalie coach Patrice Hughes) helped me settle down. She’s the only who keeps me level-headed.”
Pyle had her best game of the playoffs.
“Everyone was just so awesome today,” she said. “This was as much for the seniors as for anybody. They deserved to go to Hershey again. And I’m glad all the rest of us are going.”
Radnor (20-5) took an 11-10 on two straight goals by Natalie Miller (four goals), capping a 3-0 run to start the second half. But Garnet Valley rebounded and went ahead for good, 12-11, on a goal by Barnes.
Shannon Quinn had four goals for the Red Raiders, who were shooting for their third state title berth in four years since the PIAA tourney began.
Garnet Valley 15, Radnor 14
Garnet Valley 10-5-15
Ally Heavens 5g 1a
AnnaElise Morello 3g 2a
Halley Barnes 3g
Ashley Pyle 3g
Kara Stroup 1g 1a
Haley Warden 1g
Kate Stroup 15 saves
Natalie Miller 4g
Shannon Quinn 4g
Libby Lowry 2g
Kristen Norden 1g 1a
Taymor Quinn 1g
Moira Mahoney 1g
Taryn Deck 1g
Grace Collins 4 saves
Colleen Packer 3 saves