By Matt Chandik
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 6/17/12
Jacki Patterson looked around on her sideline, seeing a bunch of unfamiliar faces wearing the same jersey as she donned.
After so many knock-down, drag-out battles in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference during her career at national Division II runnerup West Chester, Patterson admitted that seeing some of her foes from the past four years playing with her instead of against her took some getting used to.
“It’s…interesting,” said the Brandywine High (Del.) graduate with a smile about getting adapted to her new teammates at Saturday’s IWLCA Division II North-South Game at the United Sports in Downingtown. “It’s weird to be playing with them instead of against them. …It’s bizarre, it’s a little weird, but lacrosse is lacrosse. We’re all happy to be here.”
Patterson would have been happier if she and her South team could have overcome a 13-5 thumping at the hands of the North squad, a team that included three players from national champion C.W. Post, the team that knocked off the Golden Rams in this year’s title game. Patterson was heartbroken following that game, and didn’t think she’d be able to get back on the field. However, she was more than pleased when she got the invitation to come play in the all-star game.
“It’s awesome,” Patterson said. “In the national championship, we were upset. We thought we would never play again, so it’s really nice, and it’s an honor to be nominated and to actually play (Saturday).”
The game was all North, all the time from the beginning, as it built up an 8-2 halftime lead on the strength of two goals apiece from Ashley Ferrandiz (New Haven), Brittany Brigandi (Le Moyne) and Marissa Mills (Adelphi). However, unlike that national title game, the score in this one wasn’t the most important part of the day. Rather, it was a chance to honor some of the country’s best Division II players in a game that featured a plethora of top-notch talent, and a chance to make friends with old rivals.
“Playing with the other girls that we compete against during our whole season, it’s pretty sweet in getting to know them personally,” said Patterson’s South and West Chester teammate Erin Oczkowski (Archbishop Wood), a second-team All-PSAC selection. “It’s a good feeling, because while we don’t like them on the field, when we play together, it’s awesome. … We know how each other plays, so it was easier for us to connect.”
Adding to the good vibes for Oczkowski was the fact that she was one of the four different players who found the back of the cage for the South team. She took a pass from Mercyhurst’s Ally Keirn and snapped it in for her final goal as a collegian.
“It is a good feeling,” Oczkowski said. “It’s definitely something I’ll remember.”
North 13, South 5
South 2 3 – 5
North 8 5 – 13
Racquel Prager (Limestone) 2g
Elyse Fisher (Lock Haven) 1g
Sarah Grzybinski (Gannon) 1g
Erin Oczkowski (West Chester) 1g
Ally Keirn (Mercyhurtst) 1a
Brigid Milchling (Limestone) 5 saves
Brittany Brigandi (Le Moyne) 4g
Ashley Ferrandiz (New Haven) 2g, 1a
Erica DeVito (Adelphi) 2g, 1a
Marissa Mills (Adelphi) 2g
Lauren Spagnoletta (C.W. Post) 1g
Elaina Heiple (Southern Connecticut State) 1g
Meghan Smith (Saint Anselm) 1g
Kelly Fucillo (Le Moyne) 6 saves
Nadine Wallace (Seton Hill) 1 save