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New Garnet Valley coach Purvis looks forward to chance to lead two-time state champions

Thursday, 8th November 2012

Categories Girl's/Women's, High School  
 

By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 11/8/12

As a teacher at Garnet Valley, Jenny Purvis clearly understands the expectations she faces as the new girls’ lacrosse coach for the two-time defending state champion Jaguars.

New Garnet Valley coach Jenny Purvis (third from right) is joined by Jaguar seniors (from left) Coley Ricci, Julia McGrath, Maggie Taviano, Ashley Pyle, Gabbey Murray

“I know I have big shoes to fill,” said Purvis, who was recently passed by the school board as Kate Henwood’s replacement. “Every day I walk around and hear about it; I am well aware of the talk.

“I coached against Garnet Valley at Radnor (as an assistant) and I have always known haw fantastic Garnet Valley was.”

Purvis, a Hatboro-Horsham grad who played Division I field hockey at Penn State, will take over a squad that produced back-to-back 24-3 seasons and finished last year ranked as high as No. 5 in the nation in one national poll.

Henwood – now the head coach at Division I UC Davis – and her entire coaching have left. Also graduated are Ally Heavens and Halley Barnes – each of whom earned Phillylacrosse.com Co-Player of the Year honors during the state title runs – as well as a third 2012 All-American, AnnaElise Morello.

Purvis, who last year served as the assistant at Central League rival Radnor, embraces the fact that a state title is now the yearly goal at Garnet Valley. And she prefers to look forward rather than lament what players are lost.

“My concern is the girls we have now,” she said. “We still have the same expectations and the same goals – we are driven to become a three-time state champion.

“But we have a lot of work to do. We are done the fall season, but we have winter leagues and everyone is excited about the 2013 season.”

Purvis, a Physical Education teacher at Garnet Valley, was a lacrosse and field hockey standout at Hatboro-Horsham. She decided to play hockey as a Nittany Lion from 2007-10, but has been coaching lacrosse at clinics and camps since graduation.

She feels she gained immeasurably by coaching under Brooke Fritz last year for Radnor, who won the District 1 championship and fell to Garnet Valley in a state semifinals thriller.

“My coaching philosophy is, No. 1 to have heart. I have always said to myself that my work ethic is my top trait. And that’s what I preach with the girls. If we play with passion and a good attitude, it outweighs the scales in lacrosse.”

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