By Harry Chaykun
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/22/12
When Conestoga lost to Harriton in a Central League game last month, coach Amy Orcutt was not pleased with the play of her players.
“Things are always different in the playoffs,” Pioneers junior Meghan McGillis said. “(Harriton has) a great team, but we really wanted this game. We wanted to make sure it was different than the last time we played them.”
McGillis and Catie Smith both tossed in three goals and Sarah Priem turned away 16 shots in goal as eighth-seeded Conestoga (15-7) knocked off Harriton, 9-7, tonight in a District 1 semifinal at West Chester Henderson’s J. Oscar Dicks Stadium.
The eighth-seeded Pioneers (15-7) will play third-seeded Radnor, an upset winner over defending state champion Garnet Valley, for the district title at 6 p.m. Thursday at West Chester East High.
McGillis and Smith scored the last two goals of the first half to give Conestoga a 5-3 advantage. Smith scored twice and Abby Lord (two goals, two assists) converted a feed from Megan Cameron as the Pioneers’ lead grew to 8-4 in the first seven minutes of the second half.
Conestoga didn’t score in the last 12:37 of the game, but Priem made several big stops, and Harriton played short the final 6:48 after accumulating four yellow cards.
“We wanted revenge after that last game,” Priem, who will play next year at Marquette University, said. “That’s why we came out so strong today.
“Our defense really stepped up. They slid well and shut down their shooters. It’s great to be in the championship game.”
Caleigh Foust scored three goals and Jane Henderson added two for Harriton.
“Sarah had an incredible game,” Orcutt said. “She’s so composed and she just doesn’t panic. And our defense did a great job of helping her.”
Mackenzie Orr stayed with Foust and kept her from taking over when Harriton was on attack.
“I asked them to remember how they felt after the last time we played Harriton,” Orcutt said. “They did what they did today as a team, and now they have a chance to play for the championship.”
Conestoga 9, Harriton 7
Conestoga 5 4 – 9
Harriton 3 4 – 7
Conestoga: Meghan McGillis 3G, Catie Smith 3G, Abby Lord 2G 2A, Maggie Friel 1G, Megan Cameron 2A.
Harriton: Caleigh Foust 3G, Jane Henderson 2G, Sabrina Tabasso 1G, Julia Marks 1G, Ally McLaughlin 1A, Jessica Schwab 1A.
Saves: Conestoga–Sarah Priem 16, Harriton–Melina Avery 11.