By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 7/25/12
Allyson Heavens (Garnet Valley) and Katrina Geiger (Haverford High), named Co-Players of Year last week by Phillylacrosse.com, faced off many times in their career as foes in the powerful Central League.
And on Tuesday the two close friends got the chance to play against each other in a unique stage as their teams met in the title game of the US Lacrosse Champion All-American Showcase at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
Heavens’ Team Freedom prevailed, 16-13, in rainy conditions to finish undefeated in a four-team field that featured 84 of the top players – mostly seniors – in the nation.
“The ESPN sports complex was such an amazing facility and a great place to honor lacrosse,” said Heavens, who is headed to Penn State after leading Garnet Valley to consecutive state championships. “Even though the skies were overcast it helped our play because it wasn’t so hot and our skills were just as good in the rain!”
Heavens scored once in today’s title game (see boxscore below). In each of the first three games she played close defense.
“Playing low D is something that is close to the heart; my natural instincts are defensive so I felt like I contributed to my team;s first three wins,” Heaven said. “Our goalies were very aggressive and it made my role easier. They were so involved.
“It was definitely fun to play offense today, because I was goal hungry. But just like at Under Armour (Senior All-American Game) all the girls were terrific players and we learned to play with each other so quickly, each of us had a role and we all played them well.”
As far as playing against Geiger one last time before college, Heavens said it was a thrill.
“I have great respect for Katrina,” she said. “It’s not the last time we will see each other, but we are both great competitors who hate to lose.
“We have become close through all of these lacrosse experiences and it was a fun ride, I know she will do great things at Loyola.”
Said Geiger: “Ally is an amazing player and I love playing against her because she is great competition.”
Geiger, who played with Heavens in the Under Armour game, had two assists in the title loss. She was happy her team played much better than it did when the two squads met in pool play (a 20-8 loss.)
“Our team played much better against Freedom in the final,” said Geiger.
The runner-up medal capped an amazing career for Geiger, who was a two-time All-American also starred for the champion Heather Leigh Albert team at the Vail Shootout this month and had her jersey retired at Haverford High after breaking every offensive school record.
“The complex was amazing,” said Geiger. “It was so exciting to be in Disney. The games were very competitive. Anytime I can play in a game it helps me improve my play to try to prepare for college.”
Freedom also featured Shawnee’s Nicole Troost. Team Spirit, which finished third, featured Upper Dublin’s Kelly Cross. Pride featured Moorestown’s Stephanie Toy.
Sportsmanship Award: Margaret Auslander, Cary, N.C.
MVP: Aislinn Probst, Arnold, Md.
Sportsmanship Award: Alison Scharkey, Yorba Linda, Calif.
MVP: Emma Lazaroff, Lafayette, Colo.
Sportsmanship Award: Amanda Johansen, Glen Head, N.Y.
MVP: Cortney Fortunato, Northport, N.Y.
Sportsmanship Award: Kristina Coppolino, Winter Springs, Fla.
MVP: Michaela Michael, Burlingame, Calif.
Freedom 16, Liberty 13
Goals: Freedom – Tyler Thomas 3, Kelci Smesko 2, Campbell Probert 2, Adrienne Anderson 2, Carly Palmucci, Bridget Instrum, Christine Easton, Madison Acton, Aislinn Probst, Allyson Heavens, Margaret Auslander. Liberty – Emma Lazaroff 2, Hannah Landgrave 2, McKenzie Hunt 2, Lydia Cassada 2, Lauren Wackerle, Madison Vasta, Madalyn Blakeman, Maggie Bill, Kelly Dolan.
Assists: Freedom – Tyler Thomas, Kelci Smesko, Aislinn Probst, Campbell Probert, Caroline Fitzgerald. Liberty – Katrina Geiger 2, Emma Lazaroff, Kelly Dolan.
Goalkeeping: Freedom – Katelyn Salerno (2 saves, 7GA), Chelsey Sidaras (7 saves, 6 GA). Liberty – Claudia Coleates (3 saves, 11 GA), Hanna Slough (1 save, 5 GA).
Bronze Medal Game
Spirit 20, Pride 16
Goals: Spirit – Kelsey Murray 6, Michaela Michael 5, Dene DiMartino 4, Mackenzie Smith 2, Taylor Farrell, Sydney Dupre, Doris Wilson. Pride – Jennifer Thompson 5, Gabriella Starkey 3, Julia Burns 2, Christina Esposito, Hannah Saris, Antonia Violante, Rachelle Mariner, Amanda Johansen, Cortney Fortunato.
Assists: Spirit – Mackenzie Smith 2, Kelsey Murray 2, Dene DiMartino 2, Michaela Michael 2, Kelly Cross 2, Casey Pearsall, Sydney Dupre. Pride – Christina Esposito 2, Amanda Johansen 2, Antonia Violante, Julia Burns, Cortney Fortunato.
Goalkeeping: Spirit – Genevieve Giblin (1 save, 6 GA), Alyssa Saxon (2 saves, 8 GA), Colleen Jacoby (4 saves, 2 GA). Pride – Julia DiTondo (5 saves, 11 GA), Katrina Reeves (3 saves, 9 GA)