By Harry Chaykun
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 6/2/12
Lexi Mazur and some of her Strath Haven teammates enjoyed the Senior Prom Friday night.
“I got home (early),” Mazur said.
Her coach, Rachel Busza, knew why.
“This game meant a lot to them,” the second-year head coach said after her Panthers, District One’s sixth seed, had knocked off Harriton, District One’s No. 3, 8-7, in a PIAA Girls Lacrosse Tournament quarterfinal round game at West Chester East Saturday night.
The prom wasn’t the only thing that might have tired out some of the Haven players Friday.
“We had practice at 5:30 in the morning,” Busza said. “Our seniors wanted us to do that. And it was very productive.
“I may have to look into doing something like that again.”
What the coach will be looking at before Monday afternoon’s practice is the tapes she has of her PIAA tourney wins over Archbishop Carroll and Conestoga, both one-goal decisions.
“I think the Carroll game helped,” Busza said. “It was a tight game, and we knew that’s what this game was going to be. We saw what our mistakes had been and we tried to make sure we corrected them.”
Kirsten Wilhelmsen scored three goals and had one assist and Mazur chipped in with a pair of goals for the Panthers, who made it all the way to the state final in 2009 before running into a red-shot Radnor squad, which claimed the first PIAA girls lacrosse title that spring.
Wilhelmsen, Mazur, Jess Borbee, Morgan Glassford and Kelly Molloy were among the defenders who worked hard in front of goalie Hallie Yancey, whose big save helped the Panthers get through the Carroll game Wednesday night.
Glassford also turned in the biggest goal of the game, scoring with 3:12 to play after a three-goal Conestoga run had tied with score with 3:43 left. Meghan McGillis led the Pioneers with three goals and one assist and Catie Smith tossed in a pair of goals late in the second half.
Glassford raced through the ‘Stoga defense to launch her winning shot.
“After we won the draw I wanted to us my speed,” she said. “I got off my shot, and I was glad it went in.”
So were the vocal Haven fans as well as Busza and assistant coach Laura Patton.
“Our speed and the way we can move the ball has been our strength this year,” Busza said. “When we set up our shots, we can do it.
“And tonight we played team defense. We worked together, and that’s what was so important.”
Once the Panthers had regained the lead and earned the next draw control, they worked and worked at keeping control away from the Pioneers.
“That’s a big part of what we do every day at practice,” Mazur said. “We work on stopping a stall and we work on our own stall. Today our defense worked really hard. We talked to each other a lot and there wasn’t any individual play. It was everyone working together.”
Which will be the theme of the Panthers’ next practice, whether it takes place at 5 in the morning or 5 in the afternoon.
Strath Haven 8, Conestoga 7
Strath Haven 4 4 – 8
Conestoga 2 5 – 7
Strath Haven: Kirsten Wilhelmsen 3G 1A, Lexi Mazur 2G, Sara Labrum 1G 1A, Kristen Hansen 1G, Morgan Glassford 1G.
Conestoga: Meghan McGillis 3G 1A, Catie Smith 2G, Elsie Wagner 1G, Maggie Friel 1G, Mackenzie Orr 1A.
Saves – Strath Haven: Hallie Yancey 4. Conestoga: Sarah Priem 7.