By Harry Chaykun
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 4/2/13
When Strath Haven and Garnet Valley met for the 2012 PIAA championship in Hershey last June, the Jaguars made a remarkable comeback to win their second straight state title in overtime.
Tuesday night at Moe DeFrank Stadium, it was the visiting Panthers (3-0, 1-0) who came back as junior Kristen Hansen’s tally with 1:13 to play capped a four-goal rally in the final 12 minutes as Strath Haven opened play in the Central League with a 10-9 decision over two-time defending state champ Garnet Valley.
“That wasn’t our best,” Haven coach Rachel Busza said. “The first half (6-4 SH lead) was our game, but then we didn’t finish plays and they caught up.
“When we figured things out and worked together, we clicked.”
That came after Dana Davis tossed in a pair, Haley Warden had a goal and an assist, freshman Emily Mathewson notched her second score of the game and Ashley Pyle chipped in with her third goal to give Garnet Valley (2-1, 0-1) a 9-6 advantage with 14 minutes to play.
Haven’s comeback began a minute and half after the Mathewson goal when Hansen, who finished with three goals, converted an 8-meter free position shot. Brianna Irons also scored on a free position 1:06 later, and Erica Conner finished a play started by Morgan Glassford (three first-half goals) to tie the score with five minutes left.
Jaguars goalie Paige Mitros turned away a Glassford chance with 2:30 remaining, but GV turned the ball over and Glassford got another shot at the lead goal. She fired high, but not long after Hansen closed out the scoring.
“I had made some mistakes, but everyone still supported me,” Hansen said. “I knew I owed it to them and had to score for them. I just wanted to win so bad.
“We ran our normal play, and some of my teammates cleared out a lane for me and I got the shot. We really needed to win this game.”
Garnet Valley did what it could to get even in the closing seconds, but Kirsten Wilhelmsen (one goal, two assists) and Irons stood their ground defensively, and Warden was called for charging with 15 seconds to play.
“In a situation like that, you stand your ground and take what you can get,” Wilhelmsen said.
Both teams get right back into their Central League schedules Thursday, with Garnet Valley visiting Radnor and Strath Haven making a trip to Springfield-Delco.
“We knew after what we did last year that we could be a good team this year,” Hansen said. “This was a game we really wanted. Now we have to get ready for the next game.”
Strath Haven 10, Garnet Valley 9
Strath Haven 6 4 – 10
Garnet Valley 4 5 – 9
Strath Haven: Morgan Glassford 3G 1A, Kristen Hansen 3G, Kirsten Wilhelmsen 1G 2A,l Brianna Irons 1G, Suzanna Penikis 1G, Erica Conner 1G.
Garnet Valley: Ashley Pyle 3G, Emily Mathewson 2G 1A, Dana Davis 2G, Haley Warden 1G 1A, Julia McGrath 1G.
Saves – Strath Haven: Hallie Yancey 5. Garnet Valley: Paige Mitros 5.