By Harry Chaykun
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 4/9/13
It was halftime at Springfield’s Halderman Field this afternoon and Conestoga senior Meghan McGillis was not happy with the way the Pioneers were playing.
“We knew we had to get it together and play like the team we know we are,” McGillis said.
‘Stoga, which had been halfway to its first defeat of the season, turned things around completely to earn its fifth consecutive victory (3-0 Central League), 13-8. The win put a halt to Springfield’s six-game winning streak, dropping the Cougars to 2-1 in league play.
The Pioneers were outscored in the first half, 7-1, with sophomore Emily Santana getting Springfield’s first three goals and senior Alex Poplawski adding a pair of scores before halftime.
Conestoga owned the second half, 12-1, with McGillis getting four of her five goals.
“We just had to refocus and forget about the first half,” Conestoga coach Amy Orcutt said. “Composure, teamwork and hard work did it for us.”
A 10-4 second-half advantage in draw controls was a big key to the Pioneers’ success.
“Everything starts with the draw control,” McGillis, who is headed to Ohio State University, said. “In less than two minutes (of the second half) we had three draw controls and three goals.”
Those goals came from Claire Jackson, who finished with three, Catie Smith (two), who was assisted by Mackenzie Orr, and Lexy King. Springfield’s Emily Paulus converted a free position to stop the ‘Stoga run, then the Cougars went scoreless the last 21:20 as sophomore Laney Stenson, who replaced Kara Schwartz in goal for the Pioneers late in the first half, stopped four shots.
“She did a fantastic job,” Orcutt said. “That’s the thing about having two goalies. If one is a little off, you can go to the other one. That’s what worked for us today.”
Stenson got solid defensive support from Blake Hamblett (Dartmouth) and Orr (United States Naval Academy). Smith tied the score on an 8-meter shot with 9:25 left, then McGillis scored three times in 3½ minutes and ended up with four goals in just under five minutes late in the second half.
“Defenders don’t always get a lot of credit,” McGillis said. “Today they really were strong in the second half.
“We have a good senior class and everyone knows their roles and works well together. Last year, we had a bad game up at Harriton and knew we couldn’t do that again or all the hard work we had put in wouldn’t have been worth it. We realized that was what we needed to do for the second half today.”
Thursday afternoon, Conestoga faces another big Central League challenge when Harriton visits Teamer Field.
“We’re glad we’ll be playing a game like that at home.” McGillis said.
Conestoga 13, Springfield-Delco 8
Conestoga 1 12 – 13
Springfield (Delco) 7 1 – 8
Conestoga: Meghan McGillis 5G, Claire Jackson 3G, Catie Smith 2G, Lexy King 1G, Abby Lord 1G, Megan Cameron 1G, Mackenzie Orr 1A, Blake Hamblett 1A.
Springfield-Delco: Emily Santana 4G, Alex Poplawski 2G, Emily Paulus 1G, Rachel Charamella 1G, Aly Gormley 1A.
Saves – Conestoga: Kara Schwartz 1, Laney Stenson 4. Springfield (Delco): Courtney O’Connell 6.