By Harry Chaykun
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/18/13
Harriton coach George Dick didn’t have to say a lot to his players before their District 1 quarterfinal game against Strath Haven today at West Chester East.
The Rams were still smarting from their recent loss at Haven that dropped them into a four-way tie for the Central League title. They understood that a win would keep alive their dreams of a district championship and give them a chance to play in the PIAA Tournament.
Getting what Dick described as a “total team effort,” fifth-seeded Harriton (19-2) knocked off No. 4 Strath Haven, 12-7, and advanced to a district semifinal (5:45 p.m. at Henderson) meeting with Radnor, another team that shared the Central League title.
“Strath Haven has a very good team,” Dick said. “We made a few adjustments, and when they reacted to them we did a few other things.
“Going to states was what was on the line here today. Maura Henderson and our defense played well, Caleigh Foust had two big goals for us, and we’re very happy to get this win.”
Sabrina Tabasso scored three goals and an assist, Caleigh Foust scored three goals and Jane Henderson had two goals and an assist while Katie Melvin added two goals for Harriton. The Rams tallied the last five goals of the first half, holding Haven scoreless in the last 18 minutes before the break.
Strath Haven (16-4) answered with three of the first four goals of the second half, with Morgan Glassford getting one and setting up another. A goal by Henderson and one by Foust, assisted by Henderson, gave the momentum back to Harriton.
“We played with more heart this time,” Henderson said. “We did what we needed to do to get ready for this game. We’ve really stressed teamwork, and we’re not just trying to take the first shot.”
Strath Haven coach Rachel Busza expects to see a different group of Panthers Tuesday, when Haven hosts Garnet Valley (at 4 p.m.) in a game it must win to qualify for states.
“They were better than us today,” Busza said. “That wasn’t us out there with some of the things we did and decisions we made. We have another game to get ready for, and I think we will be prepared.”
Harriton 12, Strath Haven 7
Harriton 7 5 – 12
Strath Haven 3 4 – 7
Harriton: Sabrina Tabasso 3G, 1A; Jane Henderson 2G 1A, Caleigh Foust 3G, Katie Melvin 2G, Julia Marks 1G, Alex Ladda 1G.
Strath Haven: Suzanna Penikis 2G, Kirsten Wilhelmsen 2G, Morgan Glassford 1G 2A, Kathryn Restrepo 1G, Katherine Sherry 1G, Erica Conner 1A.
Saves – Harriton: Melina Avery 7. Strath Haven: Hallie Yancey 4.