By Harry Chaykun
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/21/13
Harriton coach George Dick likes to talk to his players about “one shot.”
Thursday at West Chester East High, the Rams will have their one shot at the District 1 championship when they take on Springfield-Delco after handling No. 1 Radnor, 15-6, tonight at Henderson High.
Springfield-Delco advanced earlier with a 13-12 decision over Boyertown in the first semifinal at Henderson.
Harriton hopes its one shot will result in the school’s first district title since 1976. Springfield, which lost to Radnor in the 2010 final, will be going after its first crown since 2009.
Harriton’s offense erupted for the first eight goals of the second half, and goalie Melina Avery made five or her nine saves after halftime in the win over Radnor. Caleigh Foust scored three goals in each half and Sabrina Tabasso had three goals and two assists while Katie Melvin scores three. Jane Henderson notched two goals and Julia Marks had one.
“It’s just about being in the playoffs,” said Foust, who will put away her lacrosse stick when the playoffs end and concentrate on field hockey at the University of Virginia. “Now it’s about being so close (to the district title).
“This team is so strong offensively and defensively. We’ve been feeding off each other’s energy and working hard every day.”
Avery was returning from an injury when Harriton lost to Springfield early in the season.
“We’ve played so much better lately,” said the junior who has committed to Syracuse University. “And my defense has been so amazing, all of them: Hilary Lemonick, Alison Tepper, Jessica Herman and Alexa Foust.”
Dick knows the challenge his team faces from Springfield.
“They’re a great team and have a great rivalry,” he said. “They were the program I wanted to emulate when I started coaching.”
Shannon Taylor was Radnor’s high scorer with two goals.
“We didn’t play well together,” Radnor coach Brooke Fritz said. “I think we can still do it, but we have to be able to play together.
No. 3 seed Springfield-Delco ran into a 10th-seeded Boyertown team that has been playing well and was looking for another upset after knocking off No. 2 Great Valley in the quarterfinals. The Cougars used a six-goal effort by Alex Poplawski, three goals from Taylor DeBernardi and two goals by Emily Santana and Kate Ryan to advance.
Santana scored with the Cougars down a player with 4:24 to play for what proved to be the winning goal.
“Taylor’s been the kind of player who will do anything for the team,” winning coach Keith Broome said of DeBernardi. “I’m not sure we played as well as we can, but now we know we’re playing for the championship.”
Poplawski recalled the way her first high school varsity season ended.
“We lost to Radnor for the district title, and then we lost to Radnor for the state title my freshman year,” she said. “We’re happy to be playing for the (district) championship, and we hope things turn out better this time.”
Boyertown, which will meet Radnor for third place Thursday, got five goals from Alex O’Herrick and four from Rachel Engler against Springfield.
Harriton 15, Radnor 6
Harriton 6 9 – 15
Radnor 3 3 – 6
Harriton-Caleigh Foust 6G, 1A; Sabrina Tabasso 3G 2A, Julia Marks 1G, Katie Melvin 3G, Jane Henderson 2G.
Radnor-Shannon Quinn 2G, Hannah Proctor 1G, Sara Curley 1G, Taylor Quinn 1G, Candice Hino 1G.
Saves-Harriton: Melina Avery 10. Radnor: Grace Collins 3, Maddie Lally 1.
Sprijgfield-Delco 13, Boyertown 12
Boyertown 6 6 – 12
Springfield-Delco 7 6 – 13
Boyertown-Alex O’Herrick 5G, Rachel Engler 4G 1A, Haley Wentzel 2G, Kaitlin Dehaven 1G 1A, Annie Rodgers 2A.
Springfield-Delco-Alex Poplawski 6G 1A, Taylor DeBernardi 3G, Emily Santana 2G 1A, Kate Ryan 2G 1A, Emily Paulus 1A.
Saves-Boyertown: Katie Buckwalter 9. Springfield: Courtney O’Connell 9.