By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 8/6/13
Harriton’s Caleigh Foust and Sabrina Tabasso have been named the Phillylacrosse.om Co-Players of Year.
Why? Just ask the other.
Foust, a senior attack-midfielder, and Tabasso, a junior midfielder, led the Rams to a share of the Central League championship as well as the District 1 and PIAA championships. These US Lacrosse All-Americans each made significant contributions to a team that was the first to win those three titles in the same year.
With their championships and 25-2 record, the Rams received top recognition in the national rankings. The Rams finished No. 7 in the TopLaxRecruits.com rankings and No. 9 in the LaxPower Coaches/Computer Rankings.
Both Foust and Tabasso will tell you just how important the other was to the team’s success.
Foust was the team’s ace scorer, tallying 95 goals. None was bigger than her game-winning tally early in overtime in the state finals, a goal that gave Harriton a thrilling 8-7 victory over league rival Radnor.
In fact, Foust scored five goals in that game and had to shoulder a huge load as the player taking the draws. That occurred because Tabasso went down in the District 1 championship win over Springfield-Delco (12-10) with a broken foot.
Tabasso served many keys roles for a team that its first District 1 championship since way back in 1976. She took the team’s draws and led their midfield transition game besides being a top scorer and passer (48 goals, 49 assists).
“This year was special and magical,” said Tabasso, who has committed to Loyola. “We had the guts and the athletic youth. We were willing to take chances and put it all out there. And if we made mistakes, girls picked each other up.”
Tabasso said she was not surprised to see the Rams overcome adversity. They struggled early in the first state game after losing Tabasso to the injury, but rallied to beat another league rival, Conestoga, 10-7. In the state finals, Radnor used a brilliant first-half game plan to take a 5-1 lead.
But Foust, along with goalie Melina Avery and the resilient Ram teammates fueled the comeback.
“I knew we would win because we had been in that situation before,” said Tabasso. “Caleigh is an amazing player with athletic ability I can’t describe.”
Tabasso had high expectations coming into the season. Harriton had not reached the state finals in the first four years of the PIAA tourney, but it’s the only team to make the state tourney each of the past three years.
“I knew this was the year,” she said. “We never had a team like this this before. No one was selfish and everyone played for each other.”
Tabasso said it was very painful to deal with her injury because she knew the team needed her. But she was so proud to see Foust and the rest of the Rams raise their levels of play.
“The first few days resulted in a lot of tears and frustration,” she said. “But the team came to me and was so encouraging. They said we wouldn’t be here without you. I felt a part of it on the sidelines; I would do something to help, tighten a stick or cheer them on. Thank goodness we won (the state title) or the injury would have gotten a lot worse at home.”
When Tabasso went down, Harriton coach George Dick moved Foust back to midfield and put her on the draws.
“When you lose a great player, you have to see what strengths she brought to the team and fill in the holes,” said Foust of Tabasso. “Sabrina was a big part of the team.”
Foust, who is headed to Virginia to play field hockey, said her career ended on a perfect note.
“I couldn’t ask for a better way to finish my lacrosse career,” she said. “It’s weird that I won’t play lacrosse again, but I wanted to win it for Coach Dick. He has put his life into this program, so I wanted to win it for him and the girls.
“In the beginning of the season I knew we had the talent,” Foust added. “We had the team chemistry and a strong bond on and off the field. Once the playoffs started we worked that much harder. We wanted to be here.
“It’s like our motto says, ‘Rest when you get there.’”
Rest easy girls.