Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 10/29/13
The Mesa Fresh BaggataGirls 2017 won the High School Division at the Fourth Annual “Lax 4 Maggie 4v4 Fall Classic” at Drexel University Saturday on Vidas Field.
The tournament was hosted by the Drexel University Women’s Lacrosse Team and Head Coach Hannah Rudloff to honor the memory of the team’s little sister, Maggie Medvitz – the 2 ½ year old they “adopted” through the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation in July of 2009. Maggie, who had just been diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer, sadly passed away after four months of intense chemotherapy and radiation treatment.
In her memory, the Drexel team hosts the “Lax 4 Maggie” event each fall. In three years, the Lady Dragons have raised over $8,500 for the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation and the Maggie Medvitz Education Fund, which provides aid scholarships for students attending St. Joseph’s Catholic School in Downingtown (PA), the school Maggie would have attended had she lived.
The Fall Classic, which Maggie’s father attended to thank the team and the middle and high school girls participating in the event, featured a shooting clinic and a series of 10-minute small-sided games in a championship format. Each team played with four field players and a goalie in a half-court setting.
The BaggataGirls were the 3rd seed in the division after pool play, having dropped one goal games in the preliminaries to both Mongoose Lacrosse, composed of players from Great Valley, and the Baby Dragons, consisting of upperclassmen committed to play at Drexel. Neither of those teams lost in pool pairings; they tied each other when they met in the initial round robin.
In their semifinal game, the BaggataGirls jumped out to a 3-goal lead and toppled the tough Mongoose squad, 5-2, setting up a rematch with the talented Baby Dragons.
In the championship game, which was played in cold and windy conditions under the lights, the BaggataGirls converted quickly on their first possession. The Drexel commits answered and soon seized the lead.
The BaggataGirls kept it close, tallied an equalizer in the late going, and notched a go-ahead goal to make it 4-3 with less than two minutes on the clock. That last interval of the time featured some on the most dramatic play all day, as Drexel forced a turnover on the sideline in front of their jubilant future teammates, which followed a string of point blank saves by the Drexel-bound goalkeeper.
Facing a final Baby Dragon possession with 30 seconds left, the BaggataGirls mustered a take-away of their own and netted a final goal at the buzzer to end a great day of friendly but competitive lacrosse that was played in Maggie’s memory and in the context of a larger purpose.
The win at Drexel capped an exciting finish to a strong fall campaign for the Mesa BaggataGirls, most of who play with the Phantastix on the summer club circuit. The team earned championship titles at the University of Delaware 5v5 and the Lehigh University 7v7 September Spectacular and a second place finish at the Tiger Challenge at Princeton. The team also enjoyed a spirited quarterfinal appearance against the PSU commits at the Penn State 5v5, falling in a barn-burner to the eventual runner-up.
Special thanks to Coach Rudloff, Assistant Coach Mary Moran, who organized the Fall Classic, and the Drexel Women’s team for hosting a fun event for such a worthy and wonderful cause.