By Harry Chaykun
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/30/13
Katie Melvin listened intently as Harriton girls’ lacrosse coach George Dick made his point at halftime of the Rams’ PIAA Tournament opener against Conestoga at West Chester East’s Zimmerman Stadium Wednesday night.
“He told me I had to pick it up,” said Melvin, a junior. “I had to take my shots before their defense got all over me.”
Melvin, who had scored once in the first 25 minute as Harriton fell behind by a goal, came back with four goals in the second half to help the District 1 champion Rams to a 10-7 victory over the Central league rival Pioneers (17-6). Harriton (22-2) will play a state quarterfinal contest against District 3 runnerup Kennard-Dale (a 16-7 winner over Southern Lehigh) Saturday at a site and time to be determined.
Melvin’s contributions on attack were key because Harriton was without high-scoring junior Sabrina Tabasso, who suffered a broken foot in the district title win over Springfield-Delco last week and will be sidelined for the state tournament.
“I told them before the game to keep doing what they’ve been doing,” Tabasso, who stood beside Dick throughout the contest, said. “I told them to think about trying to keep running faster and giving that extra effort to get every ground ball.
“I told them that was what they needed to do to win this game.”
The Rams also needed to shut down the Conestoga attack. Meghan McGillis scored twice for the Pioneers in the first half, but Harriton kept ‘Stoga off the scoreboard for the last 13:45 of that half and the first 4½ minutes of the second half while taking the lead on a pair of Melvin goals, the second assisted by Caleigh Foust.
McGillis got Conestoga even, but freshman Alex Ladda and Melvin answered for Harriton, which gave up only two scores in the last 20:21 of the contest. Goals by Bailey Ebby, Foust and Melvin put the finishing touches on the victory.
“We knew this would be a big game, and we knew Conestoga would be going after us,” Melvin said. “I started kind of slowly, but I knew what I had to do after halftime.
“Tabasso had told us even if she couldn’t be on the field (physically), she was still with us. We got to the second round of states last year. We don’t want that to be where we stop this year.”
Junior Hilary Lemonick and senior Alison Tepper were among the Harriton players who limited Conestoga’s scoring chances on goalie Melina Avery (six saves) after halftime.
“The one thing we’ve learned is that we always have someone to pick us up,” Lemonick said. “We knew we had to have our best defensive effort and play as hard as we could.”
“We’ll go easy Thursday and watch the film we got of Kennard Dale,” Dick said. “We’ll be ready for the next one.”
Harriton 10, Conesoga 7
Conestoga 4 3 – 7
Harriton 3 7 – 10
Katie Melvin 5 G
Alex Ladda 2 G
Jane Henderson 1 G
Caleigh Foust 1 G 1 A
Bailey Ebby 1 G
Melina Avery 9 Saves
Meghan McGillis 4 G
Claire Jackson 1 G
Megan Cameron 1 G
Maggie Friel 1 G
McKenzie Orr 1 A