By Harry Chaykun
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 6/4/13
Senior standout Caleigh Foust had one opinion after helping Harriton to a 15-8 victory over District 3 champion Manheim Township in a Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association Tournament semifinal game at Exeter Township High Tuesday night.
“I didn’t do anything,” said Foust, one of only two seniors in the Rams’ lineup.
Her coach, George Dick, thought otherwise.
“It’s called filling up the scoresheet,” Dick said, pointing to Foust’s two goals, one assist and six caused turnovers.
Foust and defender Alison Tepper will be the only 12th graders taking the field at noon Saturday at Hersheypark Stadium, where the District 1 champion Rams (24-2), ranked No. 15 by TopLaxRecruits.com. will take on Central League rival Radnor in the state championship game.
Radnor won the first two PIAA titles (2009 by beating Strath Haven, and 2010 with a win over Springfield-Delco). Harriton, which advanced to the state semifinal round for the first time, will be going after its first PIAA crown.
“The other players have been saying all along that they wanted to do this for the seniors,” Foust said. “Now we have that chance to play one more game. And it’s nice to be playing a team we know so well like Radnor.”
While Foust was drawing plenty of attention from Manheim Township’s defense, junior Katie Melvin and sophomore Jane Henderson were pulling the load on attack for Harriton, which is playing the state tournament without high-scoring junior Sabrina Tabasso (broken foot).
Melvin scored seven goals against the Blue Streaks (22-5), scoring on the Rams’ first shot and finishing the first half with five goals. Henderson got her team’s first three goals of the second half, a half in which Harriton limited Manheim Township to a pair of goals as Foust, Tepper, Alexa Foust, Jessica Herman, Maura Henderson and Hilary Lemonick were strong defensively in front of goalie Melina Avery (nine saves).
“They had two outstanding players (Emily McBride, who finished with four goals, and Molly Hendrick, who got two goals), Caleigh Foust said. “Maura did a great job face-guarding (Hendrick), so they didn’t have other options.”
Many options was something Harriton had with Melvin and Jane Henderson working their magic on attack, especially after Manheim Township scored three goals while the Rams were a player short because of a yellow card. When the teams got back even, Harriton scored three of the last four goals of the first half.
Caleigh Foust added a goal in each half and set up one of Melvin’s scores in addition to her defensive work.
“This was one of the best games we played all year,” Melvin said. “They came back on us a little, but this time we picked ourselves up. We know most of us will be back next year, but this is our one shot for Caleigh and Tepper.”
Jane Henderson recalled the cold days of winter when practice began as well as the intense heat and humidity of last week’s quarterfinal win over Kennard-Dale.
“All season our goal was June 8,” she said, of the date of the state final. “It seemed like it was so far away when we started, but now it’s here. “
“We came to play today,” Dick said. “It’s hard to beat us when our transition game is on like it was. And Melina made some big stops. It was another one of those team efforts.”
Harriton 15, Manheim Township 8
Manheim Twp. 6 -2 – 8
Harriton 10 5 – 15
Manheim Township- Emily McBride 4G, Molly Hendrick 2G, Gabby Cardina 1G 2A, Toni Yuko 1G 1A.
Harriton- Katie Melvin 7G, Jane Henderson 5G 1A, Caleigh Foust 2G 1A, Maura Henderson 1G, Alex Ladda 1A.
Saves- Manheim Township: Briana Leaman 14. Harriton: Melina Avery 9.