By Harry Chaykun
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/21/14
Garnet Valley and Harriton have played a pair of one-goal games this spring.
Those who watched the Central League champion Jaguars earn a 16-15 overtime decision over the defending district and state champion Rams at Haverford High Tuesday night left wondering what would happen if the teams would run into each other one more time this season.
Sophomore Kara Nakrasius’ goal, which was set up by a pass from senior Dana Davis 1:31 into overtime, lifted Garnet Valley to a 16-15 decision over Harriton in a classic district semifinal matchup.
The Jaguars (20-1), who have won 11 games in a row, will take on Springfield-Delco (21-1) – a 19-11 winner of Great Valley – for the district championship at 7:30 Thursday night at West Chester East High’s Zimmerman Field. Harriton and Great Valley play in the third-place game at W.C. East at 5:30 Thursday.
Springfield-Delco lost the 2013 district final to Harriton, which went on to claim the state title with an overtime victory over Radnor.
The second half of Tuesday’s second game of the semifinal doubleheader was a wild one. Harriton scored the first three goals to earn a 10-7 advantage. After Emily Mathewson (four goals, two assists) scored on an 8-meter shot for Garnet Valley, Sabrina Fusco got a goal and set up two to put the Jaguars ahead.
Katie Melvin (four goals) drew the Rams (16-6) even with 10:43 to play, before Garnet Valley got scores from Michelle Koscinski, Dana Davis (five goals, one assist) and Madison Valerio (assisted by Davis).
Back came Harriton, as Jane Henderson notched two of her five goals and Melvin also scored, and the Rams had forced the game to overtime.
The extra period did not begin well for Harriton, which had accumulated three yellow cards in regulation play. Defender Hilary Lemonick lost her footing on the turf, which had become slippery from the rain that fell through the final 10 minutes of the second half, made contact with a Garnet Valley player and was given a yellow card.
Garnet Valley exercised plenty of patience, working the ball with an extra player on attack as the seconds ticked away in overtime.
“We wanted to find someone open going to goal,” Davis said. “We figured we could do that if we stayed patient.”
When Nakrasius got in the clear to the left of Harriton goalie Melina Avery, Davis, who was behind the cage, saw her and put the ball in her stick. Nakrasius, who hadn’t scored, changed that with an accurate shot that touched off a wild celebration by the Jaguars.
“My teammates were setting the picks and working together,” Nakrasius said. “I couldn’t have done this without them. At practice Monday, were really worked hard on the things that are our strengths and the things we knew we needed to do to win this game.”
Should Harriton win the third-place game and Garnet Valley lose the district final, the teams could see each other one more time in the second round of the PIAA Tournament. If Garnet Valley is district champion and Harriton is the No. 3 seed from District 1, the teams would be on opposite sides of the state bracket and would play again only if both made it to the PIAA title game.
“Give credit to Garnet Valley,” Harriton coach George Dick said. “We hope to see them again.”
In the other semifinal game Tuesday night, Kate Ryan scored seven goals and Emily Santana had six goals and three assists as Springfield-Delco coasted past Great Valley, 19-11.
Ryan tallied five goals in the first half to help the Cougars build an 11-4 lead. Great Valley scored the first four goals of the second half, before Santana responded with a pair of scores for Springfield.
“They came out strong,” Santana said. “But after our timeout we got our strength back and knew we could win this game. Our defense did what we needed them to do.
“Each day at practice, our defense works on doubles and we work on finding the open girls and moving the ball. That’s what helped us win this game.”
Garnet Valley 16, Harriton 15
Harriton 7 8 0 – 15
Garnet Valley 7 8 1 – 16
Harriton: Jane Henderson 5G, Katie Melvin 4G, Sabrina Tabasso 4G, Julia Marks 2G.
Garnet Valley: Dana Davis 5G 1A, Emily Mathewson 4G 2A, Madison Valerio 2G, Haley Warden 2G, Sabrina Fusco 1G 3A, Michelle Koscinski 1G, Kara Nakrasius 1G.
Saves: Melina Avery (Harriton) 5, Paige Mitros (Garnet Valley) 11.
Springfield-Delco 19, Great Valley 11
Great Valley 4 7 – 11
Springfield-Delco 11 8 – 19
Great Valley: Brittany Edwards 4G, Ashlyn Smith 3G, Olivia Muscella 2G, Linnea Hughes 1G 1A, Megan Buettner 1G, Stephanie Aker 1G.
Springfield-Delco: Kate Ryan 7G, Emily Santana 6G 3A, Taylor DeBernardi 3G, Aly Gormley 3G, Emily Paulus 1A.
Saves: Mia Tornetta (GV) 5, Katie Bedard (S-D) 8.