Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 4/5/14
Visiting Downingtown East pulled off one of the biggest girls’ upsets upsets in several years today by defeating defending state champion and second-ranked Harriton, 6-5.
Nicole Barretta had four goals and an assist and the Cougars (4-1) took a 4-1 halftime lead and staved off a late Rams (3-3) rally as Haleigh Wurzel (10 saves) and a staunch defense held strong.
Hariton was the top-ranked team from PA in this week’s Phillylacrosse.com Rankings; Downinghtown East was No. 13, and had dropped a 13-8 decision to Great Valley in a key Ches-Mont League showdown on Tuesday.
“It was crazy,” Barrett said. “It was an absolute team effort. We were all so excited for this game and I think that showed today.”
Added Cougars coach Krista Somits: “Our kids showed up and played hard. We have a little more experienced team this year. The girls are very excited. They were pumped up to play today.”
Harriton coach George Dick gave the credit to Downingtown East.
“Our kids did not come to play and theirs did,” he said. “Their goalie played really well; we shot 1 for 12 in the first half. They got the momentum and we never recovered.”
Harriton suffered a loss in the second half when senior goalie Melina Avery (Syracuse signee) was hit in the face on an 8-meter and was removed from the game.
Barrett scored all four of her team’s first-half goals, but she said Wurzel and the team’s overall defense were the keys to the good start.
“I think our communication and overall intensity really drove our defense to play as well as we did,” Barretta said. “But we also owe a ton of credit to our goalie for making 10 huge saves in the game. Those saves kept us in the game both mentally and on the scoreboard.
“And the one goal they got was on an open cage cause our goalie got called with shooting space.”
Somits said the Cougars played with poise.
“We knew their goalie was really good so we tried to move the ball and be selective with our shots,” she said.
How will this win help the Cougars?
“It definitely boasts our moral and gives us the confidence we need to move forward,” said Barretta. “This win shows us that we can hang with teams as skillful and talented as Harriton.
Katie Melvin had two goals and an assist to lead the Rams. Sarah Kolhoff had a goal and two assists and Victoria Barretta added a goal and an assist for Downingtown East.
Downingtown East 6, Harriton 5
Harriton 1-4- 5
Downingtown East 4-2- 6
Sarah Kolhoff 1g, 2a
Nicole Barretta 4g, 1a
Victoria Barretta 1g, 1a
Caroline Ambrosia 1a
Haleigh Wurzel 10 saves
Melvin 2g, 1a
Maura Henderson 1g
Sabrina Tabasso 1g, 1a
Jane Henderson 1g