By Harry Chaykun
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 4/22/14
There are times when the Harriton Rams get up and down the field very quickly.
“We can play a fast game and score goals quickly,” head coach George Dick likes to say.
There are times when the defending PIAA girls champions are in no hurry.
Tuesday afternoon with a four-goal lead at Radnor, Harriton patiently played throw and catch and avoided the Red Raiders’ attempts at reclaiming the ball as the Rams (7-4 overall, 5-1 Central League) spent the last 7 minutes and 54 seconds of their Central League game playing keep-away and protecting the lead that turned into their 11-7 Central League victory in the rematch of the teams that played for the 2013 PIAA championship last June.
Harriton, which has won four in a row since dropping a one-goal decision to Central League leader Garnet Valley, used four goals by Jane Henderson to build an 8-5 halftime advantage. After Radnor got the first score of the second half, Henderson converted an 8-meter shot and Alex Ladda finished a play started with a nifty draw control by Sabrina Tabasso (two goals, two assists, two DCs, four GBs) 17 seconds later.
Katie Melvin, who had a goal in each half, closed the scoring with a Harriton tally with 10:25 to play. Then Dick had his players spread out in the attack zone and patiently work the ball as the clock continued to tick down.
“They had been face-guarding Katie Melvin, so others on our attack had to contribute,” Dick said. “Radnor has a nice team, and this was a good win for us.”
Radnor would be happy not to have to see Henderson again, but knows that the road to another trip to Hershey would have to go through Harriton in the district tournament.
“Last year, I scored four straight goals against them,” Henderson, a junior who has committed to Lehigh University, said. “This time I got four goals (in the first half).
“Playing on this field was good for us today. I hope it’s good when we come back here Saturday.”
After taking on Central League rival Lower Merion Thursday, the Rams will be back at Radnor Saturday to face defending Pennsylvania Independent Schools champion Episcopal Academy in the Katie Samson Classic.
“We’re looking forward to that game, and I’m sure they are too,” Henderson said.
Harriton got solid defensive play from Hilary Lemonick (4 CTs 2 DCs), Jess Herman, Allie Margulies and Alexa Foust in front of freshman Sophia Grady, who continues to play in goal in place on injured senior Melina Avery. Grady turned away seven shots in earning her fourth win since making her varsity debut in the Garnet Valley game.
“We know they like to run their offense through the middle,” Dick said of Radnor. “So we tried to keep the (defensive) pressure on them. (Grady) did a nice job, and we tried to make sure she didn’t have to face that many shots.”
Harriton outshot Radnor, 20-14, and had only five turnovers to the Red Raiders’ 14. Radnor had a 13-7 edge in draw controls.
Sara Curley scored twice for the Red Raiders (9-3, 5-2).
“We executed our game plan in trying to contain Katie Melvin,” Radnor coach Brooke Fritz said. “But we just didn’t play well enough today.”
Radnor visits Strath Haven for its next Central League game Thursday afternoon, then takes on Merion Mercy in the Katie Samson Festival Saturday afternoon.
Harriton 11, Radnor 7
Harriton 8 3 – 11
Radnor 5 2 – 7
Harriton: Jane Henderson 5G, Sabrina Tabasso 2G 2A, Katie Melvin 2G, Maura Henderson 1G, Alex Ladda 1G.
Radnor: Sara Curley 2G, Megan Massimino 1G, Kate Stanley 1G, Kaelee Helms 1G, Kastie Quinn 1G, Hannah Proctor 1G, Emma Bickhart 1A, Reilly Masterson 1A.
Saves – Harriton: Sophie Grady 7; Radnor: Maddie Lally 6.