By Harry Chaykun
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/2/14
The Central League schedule-maker had the Harriton vs. Springfield (Delco) rematch of the 2013 District 1 girls title contest scheduled for March 25.
The weatherman had other ideas, sending cloudy, damp and – for a brief time – snowy weather that early spring day.
“We’ve been waiting to play them the whole season,” senior Aly Gormley said Friday, after scoring four goals to help the Cougars (14-2 overall, 9-1 Central League) earn a 9-7 decision over the defending district and PIAA champion Rams (10-5, 7-2) at Halderman Field.
With the win, Springfield, which has won six in a row since a Spring Break loss in Virginia, has all but locked up the Central League’s No. 2 seed for the upcoming district playoffs. Harriton, which had a seven-game winning streak halted, should be the third Central seed.
Junior Emily Santana joined Gormley with four goals for Springfield. She also chipped in with one assist and was the key factor in her team claiming a 13-5 advantage on draw controls.
Santana assisted on the Cougars’ first goal, which came off the stick of Emily Paulus. By halftime, Springfield had a 5-3 lead, and Santana had scored three goals.
Gormley scored three times in the second half, with the last of those goals putting the home team ahead, 9-4.
Katie Melvin, who opened the scoring for Harriton, had three goals in the second half, two assisted by Sabrina Tabasso, who finished with three goals and two assists.
“We knew this was a big game,” Gormley, who suffered an ACL tear in a state tournament game last June and spent her summer working to be ready to play this spring.
“Our one goal was to do what we had to do to win. Every one of us really wanted this game.”
Springfield senior goalie Katie Bedard turned away nine Harriton shots, including a stop with three minutes to play as the Rams bid to cut what had been a five-goal deficit to one goal.
“I’m overwhelmed,” Bedard said, after accepting congratulations from her teammates. “We lost to them for the district championship last year. I didn’t play much in the (2013) playoffs, so I wanted to be ready for this game.”
Having Gormley, Santana and the other Springfield sharpshooters – as well as assistant coach Kathleen Geiger – work with her at practice and in pre-game warmups has helped make Bedard a better goalie.
“We practice going against her,” Gormley said. “Then we turn it around and she has the chance to work on clearing the ball to us.”
Bedard was a field player as a fourth grader in her first lacrosse experience.
“The next year, when they had goalies, I volunteered to play there,” she said.
She also volunteered the information that she gets a lot of help in each game.
“Our defense has been strong,” she said. “We’re talking a lot better out there, and our slides were nice today.”
Harriton coach George Dick talked at length to his players after the game before preparing for a cross-country flight to see his daughter, former Harriton standout Ally McLaughlin, play for host Pomona-Pitzer against Redlands in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference title match Saturday morning.
“We had a game plan and they had a game plan,” Dick said. “Give Springfield credit for executing their game plan and slowing things down the way they wanted. We certainly didn’t do the kind of job we wanted to in executing our game plan.”
Springfield-Delco 9, Harriton 7
Harriton 3 4 – 7
Springfield 8 3 – 11
Harriton: Katie Melvin 4G, Sabrina Tabasso 3G 2A.
Springfield: Emily Santana 4G 1A, Aly Gormley 4G, Emily Paulus 1G.
Saves – Harriton: Melina Avery 5; Springfield: Katie Bedard 9.