By Harry Chaykun
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 4/26/14
One of the worst things that can happen to a senior athlete is an injury.
Watching practices and games hurts just as much as whatever it was that caused the inactivity.
Harriton midfielder/defender Hilary Lemonick went through injury-related idleness earlier in the season. She has been back in the lineup helping the defending PIAA champion Rams (9-4) put together a six-game winning streak, which included a 6-5 decision over defending Pennsylvania Independent Schools champ Episcopal Academy at the 14th Katie Samson Lacrosse Festival at Radnor High Saturday afternoon.
Goalie Melina Avery missed the first five games of the winning streak after being hurt in Harriton’s last losing effort, which came against Downingtown East.
Avery played part of the Rams’ win over Lower Merion Thursday. The EA contest was her first full game since her injury.
“I felt a little slow, but when you go a few weeks without playing it’s going to take time to come back,” Avery said, after turning away five Episcopal scoring chances. “It was painful having to watch, but it was awesome how (freshman goalie) Sophie Grady stepped in. I was glad I had a chance to help her.
“I was excited to get the chance to play in this game. I have a good defense in front of me, and we have a lot of good shooters, who help make me better each day at practice.”
One of those shooters, Maura Henderson, got a pair of goals in the opening half. Sabrina Tabasso chipped in with a goal and an assist, and Katie Melvin got the first of her two goals as Harriton built a 4-3 advantage in the first 25 minutes.
Episcopal Academy (10-3) grabbed the lead on goals by Corinne Zanolli and Colby Gallagher while holding the Rams scoreless for the first 11:38 of the second half. Jane Henderson’s goal pulled the Rams even with 13:22 to play.
The Harriton defensive unit, led by Lemonick, Tabasso, Jessica Herman, Alexa Foust and Allie Margulies helped Avery keep EA off the scoreboard for more than 13 minutes.
“We had a few letups that led to uncontested shots,” Lemonick said. “But we had a solid defensive effort for most of the 50 minutes, and that’s what (head coach George Dick) has been talking to us about all season.
“We work well together and play well as a team. That’s what we have to keep doing for our three league games this week, and then as we get ready for the playoffs. We’d like to be able to defend our (state) championship, but we know we’ll have a target on our back and teams will be coming for us.”
Tabasso set up Katie Melvin for a goal with 10:47 left, and that score was the last of the game. Harriton went into its delay style of play in the attack zone with five minutes to play, but EA’s Jane Crager forced a turnover with 1:32 on the clock. The Rams got the ball back 30 seconds later, and they did not give it up.
“Having Melina back helps a lot,” Dick said. “And it was good for her that we didn’t give up too many shots today. (Episcopal Academy) has a good team, and they know how to take time off the clock.
“This was my sixth time at the Katie Samson Festival. We’ve won all of those games, and five of those wins have been by one goal. Last year, we had a breather, winning by two goals.”
Lily Crager scored two goals for EA, which has lost its last two starts, including a 13-11 setback to Inter-Ac rival Agnes Irwin that halted an eight-game winning streak.
Harriton 4 2 – 6
Episcopal Academy 3 2 – 5
Katie Melvin 2 G
Sabrina Tabasso 1 G 3 A
Maura Henderson 2 G
Jane Henderson 1 G
Hilary Lemonick 3 DCs
Alexa Foust 2 CTs
Melina Avery 4 Saves
Episcopal Academy: Lily Crager 2G, Emma Brumbaugh 1G 1A, Corinne Zanolli 1G, Colby Gallagher 1G.
Saves – Harriton: Melina Avery 5; Episcopal Academy: Sydney Gagnon 5.