By Harry Chaykun
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/17/15
The Great Valley girls’ lacrosse team took care of business on the steamy turf at West Chester East High’s Zimmerman Stadium Saturday afternoon, collecting a 15-7 victory over Souderton in the District 1 quarterfinals.
With the win, the fourth-seeded Patriots (18-3) advanced to the semifinals to meet top-seeded Conestoga at Haverford High Tuesday at 6 p.m. Great Valley also clinched one of District 1’s five berths in the PIAA Tournament, which begins May 27.
Souderton (17-4) will play at Springfield-Delco Tuesday as the play-back round.
“We’ve had some Saturday afternoon games that didn’t go very well this season,” said Great Valley junior Kristen Knaff, who scored three goals and added a pair of assists.
One of those games was an overtime loss to Radnor at the Katie Samson Invitational. The other was a one-goal loss at Conestoga.
“We’re excited to see them again,” Great Valley coach Kim Wenger said of Conestoga (20-1), which has won 20 in a row since an opening-game loss to Agnes Irwin.
“We’ll have a mental preparation day (Sunday) then a practice day to get ready for that game.”
Junior Ashlyn Smith, who scored twice in the first half, and sophomore Olivia Muscella, who tossed in four scores after the halftime break, both got five goals for Great Valley. The Ches-Mont League chamos have scored at least 15 goals in each of its district tournament contests.
“Our chemistry has been good and we’ve been playing well,” Smith said. “(My teammates) know where I’m going to be and I know where they are going to be, and we get the ball to each other.
“Our goal has been to make it back to states, and now that we’ve done that we have other goals to work toward.”
Muscella scored three times during a six-minute stretch of the second half when Great Valley scored five consecutive goals to go ahead, 14-5.
“That’s when we really picked our game up,” she said.
Wenger admitted she wasn’t happy with a 6-4 halftime lead.
“Our defense was winning the game for us in the first half,” the first-year head coach said. “Things switched around a little in the second half.”
Natalie Bulgier led the Indians with threegoals.
“One of the key factors today was the depth they have,” Indians head coach Kelly Kelly said of Great Valley.
In the first half, goalie Mia Tornetta (six saves) turned away four shots and Courtney Cortese, Lucy Haubold, Kodi Campetti, Brooke Lionetti and Megan D’Ginto played well defensively.
“It’s a big load off our shoulders knowing we’ve made states,” said Lionetti, who will play at The College of New Jersey.
Knaff knows that after a day off, she and her teammates will be ready to work hard Monday.
“We are going to be super-focused for that practice and get everything done we know we have to do to get ready for Conestoga,” she said.
Great Valley 15, Souderton 7
Souderton 4 3 – 7
Great Valley 6 9 – 15
Souderton: Natalie Bulgier 3G, Krista Schneider 1G, Juliana Ofalt 1G, Kyra Shank 1G, Ally Sonn 1G, Brittany Roynan 1A.
Great Valley: Ashlyn Smith 5G 1A, Olivia Muscella 5G, Kristen Knaff 3G 2A, Linnea Hughes 1G 1A, Natalie Kahn 1G.
Saves: Kelly Williams (S) 9; Mia Tornetta (GV) 6.