By Harry Chaykun
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/5/15
Linnea Hughes calls Great Valley a “goal-based team.”
“Our first goal is always to win the Ches-Mont (League), then to win states,” Hughes said Tuesday night, after she had scored four goals to help the host Patriots (14-3 overall, 10-0 league) earn an 8-7 decision over Unionville (13-3, 10-1) to clinch at least a tie for their fourth straight Ches-Mont title.
Great Valley, which has a 54-game Ches-Mont League winning streak, can claim its fourth consecutive outright league crown with a victory Thursday at Downingtown East.
Olivia Muscella added two goals, Natalie Kahn had one goal and two assists, and Kristen Knaff got a goal and an assist to pace the Great Valley attack.
Defensively, sophomore goalie Mia Tornetta turned away 10 shots and got plenty of support from the GV backline unit, including Lucy Haubold, Brooke Lionetti, Neve Bonelli and Kodi Campetti.
“Our defense is my family,” Tornetta said. “Sometimes I get a little rowdy back there. If somebody does something to one of them, I want to do whatever I can to give my teammates a lift.”
During the first half, in which Great Valley built a 4-2 advantage, Tornetta scooped up one loose ball and headed upfield before she was fouled and sent tumbling to the ground, resulting in a turf-burned knee.
“I’ve gone almost as far as the 40 this year,” she said. “There was a girl on my left side and a girl on my right side, so I just told myself I had to get the ball and get going.”
Hughes got the Patriots going with their first two goals of the game, then she opened the second-half scoring. Her fourth goal came with 7:44 to play and gave GV an 8-5 lead.
Unionville scored twice on 8-meter shots, which came 24 seconds apart and with just over one minute remaining. The second was by Quinn Benintende, who finished with three goals and one assist.
“I should have had them,” Tornetta said. “But I’m human, so sometimes shots do go in.”
An Indians foul on the draw with 1:02 on the clock gave Great Valley the last possession, and the Patriots passed and ran as the last seconds ticked away.
“We were ready for this game,” Hughes said. “We knew how important each possession would be.”
Great Valley’s first-year head coach, Kim Wenger, was pleased with the effort she got from each player who stepped on the field.
“They worked together, and I’m proud of that,” the former GV player said. “They really hustled on some key plays, and that was a game-changer.”
Great Valley 8, Unionville 7
Unionville 2 5 – 7
Great Valley 4 4 – 8
Unionville: Quinn Benintende 3G 1A, Cassie Blair 2G, Emma Walker 1G, Katie Garvey 1G.
Great Valley: Linnea Hughes 4G, Olivia Muscella 2G, Natalie Kahn 1G 2A, Kristen Knaff 1G 1A, Ashlyn Smith 1A.
Saves: Madison Doucette (U) 5; Mia Tornetta (GV) 10.