By Harry Chaykun
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 4/19/15
Conestoga junior Sondra Dickey wasn’t about to give up after Great Valley sophomore goalie Mia Tornetta made a great stop on her shot with less than six minutes to play in a nonleague game at the Pioneers’ Teamer Field Saturday afternoon.
A minute later, Dickey stood to Tornetta’s left, waited for a signal from teammate Monica Borzillo, then darted for the goal as Borzillo delivered the ball. Dickey finished the play with her fourth goal of the game, which put Conestoga ahead in a game the Pioneers went on to win, 11-10.
The victory was the eighth in a row for ‘Stoga (8-1, No. 2 by Phillylacrosse.com), which trailed by four goals in the first half. The loss was the first for GV (8-1, No. 8), which entered play behind only Conestoga and Radnor in the LaxPower rankings being used for District 1 seeding.
Conestoga plays at Manheim Township, ranked No. 4 in District 3, Monday afternoon while Radnor and Great Valley will face each other at the Katie Samson Festival next Saturday.
Conestoga put together a 15-7 overall advantage over Great Valley – it was 10-5 in the first half – in draw controls, but needed a goal by Borzillo in the last minute of the first half to earn a 7-7 draw at the break. The Pioneers committed eight turnovers in the opening 25 minutes and committed 18 fouls, while Kristen Knaff and Olivia Muscella both got two goals in the opening half for Great Valley.
In the second half, senior goalie Laney Stenson stepped in for the Pioneers and came up with five big saves, while Maddie Little, Scottie Rose Growney, Sarah Nicholson, Dickey, Elisabeth Ingersoll, Sarah Brooke and Liz Scott were among the key defenders for the home team.
Scott, who scored three goals, earned nine of Conestoga’s draw controls. Borzillo, who followed up Dickey’s fifth goal with her second with 3:12 to play, also had a pair of assists.
“Monica and I have played together for a long time,” Dickey said. “We know each other very well. We knew we had to pick up our game in the second half today, and I think we played well.”
Stenson said she used her time on the sideline in the first half to watch how Great Valley was attacking the Conestoga goal.
“They were shooting high, and I tried to take those shots away from them,” the Delaware recruit said. “I know I didn’t want them getting 8-meter shots or 1 vs. 1s on me. Those are the worst.
“Our defense talked a lot and communicated while I was out there. That’s the way we have to play.”
Stenson did make a big stop on an 8-meter shot with less than three minutes to play to protect a two-goal lead. Great Valley’s final goal came as time expired.
Kristen Knaff scored three goals and Linnea Hughes had two goals and a pair of assists for the Patriots, while Olivia Muscella and Natalie Kahn chipped in with two goals apiece for GV.
“They have an outstanding team,” Conestoga coach Amy Orcutt said of Great Valley. “The way we were turning the ball over in the first half, it was a good thing they didn’t make more of their shots or we would have been in trouble.
“Our help defense was much better in the second half. We’re happy we’re coming away from a tough game like this with another win.”
Conestoga 11, Great Valley 10
Great Valley 7 3 – 10
Conestoga 7 4 – 11
Great Valley: Kristen Knaff 3G, Linnea Hughes 2G 2A, Olivia Muscella 2G, Natalie Kahn 2G, Courtney Cortese 1G, Ashlyn Smith 1A.
Conestoga: Sondra Dickey 4G, Liz Scott 3G, Monica Borzillo 2G 2A, Scottie Rose Growney 1G 1A, Paige Loose 1G, Maggie Stetson 1A, Hannah Ashton 1A.
Saves: Mia Tornetta (GV) 7; Jules Horning (Con) 2; Laney Stenson (Con) 5.