By Harry Chaykun
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 6/6/15
HERSHEY, Pa. – Emily Mathewson collected five goals, two assists and seven draw controls and Garnet Valley outscored Conestoga, 14-6, after a slow start and claimed a 14-10 victory over the Pioneers today to win its second straight and fourth PIAA girls’ lacrosse championship in five years at HersheyPark Stadium.
The Jaguars (18-9), the fifth seed from District 1 and the fifth-place finisher in the Central League, dominated the draws and used a 5-1 surge at the start of the second half to take the lead for good. Conestoga (23-4), the Central League champion, was making its first state championship game appearance.
“It was unbelievable,” said Mathewson, a junior All-American.”We got down 4-0, but we made it exciting. We made sure the seniors would be happier walking into graduation tomorrow.”
Mathewson scored 16 seconds after halftime, then after Liz Scott (four goals, two assists) gave Conestoga an 8-7 lead. Mathewson started a four-goal Jags run in which she helped Kara Nakrasius for the goal that put Garnet Valley ahead to stay.
Sophomore Madi O’Brien (three goals) and Maddie Mansi (assisted by Mathewson) also scored, giving the Jaguars an 11-8 advantage.
That’s when the Garnet Valley defensive unit, which included Rachel Glenn, Kylie Young, Beth Hoffman, Mathewson, Rachel Warden and Michelle Koscinski shut things down in front of freshman goalie Makenna Mink, who faced only five shots after the halftime break.
Conestoga was without sophomore Scottie Rose Growney, who picked up a pair of yellow cards in the first 13 minutes, during its second-half comeback attempt.
“I wasn’t happy about some of the calls,” Conestoga head coach Amy Orcutt said. “I am proud of our girls and happy they had the chance to play for the state championship.”
Garnet Valley coach Jenny Purvis recalled how Conestoga came back in the second half to overtake Garnet Valley when the teams met in Central League play in April.
“I’ve told them all along that you have to play 50 minutes against a team as good as Conestoga,” Purvis said. “Playing only 90 percent of the game wouldn’t be good enough because their attack is so good and they have a strong defense.
“We showed our heart and proved that we could be a state title team.”
Mathewson was one of the team’s four captains who accepted the state championship trophy.
“Our seniors gave their all for this program,” she said of the seven players who wore a Garnet Valley uniform for the last time.
“A couple of them just won the championship for the third time.”
O’Brien, who missed last year’s state final win over Springfield-Delco after undergoing knee surgery, admitted that she enjoyed the chance to get on the field in Hershey on this trip.
“It was different having the chance to play with these girls on this team,” O’Brien said. “People doubted us because of our record, and maybe (Conestoga) doubted us because they already beat us.
“That just got us more fired up to play this game. And I hope I have the chance to play here again next year.”
Garnet Valley, which defeated Springfield-Delco last year in the title game, also won the crown in 2011 and 2012. Teams from the Central League have won all seven PIAA titles; the others were won by Radnor (two) and Harriton (one).
Garnet Valley 14, Conestoga 10
Garnet Valley 6 8 – 14
Conestoga 7 3 – 10
Liz Scott 4G 2A
Sondra Dickey 2G 2A
Hannah Ashton 2G
Monica Borillo 1G
Maggie Stetson 1G.
Laney Stenson 5 saves
Jules Horning 4 saves
Rachel Glenn- 1gb
Beth Hofmann- 1gb, 2ct
Michelle Koscinski- 3g
Maddie Mansi- 1a
Emily Mathewson- 5g, 2a, 3gb, 7dc, 2ct
Kamryn McNeal- 1g, 1ct
Kara Nakrasius- 2g, 1gb, 5dc, 2ct
Madi O’Brien- 3G, 1gb
Madison Valerio- 1a, 2gb
Rachel Warden- 1a, 2gb
Kylie Young- 1dc, 1ct
Makenna Mink- 8 saves