Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 6/2/15
Garnet Valley used a 5-0 surge to erase a 9-6 lead and defeated Quaker Valley, 13-10, today at Cumberland Valley to advance to the PIAA finals in HersheyPark Stadium where it has won three of the last four state championships.
The Jaguars (17-9) will face Central League rival Conestoga in the title game Saturday at noon at HersheyPark Stadium. Conestoga (22-3), which defeated Garnet Valley, 13-11, on April 28, advanced with a 12-5 triumph over Radnor.
The title game will feature two teams that finished just fourth (Conestoga) and fifth (Garnet Valley) in the District 1 tournament.
Emily Mathewson had four goals and three assists as well as six draw controls and two caused turnovers for the Jags. The junior also scored three consecutive goals to pull Garnet Valley into a 9-9 tie midway through the second half.
Then senior Madison Valerio (three goals) put the Jags ahead to stay. Megan Amoroso scored with 9:02 to break a near-13 minute drought for the Quakers, but Garnet Valley iced it with two more goals.
“What was running through my head for most of the game was ‘We can’t lose this, especially after working so hard to get here,'” said Valerio. “And I think all of us came to realize this. Especially in the second half we knew we needed to come together and work as a team. We also realized that every possession was key and that we really needed the draw.”
“Possession was the key to this game both on the draw and getting the 50/50 ground balls,” said Mathewson. “We really stepped up our intensity and worked on running through the ground balls, which made the biggest difference. Once we were able to get the ball on offense we worked it until we found the open girl.”
Mathewson said it was a thrill knowing the Jags will return to Hershey. Last year they defeated Springfield-Delco in the title game, in 2012 they toppled Strath Haven and in 2011 the victim was Downingtown East.
“It’s unbelievable!” she said. “We knew this year was going to be a rebuilding year with loosing a very talented senior class, but how quickly we were able to come together is amazing and I am so proud of this team! We have proved so many people wrong and continue to fight, but we are not done yet!”
“It feels amazing to be going back to states!” added Valerio. “We worked really hard to get here and I feel like we really battled in every game to get back. The underclass men have really stepped up to help us get back here.”
Quaker Valley, the District 7 champion, finished 19-2 and had a 16-game win streak snapped. The Quakers’ only loss before today was 12-11 to Upper Arlington, the Ohio state champion.
And clearly the Quakers came to win despite the perception that teams out west could not compete with powerful District 1 squads. The Quakers used a 3-0 run to take a 5-2 lead and they held a 7-34 edge at halftime. It was 9-6 before Mathewson took over.
“We came out a little slow,” said Mathewson. “They were a really good team and better than we expected, but we called a timeout, regrouped, and (coach Jenny) Purvis reminded us to play Garnet Valley lacrosse, and that’s what we did in the second half.”
“I think we used that as our motivation to work together and make the changes we needed to especially after halftime,” Valerio added.
Garnet Valley 5–8–13
Quaker Valley 8–2–10
Camryn Faith- 1g, 1gb, 1dc
Rachel Glenn- 2ct
Michelle Koscinski- 1g, 1dc, 2ct
Emily Mathewson-4g, 3a, 6dc, 2ct
Kamryn McNeal- 2g, 1a, 1dc, 1ct
Kara Nakrasius- 2g, 1dc, 2ct
Madi O’Brien- 1gb, 1dc, 1ct
Madison Valerio- 3G, 1dc
Rachel Warden- 2gb, 3dc, 2ct
Makenna Mink- 4 saves
Aubrey Bouchard- 2g
Annie Henry- 2g
Kayla Foster- 2g
Lexie Meanor- 1g
Emily Kraus- 2g
Megan Amoroso- 1g
Aubrie Tarris- 3 saves