By Harry Chaykun
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/23/16
When lacrosse practice began at Archbishop Carroll in March, head coach Lorraine Beers and assistant Jess Brophy Lake knew there were questions to be answered about their young team.
The Patriots just kept providing positive answers to those questions as the season went on.
At Neumann University Monday night, Samantha Swart tossed in seven goals and the Carroll (16-3) coasted to a 21-4 victory over Archbishop Wood in the Philadelphia Catholic League girls playoff final.
Archbishop Carroll will play at Northeast High Wednesday afternoon against Public League champion Northeast in the District 12 final. The winner will qualify for the PIAA Tournament and play at Neumann Wednesday, June 1, against the fifth place team from District 1 in the opening round.
The championship was the 16th in a row for 17-year coach Beers, and the win was the 205th consecutive by a Carroll team over a Catholic opponent. The Pats’ last loss to a PCL team was in the 2000 championship matchup against St. Hubert at the end of Beers’ first season as head coach.
“They were such a good young group when we got started,” Beers said of THIS team, which has only three seniors.
The 2016 playoff final began the same way the 2015 title contest did, with Carroll’s first shot banging off a goal post. Shots two and three Monday night ended up in the back of the cage before the skies darkened and the rains came after only 2 minutes and 8 seconds had been played.
The teams headed for cover in Neumann’s Miranda Center, and they didn’t get back to action until the delay lasted one hour and 45 minutes. What started out as a PCL girls/boys championship doubleheader was reduced to one game when it was announced that the boys final between St. Joseph’s Prep and La Salle would be not be played until Tuesday at Cardinal O’Hara.
“We wanted to play,” Swart said. “But there wasn’t much we could do until we were allowed to go back out there again.”
When play resumed, it took Carroll about nine minutes to build its lead to 10 goals and turn on the mercy clock.
Swart had five goals and senior Meghan Matey added two goals and two assists in the first half, giving the Patriots a 12-1 lead. Sophomore Katie Detwiler also scored twice in the opening half.
“Katie really can distribute the ball, and Sam knows what to do when she gets the ball,” said Brophy Lake, who put in her time helping Carroll accumulate such an impressive record as a player under Beers before her career at James Madison University.
Swart, a junior who was named the Catholic League’s most valuable player this spring, said she was happy with the way Detwiler has fit in on attack.
“I told her when she’s out on the field, she’s not really a sophomore and that she should play like she was a lot older and act like a senior,” Swart said. “We knew that a lot of younger people would have to step up this year. The seniors mean a lot to this team, but everyone has to play well.”
Senior Lexi Kucia, who suffered a serious leg injury in a car accident, has been forced to watch from the sideline while her teammates played this spring. Near the end of Monday’s game, she was sent on to the field and was fouled going to goal.
When Kucia converted her 8-meter free position shot, the Carroll players and fans went wild.
“She’s still such a big part of this team, and we’re all so happy for her,” Swart said.
Sarah Welsh was Archbishop Wood’s leading scorer Monday with three goals.
Arch. Carroll 21, Arch. Wood 4
Arch. Wood 1 3 – 4
Arch. Carroll 12 9 – 21
Archbishop Wood: Sarah Welsh 3G, Bridget Neiley 1G.
Archbishop Carroll: Sam Swart 7G, Anna Murphy 4G 2A, Katie Dewiler 2G 2A, Meghan Matey 2G, Rachel Matey 1G, Margeaux Pawelec 1G, Courtney Spencer 1G, Amber Germer 1G, Sydney D’Orsogna 1G, Lexi Kucia 1G.
Saves: Grace Fanning (AW) 4, Maddie Ferraioli (AC) 4.