Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 4/9/16
Julia Dambly had four goals, one assist, four groundballs and two draw controls and Claire Nappi paced the defense to lead Notre Dame to lift Academy of Notre Dame to a thrilling 12-11 win over Merion Mercy Academy this morning at Agnes Irwin to kick off the 8th annual Checking for Cancer Invitational.
The game also was played for the annual Rooney Cup, which serves to benefit the Kelly Rooney Foundation. Kelly Rooney, the mother of three Merion Mercy graduates and one Sacred Heart grad, three of whom played lacrosse, passed away after a courageous battle with breast cancer on July 11, 2006.
Checking for Cancer was created to raise money and awareness for the fight against men’s cancers (colorectal, prostate and testicular) and was co-founded eight years ago by Haverford School coach John Nostrant – whose daughter Olivia played lacrosse at Merion Mercy and now plays D1 lacrosse at High Point.
Freshman Claira Gola netted three goals for Notre Dame (4-2), which also edged Merion Mercy, by a goal in last year’s game, played for both causes. Caroline Allen added two goals, two assists and three draw controls. Nappi led the defense with five grundballs, two caused turnovers and three draw controls.
“It felt amazing to beat Merion Mercy for the second year in a row and win the Rooney Cup,” said Dambly. “Going into the game, we knew Merion was going to be very good and the game would be close. Merion is always a rival for us and we were really excited about the game and wanted to win more than anything. They gave us a really good game and made us work very hard for each of our goals. Coming out on top always feels amazing!”
Notre Dame had dropped two of its last three games by one goal, one to New Jersey power Shawnee and another Thursday to Penn Charter in overtime.
“The past few games have been pretty tough, losing two of them by just one goal,” said Dambly. “It was a great feeling to win this one and I think it gave our team a lot of momentum for the rest of the season.
“We all played with a lot of heart, especially because no one likes the feeling of being so close to winning but not being able to come out on top. I think this win will give us confidence for the rest of our games this year.”
Dambly said her team always gets involved in promoting and sup[porting the Rooney Cup and the Rooney Foundation.
“Before the game, for the second year in a row, our team made a ‘dedication ball.’. Each person wrote the names of people close to them who have fought a battle and either overcome something amazing or lost their battle that they wanted to dedicate the game to.
“Whenever we were feeling tired or made a mistake, we thought of this person and how they would do anything to be in our position playing the game that my teammates and I love. It was kind of to show that there a bigger things in life than missing a shot or a ground ball, and I think that this really gave us motivation.
“For me personally, when I was tired I immediately thought of the person who I dedicated my game to, Leanne Purcell, and worked ten times harder. Leanne fought, and is still fighting, Wilson’s Disease and had to undergo a liver transplant in the fall which caused her to miss her senior basketball season. Leanne really inspires me and everyone around her, and I think that thinking of her really helped me today.”
For Merion Mercy (2-3), Caroline Steller had five goals and two assists while Jackie Benedict scored three goals. Notre Dame took a 12-9 lead on Gola’s final tally before Merion Mercy rallied to make it a 12-11 final.
An April snowstorm cancelled the afternoon games in the tournament. Other games:
Boyertown 18, Germantown Friends 5
Kylie Webb scored four goals to lead the Bears and Kyle Graver added theee tallies.
Celia Meyer had three goals for GFS.
Harriton 15, Okadale (MD) 10
Alex Ladda had six goals and two draw controls and Greta Stahl contributed five goals, five groundballs and four draw controls, Laura Lasprogata added four goals and two draw controls and Haley Morris had seven draw controls, five groundballs and two caused turnovers to lead the Rams.