By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 7/21/16
MIDLOTHIAN, Va. – Team Pennsylvania got off to a fast start in its quest to repeat as the High School division champion at the Brine National Lacrosse Classic Wednesday at the River City SportsPlex.
Team PA rolled over New England, 11-3, and Delaware, 12-5, to finish 2-0 on the first day of pool action. This morning PA plays 1-1 Georgia (10:00) before closing with a non-pool game vs. Washington D.C. The top two teams in each of the four pools advance to the championships on Friday.
Besides PA (Pool B), other undefeated girls’ HS teams include Pool A’s Upstate NY and Jew Jersey (both 2-0), Pool B’s Maryland (2-0) and Pool D’s Long Island (2-0). Delaware, a first-year team comprised of players from Delaware and PA, is 0-2.
PA – coached again by Germantown Academy coaches Brooke Watson and Kelli Romano – returned a large number of players from last year’s title team. One of those returnees, 2017 midfielder Macaul Mellor, said the team chemistry that helped last year’s team to the title may be even stronger.
“Really it was the girls and the coaches; we all get along well together. We play for each other,” said Mellor (Penn Charter, Quaker City). “What’s different about this tournament from others is that everyone is here for each other. Usually you come to these events and it’s all 1V1s and everyone is for themselves. It’s really nice.
“I think we really know how each each other plays. We have done this for so many years. We know who takes the crease roll, when they are going, who is going to drive and feed when doubled – all that chemistry was here. Even our defense knows each other’s weaknesses and strengths.”
One key returnee for Team Pennsylvania is 2017 goalie Mia Tornetta, a recent Robert Morris commit from 2015 District 1 champion Great Valley.
“Mia is a very vocal goalie and that helps us a lot,” said Mellor.
One of the newcomers to Team PA is 2018 Lyndsey Morhardt (Germantown Academy, Ultimate lacrosse), who last year played on the PA 2019 team at Brine.
“I could just feel the chemistry, so it’s not hard to transition,” she said. “I know the level of play. It’s so easy to fit in, the girls are all so good and it’s so much fun to play together.”
What will it take to win another championship?
“The team just needs to stay focused and work hard,” said Morhardt. “I think we work to transition better and keep moving the passes quickly. We need to talk, make our slides and let the goalie tell us where to go.”
In the girls’ 2019 Division, Team PA is 1-1 while New Jersey is 2-0 and tied atop Pool A with Long Island.
In the Middle School Academy race, Team PA is also off to s fast start at 2-0 with wins over Metro New York, 11-7, and Georgia, 16-2.
Team PA is 0-2 in the High School boys’ standings while New Jersey is atop a very balanced Pool A with a 1-0-1 record.
In the 2019 boys’ division, Team PA is 1-1 while PA is 0-2 in the Middle School Academy standings while New Jersey is 1-0-1 and leading Pool C.