By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 7/22/16
MIDLOTHIAN, Va. – For the second straight year, Team Pennsylvania has claimed the Brine National Lacrosse Classic high school girls’ championship.
Olivia Muscella (Great Valley, UMass-Amherst commit) dominated the draws while Karina Latsko (Seneca Valley), Sam Swart (Archbishop Carroll, Syracuse), Daria Lucchesi (Methacton, James Madison) and Natalie Kahn (Great Valley, Duke) led the attack as Team PA dominated New Jersey, 10-5, today in the final at the River City SportsPlex.
Team Pennsylvania returned many players from its 2015 title team, as well as popular coaches Brooke Watson and Kelli Romani. The team chemistry was apparent from the start of the tourney and especially at the start of the title game when PA bolted to a 4-0 lead in the first five minutes.
Muscella controlled the draw with her size and reach and Latsko scored three goals while Swart, Lucchesi and Kahn each had two. Mackenzie Doyle (Spring-Ford) scored once.
PA finished undefeated for the second straight year at 7-0. It defeated Michigan, 14-8, this morning in the quarterfinals and Upstate New York, 9-5, in the semis.
“I think we’re all just really close friends that connected well,” said Kahn, who was on the team last year. “A lot of girls were on the team last year so we knew each other.
“Today we had good connections; we set it up and slowed it down and did a good job.”
The goaltending duo of Samantha Sunar (Montville, NJ) and Mia Tornetta (Great Valley, Robert Morris) also was a key all tourney for Pennsylvaia.
Claire Keller and Jess Kinzer, both 2018s from Ridge High, led New Jersey with two goals each while Lauren Shaw (Hunterdon Central) scored once.
Muscella said the tight win over Upstate NY helped motivate the team.
“The New York gave was a wakeup call that showed that we needed to give it our all,” she said.
Muscella said Watson and Romano help make the events fun to play – even for girls who are already committed and have gone through long spring and summer seasons.
“For me our coaches are like our family,” she said. “They make it more fun and help with the connection. No matter what is happening in the games they keep our energy up and help us stay positive.”
“They are like one of the players and we connect with them well,” added Kahn.