By Harry Chaykun
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 6/4/16
Garnet Valley, the third-seeded team from District 1, and district champion Radnor took different paths in qualifying for the semifinal round of the PIAA Girls Lacrosse Tournament in a doubleheader played at Marple Newtown High Saturday afternoon.
The two-time defending state champion Jaguars (19-5-1) got seven goals and one assist from senior Emily Mathewson, including the 300th of her four-year varsity career, in rolling to a 15-6 decision over District 1’s No. 2 seed, Owen J. Roberts (22-5). Earlier, Radnor (19-6) took a four-goal lead at halftime and survived a rally by District 1’s No. 4 seed Bishop Shanahan (18-7) in an 11-9 win.
Radnor and Garnet Valley will meet in a semifinal matchup Tuesday at Penncrest at 5 p.m. The Jaguars won the regular-season meeting between the teams, 8-5, but the Raiders earned a 7-6 decision in the semifinal round of the district tournament.
Mathewson – the 2015 Phillylacrosse.com Co-Player of the Year – had three goals at halftime for Garnet Valley, then she got the four she needed to become the first Garnet Valley player to reach 300 in the first 15 minutes of the second half. She appeared to reach the magic number with a shot that was called back because of a shooting space violation, but she converted the 8-meter free position shot with 10:01 to play, setting off a wild celebration that included her coaches and teammates who joined her on the field while the Jaguars fans provided a prolonged ovation.
“I knew that shot would do it,” Mathewson, who will play at Vanderbilt next spring, said. “I’m just glad to get that over with. Scoring that goal wasn’t nearly as important as winning this game and getting to the semifinals.”
Garnet Valley won the game by executing coach Jenny Purvis’s game plan almost to perfection. The Jags outshot the Wildcats, dominated in draw controls (17-5) and played shut-down defense. OJR did not have a player who scored more than one goal.
“I didn’t realize that, but I’m very happy to hear it,” Purvis said. “Getting all those draw controls is game-changing. It’s just a matter of taking that first step off the line, getting the ball and avoiding all that goes on when the ball is on the ground.
“We wanted to get going early and not allow them to get into what they wanted to do.”
Sophomores Kamryn McNeal and Camryn Faith (assisted by Mathewson) gave the Jaguars a two-goal lead in the opening 2:05, then Mathewson got the first of three in a row three minutes later.
Mathewson and OJR’s Frankie Carroll scored to open the second half before Garnet Valley scored six times over the next eight minutes to break it open. Mathewson and Madi O’Brien both picked up a pair of goals during the run.
“Getting all those possessions on draw controls is the key,” Mathewson, who was doing the job with her draws in the circle all afternoon, said. “Draw controls is just a matter of being confident on the line.
“When I had the chance (to get the 300th goal), I told myself it wouldn’t be the end of the world if I missed (the shot). I was just glad it went in.”
While the Jags’ attack was doing its job at one end of the field, the GV defense, led by Rachel Warden, Michelle Koscinski, Beth Hofmann, Kara Nealon, O’Brien, Riley Delaney and Faith was limiting Owen J. Roberts’ scoring chances.
“Our defense is a tight group and they really play as a unit,” McNeal said. “And what Emily has done in her four years has been amazing. She always is so supportive and talks about what her teammates mean to her.”
Mathewson had no trouble speaking up when asked about McNeal. “She’s an awesome player,” Mathewson said. “She’s so creative around the crease. There are times when I have to ask her how she does some of the things she does.”
While Garnet Valley was ruling the draw control battle in its game, Radnor was going 9-for-22 against Bishop Shanahan in the circle.
Goals by juniors Alyssa Manley, who finished with four, and Kenzie Staska (two) pulled the Eagles to with two scores (10-8) with three minutes to play.
That’s when Raiders senior Katie Quinn, who is headed to George Washington University, stepped up to claim the ball on a draw, allowing her team to run close to a minute off the clock before Quinn was fouled going to goal and converted an 8-meter shot.
“They had just scored,” Quinn said. “But when I got the draw, I knew we couldn’t let them get the ball back. I was very happy that I got the chance to score and made my shot.
“We always go by that old saying ‘win the draw and you can rule the world.’”
Raiders coach Brooke Fritz knew the heat took a toll on her team.
“We were really tired,” she said. “The key was to just keep going. It’s doesn’t have to be pretty. You just have to make sure you win.”
Quinn (three goals, three assists), Emily Games (three goals), Abby Lord (two goals), junior goalie Alexa Solomon (eight saves) and defenders Nicole Massimino, Kerry Hamill and Allison Lanzone helped make sure Radnor would get the chance to try to go back to the state final.
“We knew we still had to score (late in the game),” Quinn, whose step-sister, Ellie Kraus, helped Radnor win a state championship, said.
After Quinn’s goal with 2:16 left, Fallon Quinn (goal, assist) came up with the next draw control for the Raiders, who didn’t let Shanahan score again until there were 18 seconds left in the game.
“We have practice Monday and another game Tuesday,” a smiling Quinn said before joining her teammates for the bus ride back to school. “I’m happy about that.”
Garnet Valley 15, Owen J. Roberts 6
Garnet Valley 6 9 – 15
Owen J. Roberts 2 4 – 6
Emily Mathewson 7G 1A
Kamryn McNeal 3G 2A
Madi O’Brien 2G
Camryn Faith 1G
Michelle Koscinski 1G
Regan Nealon 1G
Kara Nakrasius 1A
Lauren Kinnee 5
Owen J. Roberts
Kerry Huzzard 1G
Maddie Gebert 1G
Frankie Carroll 1G
Anna Lavelle 1G
Danika Swech 1G
Eloise Gebert 1G
Sophia Murray 1A.
Sara Maute 5
Claire Hampton 1
Katie Quinn 3G, 2A, 3DC, 1GB, 1CT
Emily Games 3G, 1GB, 1CT
Abby Lord 2G
Fallon Quinn 1G, 1A, 3DC, 2GB
Catherine Begier 1G
Morgan Gryga 1G
Hope Smith 1A
Cat Belveal 1A
Nicole Massimino 4GB, 4CT, 1DC
Alexa Solomon 8 saves, 1CT, 3GB
Alyssa Manley 4G
Kenzie Staska 2G
Mary Theresa Corcoran 2G, 1A
Tara Morrissey 1G
Jessica Gorr 9