By Harry Chaykun
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/26/16
It wasn’t that long ago that the Radnor girls’ lacrosse team had a 5-5 record.
Today, the Raiders are 17-6 and they can call themselves District 1 champions after their 12-8 victory over Owen J. Roberts at West Chester East’s Zimmerman Stadium Thursday night.
Radnor, which entered district play as the No. 9 seed, earned decisions over No. 1 and No. 4 Garnet Valley before taking down the sixth-seeded OJR Wildcats (21-4) for their first district championship since 2012.
Radnor will face the District 3 third-place finisher, Manheim Township, and Owen J. Roberts will meet District 4 champion Danville when the PIAA Tournament begins Wednesday.
Emily Games scored four goals and Katie Quinn added three goals and two assists for the Raiders, who scored seven of the last eight goals of the first half and led, 8-4, at the break.
A pair of crease rolls by Games gave Radnor a five-goal advantage with 11 minutes to play, then Quinn’s score on a rebound seven minutes later put coach Brooke Fritz’s team in command. Defenders Abby Lord, Lindsey McShea, Natalie Junior, Fallon Quinn, Kerry Hamill, Nicole Massimino and Allison Lanzone were strong in front of goalie Alexa Solomon, who had four of her five saves in the second half.
Anna Dempsey and Danika Swech scored two goals apiece for OJR.
“They just bought in and started trusting each other,” Fritz said of her team’s turnaround in the second half of the season.
“They stopped trying to do things by themselves. We’ve had a different game plan for each (district) game. Most of them are juniors and seniors and they’ve been here before. They made good use of our new ideas and our new looks.”
Fritz said that a number of her former players have stopped by practice after getting home from college.
“Abby Junior helped us with the William & Mary defense that we used when we beat Garnet Valley the other night,” Fritz said.
Games got some advice from coaches and teammates about what to expect from the Wildcats.
“Our coaches know the strengths and weaknesses of the teams we play,”’ Games, who will play at Tufts next spring, said. “My teammates were telling me that they thought (the Wildcats’ defense) knew what was coming when I went to roll the crease.
“I scored when I tried it the first time (in the second half), and so I decided to try it again.”
Games remembered what the Raiders went through after losing to Haverford High for the first time in almost 20 years earlier this season.
“That made us realize we had to really work a lot harder,” Games said. “We did some team bonding things, and we knew we had to play for each other.”
Now that they’ve achieved success in the first half of the post-season the Raiders would like the chance to be the first Radnor team in several years to play for the state championship.
In the third-place game, Garnet Valley raced to an eight-goal halftime advantage and beat Bishop Shanahan, 19-10.
Emily Mathewson scored five goals and had one assist, Kamryn McNeal and Camryn Faith added four goals apiece and Madi O’Brien chipped in with two goals and one assist for the Jaguars (17-5-1), who play the District 2 champion in the opening round of the state tournament.
Kenzie Staska scored four goals, Alyssa Manley got three goals and Kaela smith had two goals and one assist for Shanahan (17-6), which opens state play against the District 11 champion.
Radnor 12, Owen J. Roberts 8
Radnor 8 4 – 12
OJR 4 4 – 8
Radnor: Emily Games 4G, Katie Quinn 3G 2A, Hope Smith 2G, Fallon Quinn 2G, Abby Lord 1G.
Owen J. Roberts: Danika Swech 2G 1A, Anna Dempsey 2G, Frankie Carroll 1G 1A, Anna Lavelle 1G, Maddie Gebert 1G, Eloise Gebert 1G.
Saves: Alexa Solomon (Rad) 5, Claire Hampton (OJR) 6.