By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/11/08
Council Rock South coach Kara Muenker claims the difference between her team from last year to this season is basic confidence.
“I think confidence plays a huge role,” she said of a team that finished 10-10 in 2007. “Last year we lost a lot of games by one or two goals.
“We just didn’t have the confidence to know we could fight back and come back and win. This year we have been down quite a few games and yet they’ve been confident that we could come back.”
That competitive edge helped this year’s Golden Hawks achieve their first league championship in the six-year history of the program. One game after edging Hatboro-Horsham, 13-12, CR South clinched the Suburban One Continental Conference crown Thursday with a hard-fought 14-12 victory over Central Bucks West.
The win raised the Hawks’ record to 11-0 in the league and 16-2 overall. They close their season Monday at home against second-place Souderton.
“I was very optimistic coming into the season,” said Muenker, a Central Bucks East graduate who starred for West Chester University when it won its only NCAA Division II championship in 2002. “We definitely have some strong players, but you never know what to expect and how they will mesh.
“You always have some injuries, and some did occur, but they pulled themselves together and I am very proud of what they have accomplished. We came out a little slow against West, but we got fired up in the second half and really (played well).”
The Golden Hawks did lose their top defender, junior Dani O’Connell, to a torn anterior cruciate ligament during a difficult 16-13 loss April 21 to Pennsbury, the team’s first defeat. But others have enjoyed standout seasons.
Junior Madison Hurwitz, who had eight goals in the title-clincher over CBW, has 108 goals this year and over 200 already in her career. Junior Samantha Hurley, who had three goals in the West victory, has been a key in directing the team’s transition game.
Muenker also cited sophomore center Lee Britton for her hustle and aggressive play, freshman goalie Taylor Hurwitz (Madison’s sister) and senior captain Lizz Brubaker for her steady play on defense.
“I think consistency and commitment from the girls really helps,” said Muenker. “They have the desire to do better and play better as a team.
“And I’ve obviously learned a lot in my four years of coaching. I have some different ideas.”
Muenker said the game against Souderton – a team they defeated, 11-9, earlier in the year – is important. For one, the team would like to finish undefeated in the league, but the Hawks also want momentum heading into District 1 Class AAA play.
“Souderton is a huge game for us,” Muenker said. “It’s not about being undefeated in the league. We’ve already clinched the title, but it’s about beating a phenomenal team and getting a better seed for the playoffs.”
Council Rock South had never had a winning season and will play in its first post-season tourney. Does Muenker have any goals?
“We’re just very excited and proud to have an opportunity to get a payoff spot and we’ll take one game at a time,” she said. “We just want to focus on what we need to do, and to get that done and accomplished.”
Upper Darby defeats rival
Kait Vent scored four goals to pace visiting Upper Darby to a 14-6 triumph over neighborhood rival Archbishop Prendergast Friday, for the Royals’ second win of the year. Kaitie Callaghan and Christina Zambrana each added two goals for Upper Darby.
Confidence pushes C.R. South to its first crown
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