By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/21/09
It almost sounds like a broken record, which just plays over and over again: Archbishop Carroll has won the Catholic League girls’ championship.
Tonight at Swarthmore College, the Patriots claimed their ninth straight Catholic League crown by dismantling Archbishop Wood, 16-8.
The win earned Carroll (14-5) District 12’s lone berth in the first Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) tournament and, incredibly, its 120th straight league win. Carroll will meet Bayard Rustin, the District 1 fourth-place finisher in the first round Tuesday. Rustin fell to Strath Haven, 10-9, in overtime today in the third-place game.
This was seemingly the year Wood (17-3) had a legitimate chance to dethrone the Pats. The Vikings have one of their strongest teams in years and fell only, 9-8, to Carroll when the teams first met on April 22.
But it was never really close tonight as Carroll broke open a 5-3 game with a 4-1 spurt to finish the first half and never looked back. Hannah Schmitt (six goals) and Aimee Gennaro (five goals) led the Carroll attack with a combined 11 tallies while Genni Hull had three goals and Kaitlin Harris and Meg McKee added one each.
“I am so ecstatic for this team,” said Harris, one of the team’s senior leaders. “I know there are so many girls who wanted this so bad. Everybody pushes each other.
“I think we are a completely different team than the first time we played them. We’ve come so far and made leaps and bounds. Coach (Loraine Beers) realized what we had to do and she made changes and put people in the right positions.
“We’ve totally made a 360 – it’s amazing.”
The Patriots were in the right spots all day today. Goals by Hull, Schmitt, Gennaro and Harris made it 4-1 early on and Gennaro and Schmitt started the second half with scores to make it 11-4.
Wood got as close as 12-7 on the third goal by Caitlin McCartney, but Schmitt and Gennaro each scored two more to salt it away.
“We had to grow as a team,” said Beers, whose team started the year 2-3. “From the beginning we didn’t quite know what we were doing or how we were going to jell. We played some terrible games and now we kind of have our act together.”
For Wood, despite a standout year, there is little consolation.
“We dropped the ball too much,” said Wood coach Chris Aquilino, who got 10 saves from senior goalie Kate Smart. “We gave them everything we had.”
Archbishop Carroll 16, Archbishop Wood 8
Arch. Carroll 9-7- 16
Arch. Wood 4-4 – 8
Carroll scoring: Hannah Schmitt 6, Aimee Gennaro 5, Genni Hull 3, Kaitlin Harris 1, Meg McKee 1.
Wood scoring: Caitlin McCartney 3, Jen White 2, Hayley Oczkowski 1, Aubrie Ahrens 1, Gab Iorio 1.
Saves: Nora McGeever (AC) 8; Kate Smart (AW) 10.
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