By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 6/18/09
Margie Garrity, who coached Strath Haven to the finals of the first Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) girls’ lacrosse championship game, has resigned after nine years as head coach.
Garrity made it known to her players earlier in the year she would be leaving her post. She said the main reason was so she could follow her two children play in college: Alex, a rising junior at Penn State; and Emily, who just graduated with her third All-American selection and will play at North Carolina.
“I have two kids playing Division I lacrosse, and I would like to be able to watch them play,” said Garrity. “I am the kind of person who has to do something 100 percent; I know my focus wouldn’t be where it needs to be if I (stayed as coach).”
Garrity enjoyed much success at Strath Haven, posting an overall mark of 119-56-1. Her Panthers fell to Radnor in the PIAA finals this year and also took second in the District 1 Class AA tournament to Springfield-Delco in 2007.
Before Garrity got to Strath Haven, the program was struggling, and her first team went 6-11. After that, the Panthers went 9-8-1 and then they became a regular contender in the powerful Central League.
Garrity, who also built the successful Haven Youth program, said she is disappointed the team fell short of its goal of winning the state championship
“Second place in the state is not the same as being first and that’s what we worked for,” she said. “It’s bittersweet. Everyone can look at it and say, ‘Yeah, we made it to the finals.’ But we didn’t win and we fell short of the mark.”
Garrity added, though, that she is proud of what the Panthers have accomplished in her nine years.
“I have had girls that have graduated from all different levels; club ball, Division I ball, Division III ball,” she said. “Some have gone on to do other things – play rugby, and some haven’t pursued it (sports).
“For most of the girls that have graduated from the program, they went on to play. They have a real passion for the game and as their coach, that’s an important thing for me. More importantly, we made a lot of life lessons.”
Garrity had a unique coaching situation the past four years; she was assisted by her husband, Paul, and got to coach daughter Emily, who collected over 400 goals and was named to this year’s Under Armour Senior All-American Game. Garrity said it was a pleasure to work with her husband and that Emily handled being coached by her mother with grace.
“I love coaching. There is not anything that I love doing more; coaching is just fun,” said Garrity. “I love the game, and the girls have been great. They have stepped up to every challenge and done everything we have asked of them.
“I have absolutely no complaints; the girls have worked hard every year. And every year the program got a little stronger, to where we have a reputable program. I hope that continues.”