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Scholastic girls: Strath Haven tops Unionville in battle of last year’s semifinalists

Saturday, 17th April 2010

Categories Girl's/Women's, High School, Posted 4/17/10

Junior Sara Carzo broke an 8-8 tie and visiting Strath Haven went on to defeat Unionville, 12-9, today in a girls’ lacrosse game between two top-ranked teams that met in the state semifinals last year.

The Panthers, who also downed the Indians in last year’s PIAA semis, improved to 5-1. Strath Haven is ranked No. 4 in the PA Media Rankings.

Unionville, ranked No. 2, suffered its first loss, falling to 7-1.

Strath Haven led, 7-5, at halftime, but saw Unionville storm back to tie the game at 8-8 until Carzo put her team ahead to stay.

Alex Duckenfield led the Panthers with three goals and three assists and combined with Ana White (three goals, two assists) to won the battle of the draw controls.

Strath Haven coach Jen Duckenfield said the team defense, led by daughter Jen, White, Summer O’Donnell, Claire Sherry, Caroline Murphy, Jenna Frost and Caroline Kelly was superb.

“You have to hand it to the defense, they played great,” coach Duckenfield said. “This win showed me one thing; this team does not go away.

“They fight for every ball. It was a gritty, total team effort. I hate to use that because it has been used so many times. But every player went after every ball today.”

Lizzy Carney led Unionville with four goals and one assist and was a key to the comeback while Erin Lithicum scored two goals and Lisa Riondet had a goal and three assists.

Jenna Frost and Molly Dienno also scored for the Panthers, who got key saves from goalie Lela Meunier (nine saves). Melissa Lloyd had seven saves for the Indians.

“Strath Haven was the better team today and wanted to win more than we did,” said Unionville coach Wendy Landry. “We did not play our game and did not play as a team.

“We never made adjustments on defense. Offensively, we did not capitalize on our opportunities. We simply weren’t smart with the ball and against a team like Strath Haven, you can’t make a lot of mistakes. They definitely knew how to take advantage of our mistakes.”

“We came to play, but give credit to Unionville,” said Duckenfield. “They have a very skilled team and they are a class act.”

Carney and Linthicum helped keep the Indians in the hunt.

“Lizzy was key on the draw controls for us, but we just couldn’t take advantage of the opportunity,” said Landry. “Erin Linthicum was a spark in the beginning of the game and scored quickly for us.”

Duckenfield also was pleased to see her young attack – Wilhelmson (freshman), Carzo (junior) and Dienno (junior) – emerge.

“It’s great to see the young kids play this well, they just keep improving,” said Duckenfield. “It was also great to see Alex and Ana win so many draw controls. That was a key.”

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