By Harry Chaykun
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 3/24/12
Garnet Valley coach Kate Henwood said a slip-up early in the season would be better for her team than one at playoff time.
Which is why she used the Jaguars’ recent scrimmage with Episcopal Academy as a learning tool. Garnet Valley, the defending PIAA champion, bounced back from a rough day at EA to roll past defending District 12/Catholic League champ Archbishop Carroll, 16-8, in its season-opener at Moe DeFrank Stadium Saturday afternoon.
“We didn’t play our best against Episcopal,” said senior Ally Heavens, who contributed two goals and three assists. “After that at practice this week, we found ourselves.
“Our coaches have been saying since the first day they don’t just want us to take one step forward. They want it to be four steps forward.”
Heavens set up AnnaElise Morello (three goals, four assists) for the first goal of the game, then Morello got the ball to Kara Stroup (two goals, one assist) for the second Jaguars tally. The first of Ashley Pyle’s three goals gave Garnet a 3-0 lead before Kerry Newby came up with Carroll’s first score of the season.
By halftime, the Jaguars owned an 8-2 advantage as Halley Barnes tossed in three of her five goals in the opening 25 minutes.
“We came out hard on attack,” said the Rutgers-bound Barnes. “We’ve had awesome weather to get ready for this season, and that’s helped make everyone ready to work each day.”
Carroll got two goals from juniors Rachel Flynn, who also had an assist, and Natalie Schmitt. Seniors Newby, Maddie Lesher and Gabbi Hull and freshman Isabell Schmitt also scored for the Patriots, who are headed to Florida at the end of the week for their annual meetings with some of that state’s top teams.
“We lost some good players from last year,” said Lesher, who helped Carroll get to second round of the 2011 PIAA Tournament, in which the Patriots were knocked off by Garnet Valley.
“We have some good players who have moved in. We know we’ll learn from the mistakes we made today, and that will make us a better team. Going to Florida will be a good bonding experience for us, and when we get back I’m sure we’ll all be ready to go.”
Senior goalie Kate Stroup, who played a big part in the 2011 Jags state tournament success and turned away 12 shots Saturday, was prepared from the opening draw as the 2012 campaign got under way.
“I get really nervous before the game,” she said. “But I have a lot of trust in my teammates, then I just find myself getting into the flow of the game.
“Our defense always works hard. If someone gets beat, someone else is there to help them out.”
Junior midfielder Coley Ricci kept the defensive unit, which also included Julia McGrath, Missy Koscinski and Lizahn Visser, together in front of Stroup.
“Kate was great today, and our defense was getting into it,” Stroup said.
Sophomore Dana Davis added a goal for Garnet Valley, which begins Central League play with games against Upper Darby (Tuesday) and Strath Haven (Thursday) this week.
Garnet Valley entered play ranked in the top 20 in every national poll and atop the PA Media Rankings. The Jags are No. 2 in the Phillylacrosse.com Rankings behind only New Jersey power Moorestown. Carroll entered play ranked No. 5 in the state.
“We’re all happy to be back at it,” Henwood said.
Garnet Valley 16, Arch. Carroll 8
Archbishop Carroll 2 6 – 8
Garnet Valley 8 8 – 16
Archbsihop Carroll: Rachel Flynn 2G, Natalie Schmitt 2G, Kerry Newby 1G, Maddie Lesher 1G, Isabelle Schmitt 1G, Gabbi Hull 1G.
Garnet Valley: Halley Barnes 5G, 1A, AnnaElise Morello 3G, 4A, Ashley Pyle 3G, Ally Heavens 2G, 3A, Kara Stroup 2G, 1A, Dana Davis 1G.
Saves: Kate Boyle (AC) 9, Kate Stroup (GV) 12.