By Harry Chaykun
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/7/15
The 2006 Conestoga High girls’ team won the Central League lacrosse championship.
The wait for another title at the school ended Thursday afternoon when the Pioneers (17-1) defeated host Springfield-Delco, 18-6, to stretch their overall winning streak to 17 games and put the finishing touches on a perfect 11-0 Central League campaign.
The Pioneers, ranked No. 1 by Phillylacrosse.com and No. 9 nationally by STEPS Lacrosse, have earned the No. 1 seed in the District 1 playoffs. They will host a first-round game on Tuesday. The Cougars closed at 8-3 in the league and are 12-4 overall.
“Allegra (Gerhardt) and Jaclyn (Klunder) played for that 2006 team,” Conestoga head coach Amy Orcutt said, referring to two members of her coaching staff.
“This is such a good group,” Orcutt said of her 2015 Pioneers. “They do so much together as a team.”
That will include spending a couple of days away from the lacrosse field this weekend to do one of their team-bonding activities at the Maryland shore.
“They even invited to coaches to go with them,” Orcutt said.
Among the other things the ’’toga players will be doing in the next few days will be updating the message boards in their team room.
“We have a board for goals and one for accomplishments,” co-captain Sarah Nicholson said. “We have sticky notes posted, and now we can move the one for winning the Central League from goal to accomplishment.
“We’ve put in a lot of work for this. We’ve taken it one game at a time, and that’s what we’ll keep doing next week when the playoffs begin.”
The 2015 season didn’t begin exactly the way Orcutt and her players had hoped. The opening-day game against Agnes Irwin was postponed because of snow, and when the teams did get together, Irwin handed Conestoga its only loss, 16-8.
“We just got together and said we knew we’d have to keep playing hard and working together,” said junior Monica Borzillo, who scored four goals and had five assists Thursday.
Co-captain Maggie Stetson, who scored three goals against Springfield, recalled another important bonding session.
“We had a team dinner for the seniors,” the Drexel-bound midfielder said. “We talked about not intimidating the younger people on this team.”
Thursday’s stats sheets proved that none of the Pioneers felt any pressure. In addition to Borzillo, sophomore Liz Scott had three goals, one assist and another big effort on draw controls (16-9 Conestoga advantage), junior Sondra Dickey got two goals and one assist, Hannah Ashton, another junior, also scored twice and sophomore Scottie Rose Growney had two goals and one assist.
Growney and junior Maggie Hanzsche also played well defensively, along with seniors Nicholson, Sammy Stephans, Stetson and Sarah Brooke.
“Playing teams that have beaten us in the past, we knew what it felt like to lose those games,” Stetson said. “That was tough, but we’ve handled that before, and it’s been so much better winning those games this year.”
Borzillo earned Orcutt’s award as Conestoga’s grittiest player in the game.
“Whoever gets that award has to give the pre-game pep talk for our next game,” Orcutt said.
That next game will be at Conestoga Tuesday in the opening round of the district tournament.
“We knew (Springfield) has some good players, and we’d have to work hard defending them,” Borzillo said. “It’s amazing to think that we went undefeated in the Central League.”
Senior Emily Santana scored three goals and sophomore Bridget Whitaker added two for Springfield-Delco, which also will be at home Tuesday to begin post-season play.
Conestoga 18, Springfield-Delco 6
Conestoga 8 10 – 18
Springfield-Delco 3 3 – 6
Conestoga: Monica Borzillo 4G 5A, Liz Scott 3G 1A, Maggie Stetson 3G, Sondra Dickey 2G 1A, Scottie Growney 2G 1A, Hannah Ashton 2G, Maggie Gladden 1G 1A, Rilee Scott 1G.
Springfield-Delco: Emily Santana 3G 1A, Bridget Whitaker 2G, Cailyn Gormley 1G.
Saves: Jules Horning (Con) 4; Laney Stenson (Con) 3; Julianne Clemens (Spr) 4.