By Harry Chaykun
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 6/1/16
The respect between the Conestoga and Archbishop Carroll girls’ lacrosse players goes on before and after their teams play.
When the Pioneers and Patriots meet in a game as important as the PIAA Tournament opener, as they did at Neumann University Wednesday afternoon, the friendly smiles and waves turn into serious looks and hard checks from the opening whistle until the final horn.
Conestoga (22-1), the fifth-place team from District 1, fell behind early despite some solid saves by goalie Jules Horning, then went on a scoring streak that carried through the last 14 minutes of the first half and most of the second half and earned a 15-9 decision over District 12 champion Carroll (19-4).
The Pioneers will play a state quarterfinal contest Saturday against District Three champion Kennard-Dale (24-1), which beat Pine Richland, District 7’s third-place team, 12-9, in its PIAA opener Wednesday.
Senior Sondra Dickey had the hot hand for Conestoga against Carroll, tossing in eight goals. Monica Borzillo, who set up five of Dickey’s scores, finished with three goals and seven assists, and Paige Loose also contributed three goals to the ’Stoga attack.
Sophomore Ceara Sweeney had the defensive job of containing high-scoring Carroll junior Sam Swart, and limited her to one goal, which came during Carroll’s 4-2 run in the first 12 minutes.
Conestoga, which had claimed an 8-7 decision over Archbishop Carroll three weeks ago, scored six of the last seven goals of the first half, with Dickey accounting for three and Loose two.
“The last time we played them, we had a whole weekend off,” Dickey said. “This time we spent two straight days adjusting our defense and adapting to what we knew Carroll would do.”
Carroll knew that Borzillo, who is an outstanding passer, would be looking for open cutters. Dickey did the most damage with Borzillo’s feeds in Wednesday’s game.
“This game showed the team we really are,” Borzillo said. “We came here and played Conestoga lacrosse.”
Borzillo is one of the many Conestoga players who has worn the Phantastix club lacrosse uniform and played summer ball for Carroll head coach Lorraine Beers.
“There were times when Mrs. Beers had to yell at me,” Borzillo said. “But I know that was helping make me better and making me the lacrosse player that I am.
“Her team never let up today. They kept going even until the end of the game. That means a lot to us to be able to beat a team like that again.”
Beers’ Patriots earned their school’s 16th consecutive Philadelphia Catholic League playoff title and stretched Carroll’s winning streak against PCL opponents to 205 games.
“We never expected all of this when we started,” she said. “We were so young. We really only had one senior who played all that much today. This team has come a long way, but I just wish we’d have had a better showing today.
“Jess Brophy Lake, Pete Hewitt and I worked hard with them every day this season, and they absorbed a lot and we had some exciting wins. Now they have to go home and do their homework, writing down all the things they learned and what need to think about and carry over to the next season.”
Sophomore Katie Detwiler scored two goals and added a pair of assists and junior Anna Murphy notched two scores for Carroll.
“We knew they were going to go to Dickey,” Beers said. “We just didn’t do anything to stop her.”
Conestoga coach Amy Orcutt, whose 2015 team lost to Garnet Valley in the state final, reminded her players that 2016 should be all that was on any of their minds.
“We had our team banquet the other night and said to remember that we’re not talking about last year,” Orcutt said. “We focus on each day and what we have to do that day to be a better team.
“We struggled some the last time we played (Carroll). Today (goalie Jules Horning) kept us in it with her saves early, then when we started getting draws we could take advantage of our possessions and score goals.”
Orcutt was delighted with the defensive job turned in by the unit that included Sweeney, Rilee Scott, Liz Scott, Maggie Hanzsche, Elisabeth Ingersoll and Dickey.
“(Sweeney) is so quick, and she’s such a great defender,” the coach pointed out. “We lost (sophomore defender) Emma McGillis to an injury and had to move Rilee Scott back and she did a nice job.”
Borzillo said that last spring as a freshman, Sweeney gained valuable defensive experience at the Conestoga practices.
“She always had to defend the best scorer, even some of the seniors we had then who graduated,” Borzillo said. “And she always did her job.”
Orcutt knows her team will be on the road for its next state playoff game.
“I know (Kennard-Dale) scores a lot of goals,” she said. “So we know what we have to work on for the next two days of practice.”
Conestoga 15, Archbishop Carroll 9
Conestoga 8 7 – 15
Arch. Carroll 5 4 – 9
Conestoga: Sondra Dickey 8G, Monica Borzillo 3G 7A, Paige Loose 3G, Maggie Gladden 1G, Liz Scott 1A.
Archbishop Carroll: Katie Detwiler 2G 2A, Anna Murphy 2G, Grace Gallagher 1G 1A, Sydney D’Orsogna 1G, Rachel Matey 1G, Sam Swart 1G, Meghan Matey 1G, Jessica Hewitt 1A.
Saves: Jules Horning (Con) 8, Maddie Ferraioli (AC) 7.