By Matt Chandik
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/11/17
Kristy Kucia is seeing things from an entirely different perspective this season.
She couldn’t be farther from her natural home on the field at low defense, but she’s fitting in just fine in the Archbishop Carroll lineup. The sophomore High Point commit gets to handle the ball more at low attack, where she facilitates the Patriots’ offense as a distributor to big-time goal scorers like Sam Swart and Katie Detwiler.
Thursday, she showed off some of her passing ability by dishing out three assists as Carroll stayed unbeaten with an 11-6 win over defending PIAA champion Conestoga in a battle of the two teams ranked No. 1 by Phillylacrosse.com.
“It’s my first year playing low (attack) and (the coaches) are trying to move me around and get me moved up to midfield at some point,” Kucia said. “My role is just to feed the ball and get open. I don’t have to make the big plays and they tell me to make the little plays, because little plays help the most.”
It helps when you have the weapons around you that Kucia does. Swart was her usual outstanding self, scoring five goals, and Detwiler was equally dominant with three goals, five draw controls, lockdown defense and excellent transition work. Kucia also set up both of Anna Murphy’s goals and she’s proven to be a suitable replacement for Sydney D’Orsogna, who’s been sidelined with a concussion.
“She’s a big key to our team, so I had to step up and I knew I had to take her role,” Kucia said of D’Orsogna. “She’s a really good player, so I knew I had to live up to her. When I started, I’d just pass to Sam because she’s a really good player, but I’ve learned to keep my composure and look for a good pass.”
Rare are the times where passing to Swart is a bad option, but Carroll has options aplenty in its offense. The Patriots (17-0) continued to round into shape for a lengthy postseason run by taking down another PIAA giant in the Pioneers (15-2). Conestoga nearly went a month to the day since its last loss, a 12-6 decision against Georgia powerhouse Milton.
Scottie Rose Growney led Conestoga with three goals, including a highlight-reel jaw-dropper of a goal for her first of the game, while Liz Scott tallied twice. Despite that, the Pioneers’ offense looked a little out of sync, and it’ll give Amy Orcutt’s crew something to work on at practice as they enter the District 1 Class AAA tournament with an eye on the top seed after Strath Haven stunned Central Bucks West, 8-7, to give the Bucks their first loss.
“It’s one of those games that we’re going to need to learn from, especially with Carroll,” said Growney, who has signed with defending national champion North Carolina. “We expect to see them again, so it’s one of those games that showed us that we have to play at a high level in order to compete with one of the best teams in the state. It’s good, because in a sense, this game doesn’t matter, but when it will matter, that’s when we’ll know what to bring.”
Conestoga got it as close as 8-6 when Scott ripped a high shot on an 8-meter with 8:18 to play, but Swart quickly turned around and scored a little more than a minute later. The Syracuse-bound Swart finished with the game’s last three goals, but the Patriots’ offensive depth was a major reason why the won and why many consider them the favorite to win the Class AAA state title.
“Sam and Katie are awesome offensive players,” Murphy said. “They just know when the right time is to score, so what I try to do is a little cut right outside of the net and they hit me every time.”
Archbishop Carroll 6 5 – 11
Sam Swart 5g
Katie Detwiler 3g
Anna Murphy 2g
Alex Cabahug-Almonte 1g
Kristy Kucia 3a
Maddey Ferraioli 6 saves
Conestoga 3 3 – 6
Scottie Rose Growney 3g
Liz Scott 2g
Sydney Sloan 1g
Ceara Sweeney 1a
Amelia Kienzle 1a
Anne Frascella 5 saves