By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 7/19/17
MIDLOTHIAN, Pa. – The tradition continues.
The Pennsylvania girls – the two-time defending champions – have started strong again as they seek to win another High School championship at the Brine National Lacrosse Classic at the River City Sportsplex in Midlothian.
PA is 2-0 after easy wins this morning over New England, 12-4, and Georgia, 10-4. PA stands atop Pool A and will face Florida and Ohio tomorrow. The playoffs are Friday.
Only two players – Danika Swech (Owen J. Roberts 2018 MF, Delaware commit) and Arianna Lavelle (Merion Mercy Academy 2018 ATT, Fairfield commit) – return for PA from last year’s squad.
“Last year was a great experience and I got a lot out of it,” said Swech. “It’s my last year; I want to go out with a bang.”
Again, Team PA is being coached by Brooke Watson (Germantown Academy head coach) and Kelli Romano (GA assistant).
Maggie Flynn (Great Valley 2018 DEF, Duquesne commit) said the PA team has quickly began to jell.
— Tom Peace (@TPeace19) July 19, 2017
“The first game we were working out some kinks since we all haven’t played together,” said Flynn. “In the second game we worked on connections more, the attack got better passes and we got to learn each other as players a lot better than the first one.”
Why did the girls decide to play in the NLC even when they have committed to D1 schools?
“It’s just the talent is awesome and the competition is so good,” said Flynn. “It’s a good experience since we are both going to next level. We get to see good competition and a variety of teams.”
Added Swech: “Everything is great here. There are good causes (such as Brady’s Bunch) and seminars. There are players here that we may be playing against at the next level. You also build friendships and you build bonds. It’s a good week.”
Also at 2-0 after Day 1 was New Jersey, which is leading Pool B along with Wisconsin. Metro NY leads Pool C with a 2-0 mark and Maryland is atop Pool D with a 2-0 record.
PA boys start 1-0-1
The PA boys opened with a 4-4 tie against Ohio and then turned on the offense in an 11-7 win over Colorado.
Ryan Prum (Ridley, 2019 FOGO, Quaker-HEADstrong) led at the faceoff X, Matt Ottilo (Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, 2020 LSM, Triple-H) led the defense and Logan Clefisch (Owen J. Roberts 2019 ATT, PA Roughriders) helped lead a a balanced attack for PA.
“The defense is communicating really well; we’re sliding well and doing our 2-slides,” said Ottilo. “The offense is putting it in the back of the cage. All together we are working well as a team.”
Clefisch agreed: “In between games we are coming together,” he said. “We have a lot of guys playing travel together and that helps with communication on defense.”
Prum said winning the GBs is the key. “We are getting the 50-50 groundballs and I am trying to battle for every faceoff,” he said.
PA is one point behind Ontario in the Pool C race with games against Ontario and Virginia Thursday. Ontario edged Virginia, 9-8.