By Matt Chandik
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/31/17
Springfield-Delco’s girls’ lacrosse team prides itself on its ability to beat you in a bunch of different ways.
Take away one player on the Cougars’ offense, and that still leaves a half-dozen scoring threats at any time. It doesn’t need to run through one player when you’ve got the weapons that Keith Broome’s team boasts. Rather, Springfield can pick you apart from all angles.
Sometimes, though, it’s incredibly effective to have one player handle the bulk of the load. Tuesday night, Bridget Whitaker was virtually unstoppable in a 15-5 win over Exeter in the first round of the PIAA Class AAA tournament at Penncrest. The Temple commit scored six times, added an assist and collected four draw controls as part of a dominant night for the Cougars.
The Eagles decided to start the game by face guarding Bailey O’Brien, and Springfield midfielder Olivia Little went down with an injury in the first half. Her status for Saturday’s quarterfinal against Manheim Township, a 16-9 winner over District 7 champion Pine Richland, was unknown. Those two circumstances, though, helped open things up for Whitaker.
“I noticed that they were face guarding Bailey and that’s one of our top scorers, so I knew we had to step up if they were going to take her away,” Whitaker said. “I just saw a matchup and took it.”
Exeter had no answer for Whitaker. She scored four goals before the game was 11 minutes old, outpacing the Eagles by herself in both the first half and the game. Games like these serve as a good reminder why Broome constantly implores Whitaker to shoot more. She’s got plenty of scoring ability, and Broome would be just fine with her unleashing it more often.
“I’ve been hearing it since I was a freshman,” Whitaker added. “I think I don’t shoot enough, but I’ll be hearing it forever. I’ll probably be hearing it on the sidelines when I come back next year.”
Whitaker got help from her friends, too. O’Brien scored twice and added an assist, Maggie O’Connell bagged a pair of goals and Kristen Methlie, Julia Schickling, Dana Carlson, Belle Mastropietro and Erin Gormley also pocketed a goal apiece. That depth wore down Exeter, despite a fantastic outing from freshman Bella Karstien.
The Louisville commit was all over the field for the Eagles, particularly in the first half. She finished with three goals and six draw controls as the headliner of an Exeter 2020 class that will definitely be back in the tournament before it graduates.
“I’m just really happy that we made it,” Karstien said. “It’s my freshman year and there’s still time to grow. We didn’t have that many seniors this year, but we had a lot of freshmen, which is really cool to play with all of my friends. It was a really fun experience to be able to play (in states).”
Exeter 3 2 – 5
Isabella Karstien 3g
Morgan Souder 1g
Gabriella Boyer 1g
Ariana Kline 2a
Aubrey Lengel 8 saves
Kelsey Malone 2 saves
Springfield-Delco 9 6 – 15
Bridget Whitaker 6g, 1a
Bailey O’Brien 2g, 1a
Maggie O’Connell 2g
Kristen Methlie 1g
Julia Schickling 1g
Dana Carlson 1g
Belle Mastropietro 1g
Erin Gormley 1g
Julianne Clemens 8 saves