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PIAA Girls’ AAA: Archbishop Carroll edges Springfield-Delco, 9-8, for 1st title

Saturday, 10th June 2017

Categories Girl's/Women's, High School  

By Matt Chandik, Posted 6/11/17

It didn’t take long at all for Sam Swart to realize that Archbishop Carroll had the potential to be the best team in school history.

“The first open gym that we had, it was, like, ‘bam-bam-bam passing and we were scoring,’” Swart explained. “I could tell there that it was going to be a perfect season.”

The 2017 PIAA Class AA champions, Archbishop Carroll

There was only one blemish on the Patriots’ record, but in the end, it was the perfect ending to the greatest season in school history as Carroll edged Springfield-Delco, 9-8, for the PIAA Class 3A championship. It marked the first state championship in Carroll history and the first time that a team from outside the Central League won the state title.

“Right now, my heart’s beating at a million miles per hour and I don’t even know what to say, because I’m just in shock,” Swart said. “This is so exciting. Since I was in eighth grade, I was looking at Carroll and I thought, ‘I want to change something.’ That’s what we did.”

Indeed, they did. The Patriots (24-1) put aside years of frustration and an inability to make it through a District 1 barrier in the state tournament, thanks to three goals from Swart. The Carroll star was relatively quiet until midway through the second half, thanks in large part to the standout defense of Springfield freshman Alyssa Long.

Great players, though, find a way to rise to the occasion. Madison Henry set Swart up for a goal with 9:43 to play to go up 8-7, then the duo connected yet again with 5:10 to play with Cougars standout goalie Julianne Clemens sitting out two minutes for a yellow card.

Springfield’s Bridget Whitaker brought Springfield to within one with an 8-meter, but Maddey Ferraioli made the biggest of her 10 saves on an 8-meter on Julie Schickling in the game’s final minute to cement Carroll’s historic title.

Link to highlights by Phillysportsvideo

The Cougars (20-5) had lost in each of their first two trips to the PIAA title game, to Radnor, 14-7, in 2010 and to Garnet Valley, 13-9, in 2014.

“I take it personal in who I guard and how much they score, but I knew she’s a really good player with a good left hand and quick and fast,” Long said. “I knew it was going to be a tough one guarding her. It’s just about staying focused and not losing her and making sure she doesn’t get to where she wants to go.”

It was almost enough, too, and Springfield had a chance to send it to overtime before Ferraioli made her game-saving save. It was a fitting ending for a girl who didn’t even expect to finish her career as a starter, let alone a state champion.

“I was so nervous,” Ferraioli said with a smile. “I just got rid of everything in my head and everything I let in before, I just got rid of it. I thought maybe sophomore or junior year, I’d have a goalie that would surpass me, but I’ve worked so hard.

“We were determined this year. We thought last year was our year and we thought the year before that was our year, but we were determined.”

Olivia Little netted a pair of goals, while Whitaker and Dana Carlson added a goal and an assist each. Springfield coach Keith Broome smartly face-guarded Swart off and, at times, fellow All-American Katie Detwiler (two goals), daring the Patriots to beat Springfield without the services of their two best players. It nearly worked out.

Springfield-Delco had used a 5-1 run to seize the 7-6 lead, but Carroll’s Sydney D’Orsogna tied it to set up Swart’s heroics.

“It’s so special because now, everyone knows, Carroll’s not just a Catholic League team who plays a couple games on the weekends against District 1 teams,” Ferraioli said. “People underestimated us, but now, they know.”

Archbishop Carroll 9, Springfield-Delco 8
Archbishop Carroll 5-4- 9
Springfield-Delco 2-6 – 8

Archbishop Carroll
Sam Swart 3g
Kate Detwiler 2g
Grace Gallagher 1g
Sydney D’Orsogna 1g
Rachel Matey 1g
Amber Germer 1g
Madison Henry 2a
Maddey Ferraioli 10 saves

Olivia Little 2g
Bridget Whitaker 1g, 1a
Dana Carlson 1g, 1a
Olivia Pace 1g
Julia Schickling 1g
Bailey O’Brien 1g
Kristen Methlie 1g
Julianne Clemens 3 saves

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