By Harry Chaykun
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 6/3/17
The Radnor seniors ran up and down the Harriton High field, coasting to a 20-8 PIAA Class AA quarterfinal victory over Villa Maria Saturday afternoon.
After the game, Raiders coach Brooke Fritz asked for a few minutes to speak to the team. As her remarks ended, the seniors did another sprint.
This time, they were headed to the parking lot to make a quick exit to try to get to the senior prom as quickly as they could.
The Raiders will be back on the practice field Monday afternoon, preparing for their state semifinal meeting with Bishop Shanahan, a 12-11 winner over Gwynedd Mercy in the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader at Harriton. That game will also be at Harriton, at 4 p.m.
The Raiders own a 12-6 decision over Shanahan in the District 1 championship game. They will be attempting to advance to the first PIAA Class AA final after losing in the 2016 title match to Conestoga, when all teams competed in one class for the last time.
While the seniors rushed away with visions of prom gowns and special dances in their heads, sophomore Cate Cox, who scored six goals and added four assists, and freshman Ellie Mueller (two goals, one assist) were left to discuss their team’s success.
“Our defense is so solid,” Cox said. “We’ve got players who have made the All-American team. When we play against them in a lot of 7-on-7 situations in practice, it is such a positive thing for us.”
Villa junior Kate Finley opened the scoring in the second minute of Saturday’s action, then Cox got two goals, senior Hope Smith added a pair, and Cox scored again, putting Radnor up, 5-1, 11 minutes into the contest.
By halftime, Nicole Massimino and Julianne Puckette had scored twice, Cox added another goal, assisted by Smith, and Radnor’s lead was 13-4.
“We got great defense, and the offense did its thing today,” said Mueller.
The Villa Maria seniors did things opposite from the way Radnor’s 12th graders experienced their Saturday. Villa had its graduation ceremony in the morning, then those playing in the lacrosse game had to make a mad dash for Harriton.
“There were a lot of emotions at graduation, and now there’s emotions with the end of our season,” first-year head coach Allison Mongan said. “But this is as good as a Villa team has done, getting to states and winning the first game.
“Radnor’s an elite program, so if you’re going to lose you can at least say you lost to the best team. I hope our girls who are coming back will want to keep this program growing stronger and want to be a team that can keep going in the state playoffs.”
Bishop Shanahan 12, Gwynedd Mercy 11
Alyssa Manley had three goals and an assist and Kenzie Staska tallied three goals while Jess Gorr posted 12 saves as the Eagles held off Gwynedd Mercy’s late rally.
Shanahan led 12-5 with 16:08 left, but Gwynedd got three goals from Lizzy Ferguson (three goals) within five minutes and pulled within 12-11 on a goal by Kendall Seifert (two goals, one assist) with 2:36 to play. The Eagles gained possession and ran out the clock.
Hailey Durkin had four goals for Gwynedd Mercy.
Radnor 20, Villa Maria 8
Villa Maria 4 4 – 8
Radnor 13 7 – 20
Villa Maria: Erin Finley 2G 2A, Adele Iacobucci 2G 1A, Hannah Young 2G, Annina Iacobucci 2G. Maddie Medve 10 saves.
Radnor: Cate Cox 6G 4A, Julianne Puckette 5G, Hope Smith 3G 1A, Niocle Massimino 2G 1A, Ellie Mueller 2G 1A, Allison Lanzone 2G, Katie Pelton 1A. Alexa Solomon 8 saves.