By Matt Chandik
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/25/17
Dana Cicchitti didn’t have a chance to play in Conestoga’s postseason run to the state championship last year.
Rather, Cicchitti was relegated to the sidelines and pregame goalie warmups, thanks to a bout with pneumonia. While she didn’t get to play, she did have the best seat in the house on a game-by-game basis as the Pioneers rolled to the state title.
Competitors don’t like to watch, though, and Thursday, Cicchitti made up for lost time in style. She and Ceara Sweeney each scored four times and both added an assist to lead Conestoga to a 12-8 win over Springfield-Delco for the District 1 Class AAA championship.
The Pioneers (20-2) square off with District One No. 7 West Chester Rustin, a 9-8 winner over Abington for the final District One state berth, Tuesday in the first round of states. The Cougars take on District 3 No. 3 Exeter, which beat Governor Mifflin, 16-15, to grab the spot.
“I’m really excited. It’s really nice to be a senior and win this. We haven’t won It in 11 years and to have a huge impact with the other seniors on the field just feels so amazing.”
A district title was all that was missing from Conestoga’s senior class’ trophy case; the Pioneers had not won one since 2006. Conestoga earned the biggest prize by beating rival Radnor in the state title game last year, and it’s won three straight league championships. Oddly enough, the middle step was the toughest.
Against the Cougars, newly-minted All-Americans Scottie Rose Growney and Liz Scott were held to one goal apiece. For most teams, that’d be a huge problem. For the Pioneers, it meant an opportunity for its supporting stars to show out. Amelia Kienzle also popped two goals. Conestoga raced out to an early 6-0 lead that burgeoned into a 9-2 cushion at the half and withstood a 5-0 run from Springfield in the second half.
“Our coach Amy (Orcutt) always says that (Growney and Scott) are being face-guarded and use that to our advantage,” Sweeney said. “Scottie and Liz would set picks for us and get us open. Knowing that they’re focused more on them gives me and the people on attack more confidence to take it to goal.”
“We’re going to come back stronger,” said Whitaker, who had four draw controls to go with her two goals. “We’re ready to move on and we’re ready to win. I think we have to go for every 50-50 ball. That was one of our problems – they were getting a lot of the ground balls – and defensively, we definitely have to work on our slides.”
Olivia Pace and Julia Schickling also scored for the Cougars, who got five saves from All-Central League goalie Julianne Clemens.
Springfield-Delco 2 6 – 8
Springfield-Delco 2-6- 8
Bailey O’Brien 2g
Bridget Whitaker 2g
Olivia Little 2g
Olivia Pace 1g
Julia Schickling 1g
Erin Gormley 1a
Dana Carlson 1a
Maggie O’Connell 1a
Julianne Clemens 5 saves