By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 6/6/18
When Unionville had its 19-game win streak snapped by Springfield-Delco in the District 1 semifinals, the Indians’ season turned – for the better!
“We were telling ourselves that loss was a gut check, it helped us mentally prepare for the state playoffs,” said Unionville senior Erin Garvey. “If there is such a thing as a good loss, that was definitely one of them.”
Since that defeat, the Indians refocused. And on Tuesday after a 90-minute rain delay pushed the start time at Methacton to 8:30 p.m., Unionville dominated Garnet Valley, 14-4, to earn a trip to Saturday’s PIAA Class AAA championship game.
The Indians (23-2) will play Manheim Township at noon for the crown at West Chester East. Manheim, the District 3 champion, toppled Springfield, 12-10.
Unionville – the third seed from District 1 – had fallen to Garnet Valley, 7-6, to open the season before its long win streak. But Garvey scored five goals and helped her team dominate the draws while six others scored for the Indians.
“I was confident that our team had improved (since our first meeting with Garnet Valley),” said Garvey. “I am super excited!
“Coming off Garnet’s last game, we knew the key to the game was winning the draw. I think we have a lot of speed at the circle, which helps a lot.”
Emma Malone added two goals and two assists while Claire Donovan and Mauria Blair each scored two goals for the Indians.
Mina Scott had a goal and two assists. Madison Doucette posted five saves when Garnet Valley did have the ball, which was not often.
The game was 2-2 midway through the first half when Unionville completely took over, going on a 4-0 run to close the first half and extending the lead to 13-2 midway through the second half.
“That was fantastic lacrosse,” Garnet Valley coach Jenny Purvis said. “I said to (our) girls after the game that sometimes you cause the loss; I didn’t feel like that today.
“That was some of the best high school lacrosse I have seen in some time. Congrats to them.”
Unionville coach Suzanne Sheehan believed her team, the undefeated Ches-Mont League champion, was capable of playing at this level.
“We’re all excited,” she said. “We all felt it as we ran through the season. We started to feel it get closer and closer. We saw the passion and it continued to develop.
“That was one of our best games; defense, midfield and attack-wise. Garnet is such a talented team. We were hungry to beat Garnet; all these years, these seniors have never been able to beat them (in four tries). After we lost to them in the regular season, we knew we might see them again, so we were ready.”
Purvis said her team’s loss could not overshadow a great season, which included a Central League title and a District 1 crown.
“I am really just so proud of my seniors and I feel so bad for them,” she said “These seniors have accomplished so much. They have been to the state semifinals all four years. I know they are disappointed; we didn’t want to go out this way, but we went out with class – no silly cards. They can hold their heads high.”
Unionville 14, Garnet Valley 4
Unionville 6-8- 14
Garnet Valley 2-2- 4
Hannah Close 1 goal
Claire Donovan 2 goals
Erin Garvey 5 goals
Veronica Hineman 1 assist
Annie McDonough 1 goal 1 assist
Emma Malone 2 goals 2 assists
Mauria Blair 2 goals
Mina Scott 1 goal 2 assists
Shannon Garvey 1 assist 3 GBs
Madison Doucette 5 Saves
Kamryn McNeal 1g, 1a
Camryn Faith 2g
Regan Nealon 1g
Kara Nealon 2a
Sam Hamalak 3 saves