Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/15/19
Grace Donnelly said every member of the Shipley School girls’ lacrosse set a goal this year of winning the school’s first Friends Schools League championship since 2007
“We were all asked on the first day of practice to write a team goal and every single person said they wanted to win the league championship,” said the Gators senior goalie. “We set our minds to this day one and were determined to win it. Going undefeated was the icing on top.”
On Tuesday, Shipley realized its preseason goal of a title by rallying past Germantown Friends, 15-13. Shipley, which went undefeated in the Friends Schools regular season, had lost in the finals two of the past three years.
Donnelly – a Colorado signee – played a key role with 18 saves, but GFS held an 8-5 halftime lead. Shipley, however, responded as Grace Gordon (six goals) keyed a 5-0 Shipley run to open the second half.
The Tigers tied it, 10-10 and later to make it 11-11, but the Gators scored the next three goals to take the lead for good.
“It feels amazing!” said Donnelly. “We started this season as a brand new team with a brand new coach (Iris Williamson), so we weren’t really sure what to expect this year.
Donnelly knew the game would be tight since Shipley edged the Tigers, 11-10, in the regular-season matchup.
“Going into this game, our plan was to make sure everyone had each other’s back, whether it’s being there for the scrappy ground balls, getting open for a clear, or making sure to pick each other up,” she said. “We talked a lot about playing smart and playing for each other.
“Going up against a strong, well coached team like GFS, we had to really make sure everyone was ready and able to compete for a full 60 minutes.”
What happened to turn the game’s momentum in the second half?
“Our hustle,” said Donnelly. “I think it’s safe to say that we were pretty evenly matched with GFS in the first half, but come the second half we didn’t let up.
“We’ve been a second half team all year. We knew we were down by three, so going into the second half we wanted to keep grinding by attacking every ground ball and playing smart around the crease. I couldn’t be prouder of the way my teammates battled.”
Clare Meyer had seven draw controls, five goals and three assists for GFS while Curran McLaughlin added three goals and an assist and Annie McLaughlin added six draws, two goals and an assist. The Tigers won 10 more draws than Shipley.
“I was really proud of the way GFS battled for every ball, it is such a great rivalry with Shipley and it was bittersweet having a former GFS standout, Iris Williamson ’12 (Penn) at the helm of the Shipley squad,” said GFS coach Katie Bergstrom. “Iris coached a great team and they deserved the win, but I am super proud of how our players rallied and played to the last second.
“Our team is young with five 9th grade and one 8th grader in the starting lineup, so the future is bright for GFS lacrosse!”
How did Donnelly approach the game?
“Before this game, my dad and I had been texting about this game earlier in the morning and he knew the right things to say to keep me on top and focused and also relaxed,” Donnelly said of her father, Joe, a longtime goalie coach. “So come game time, I was already locked in and ready.
“There was a lot of high energy out on the field all game and I don’t think I ever lost any of my focus. My goal was to always ready for the shot and always be tracking the ball.
“I knew GFS would be a great challenge and that ball would go in, getting back up and being ready for the next shot was my mental approach and helped keep me in the game till the last whistle. I like to think it had a positive effect on the whole team and allowed us to keep attacking.”
Donnelly said the title is special to the whole team, but especially herself and the other five seniors, Kate Scutt, Grace Gordon, Chloe Sobel, Elie Shapiro, and Elizabeth Talluto.
“This was huge for the seniors,” Donnelly said. “We have all worked very hard for the past four years, adjusting to new players and new coaches, always ready to give it our all.
“The program took a huge leap when the class of seniors now started four years ago. We were a very athletic group of girls that helped push the team and challenged it to become better. There is a lot great leadership on the team and we all play different roles.
“The fact that we have a bunch of underclassmen looking up to us is a wonderful responsibility that I know Grace, E, Kate, Chloe, Elie and myself see as a privilege and makes this win even more special because we hope to see this Shipley program grow and continue to win after we’re gone.”
The Gators will host Mercersburg Academy in the first round of the PAISAA tournament Friday while GFS plays at Baldwin School.
Friends Schools League championship
Shipley School 15, Germantown Friends 13
Emma Baker 2g, 1a
Katie Bergen 2g, 3dc, 1gb
Grace Gordon 6g, 1dc
Kate Scutt 2gs, 1gb, 6dc
Elizabeth Talluto 2g, 1gb,
Maggie Kline 1g
Grace Donnelly 18 saves
Clare Meyer 5 goals, 3 assists, 7 draws
Curran McLaughlin 3 goals, 1 assist, 2 draws
Annie McLaughlin 2 goals, 1 assist, 6 draws
Mia Raven 1 goal, 5 draws
Jane MacRae 1 goal, 1 assist
Sam Egner 5 saves
Friends Schools League Champions
1982 – Germantown Friends 10, George School 4
1983 – Germantown Friends 9, George School 5
1984 – Germantown Friends 14, Friends’ Central 4
1985 – Germantown Friends 12, Friends’ Central 10
1986 – Germantown Friends 15, Friends’ Central 7
1987 – Germantown Friends 11, Friends’ Central 8
1988 – Germantown Friends 11, Friends’ Central 6
1989 – Germantown Friends 18, Friends’ Central 7
1990 – Germantown Friends 15, Friends’ Central 7
1991 – Germantown Friends 13, Friends’ Central 8
1992 – Germantown Friends 18, Friends’ Central 6
1993 – George School 9, Germantown Friends 8
1994 – George School 16, Germantown Friends 13
1995 – George School 13, Germantown Friends 10
1996 – Germantown Friends 12, Moorestown Friends 8
1997 – Moorestown Friends 6, Germantown Friends 5
1998 – Moorestown Friends 9, Academy New Church 8
1999 – Germantown Friends 11, Moorestown Friends 7
2000 – Westtown School 12, Friends’ Central 10
2001 – Friends’ Central 10, Westtown School 8
2002 – Friends’ Central 12, Germantown Friends 11
2003 – Germantown Friends 6, George School 5 (2OT)
2004 – Westtown School 16, Friends’ Central 5
2005 – Friends’ Central 10, Germantown Friends 9
2006 – Germantown Friends 15, George School 13
2007 – Shipley School 15, Friends’ Central 12
2008 – Germantown Friends 15, George School 13
2009 – Germantown Friends 15, Shipley 7
2010 – Friends’ Central 13, Germantown Friends 2
2011 – Friends’ Central 9, Germantown Friends 7
2012 – Friends’ Central 10, Germantown Friends 8
2013 – Friends’ Central 14, Germantown Friends 11
2014 – Germantown Friends 10, Friends’ Central 8
2015 – Friends’ Central 15, Germantown Friends 8
2016 – Friends’ Central 8, Shipley School 6
2017 – Friends’ Central 10, Germantown Friends 3
2018 – Germantown Friends 9, Shipley School 6
2019 – Shipley School 15, Germantown Friends 13