By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 7/17/19
FREDERICA, Del. – After a tough start, the Pennsylvania girls have stamnped themselves as a contender in the 2022 Division at the Maverik National Lacrosse Classic.
Team Pennsylvania opened play Tuesday in the 3-day tourney with an 11-5 defeat to Colorado. But since then Team PA has gone 3-0 and Thursday the squad opens playoff action as the No. 2 team in the B Division against A Division third-seeded Virginia at 8 a.m. here at the Delaware Turf Sports Complex.
Three members of the PA team – goalie Lucy Pearson (Springside Chestnut Hill Academy), attack Emma Raines (Twin Valley) and defender Paris Masaracchia (York Catholic) competed in the 2022 All-Star Game later in the day.
“I think just playing as a team and not being selfish while using all the talented players has helped us,” said Raines of Team Pennsylvania’s surge. “We learned each other’s skills.
“This my third year at the event; I like the competition and playing against people around the country,” added Raines, who scored once in the All-Star Game for the National team. “It was great to play in the All-Star Game; it was really fun because you had to learn quickly the plays and your teammates.”
Masaracchia, who played on the winning American All-Stars, said Team Pennsylvania learned from its loss.
“Team chemistry is the key,” she said. “We all came together after that game and learned each other’s weaknesses and strengths and changed our play to help the other players as well.”
This spring Masaracchia helped York Catholic reach the PIAA Class AA semifinals where tyhe team fell to evendtual state champion Springfield-Delco in a nailbiter, 11-10. Masaracchia and Pearson both played for Team Philly in the Command Division (2022-2023) of the Under Armour Underclass tourney.
Pearson was pleased with her effort in the All-Star Game when she made 6 saves (yielding 5 goals) for the National team in the first half.
“It was a lot of fun,” she said. “I always prefer playing in the first half. I can get into a rhythym and it’s almost better when there are more shots. That also helps you get into a rhythym and you are always moving and seeing how the defense is playing.”
Pearson is hoping to fill the void at Springside CHA that will be left ny the graduation of All-American Delaney Sweitzer, who was one of the heroes in the Under Armour All-America Game with a game-winning pass in overtime.
“It was great to play behind Delaney,” she said. “I saw the value of a really good teammate. She always was helping me and taught me how to juggle. I realize that doing that for younger kids makes them play better and she showed me how to be a good teammate.”
New Jersey High School Team remains undefeated
The New Jersey girls’ High School team finished 4-0 in Pool Play with two wins today, 6-4 over New England and 8-6 over previously-undefeated Long Island. New Jersey, as the top seed in Pool A, will open playoff action at 8 a.m. against Pennsylvania.
In the win over Long Island, All-Stars Maddie Barber (Middle Township, 2020) and Emily Guenther (Notre Dame-NJ, 2020) each scored two goals to pace a balanced attack as NJ built a 6-2 lead.
“Honestly, I think we just meshed really well as a team; even on the first day of practice we said if we were a club team or school team we’d be really good,” said Guenther. “And I think having that confidence put us over the top.”
“I feel like we connect really well,” added 2021 attack Lainey Walterson (Egg Harbor Township).
Said Barber: “I think the main reason for our success is that we have a lot of shooters and we all can shoot. We are not relying on two or three people.
“Also, the defense just kills it. They are always on the right slide and always helping. They are always there when you need them to be.”
Why did the girls decide to come out for the NLC?
“I did this in 8th grade and I really loved it,” Guenther said, who is committed to D2 Indianapolis. “”I never had time to do it again, but figured it was my senior summer and I was committed so I might as well come back and have fun.”
What will it take to win the championship? “I I think we have to capitalize on other teams’ mistakes and take advantage of that and stay connected and make better choices,” said Walterson.
“I think what we have – our foundation – is pretty good,” added Barber. “We just have to clean up the little things and be smarter with our passes and in placing our shots.”
Team PA boys squad is 2-2; makes playoffs
The defending High School boys team, Team Pennsylvania, went 2-2 in Pool Play, suffering a tough 6-4 loss to undefeated Colorado. Pennsylvania will meet Carolina in the first round of the playoffs at 9 a.m. and could meet Pool B champion Maryland with a victory.