By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 9/7/21
Radnor Coach Kristin Addis claims the seeds for the 2021 State championship season were sewn in the lost 2020 campaign – her rookie season at the helm.
“I think it (losing the 2020 season) was difficult just because we did have a strong senior class that wanted their chance at championships,” Addis said. “When the season was canceled it was a big letdown, but in the two weeks we had on the field I saw tremendous growth and such enthusiasm.
“I truly believe those two weeks and leadership helped us for this year and propelled us forward.”
The Raiders indeed went forward at a swift pace in 2021. They defeated Manheim Township, 11-5, on June 12 at West Chester East to claim the PIAA title and solidify their spot among the national rankings.
For her efforts, Addis has been named the Phillylacrosse.com Girls’ Team Coach of the Year.
Aside from dealing with a lost season in 2020 and a COVID every day of the 2021 season, Addis did it while delivering her second baby in April, midway through this championship year. Amazingly, she returned to the sidelines one day after being discharged from the hospital to lead her Raiders to a tough 10-8 victory over rival Archbishop Carroll.
Later in the season, rumors suggested Addis would step down to spend more time with her family. In early August she made the difficult decision to leave a job she loved after just two years to be a full-time mother.
“This was the toughest decision I have ever had to make,” she said. “The program means so much to me and I’ve enjoyed every second as a player and most recently as a coach.
“It has been such an honor to take over the program that gave so much to me. I couldn’t have asked for a better group of coaches, players, parents and administrators. I am so proud of everything that we accomplished together and have memories that will last a lifetime.
“The class of 2020 bought into the vision and laid the foundation for this season. The class of 2021 wanted to learn, improve, and be pushed. They had a championship mentality day in and day out. The team found the perfect balance between having fun and taking care of business. The returners gained valuable experience that will help them leave their own lasting legacies. I look forward to cheering them on!”
Radnor senior Tori DiCarlo, the Phillylacrosse.com Co-Player of the Year, said Addis (who coached eight years as a college Division I assistant) brought her college experience to the high school level – giving her players the edge they needed.
“This year we had a really big focus on film and looking at what works and what needs improvement,” said DiCarlo. “We studied our own play and had scouts watching other teams so we could play to our advantages.
“Under coach Addis we had a better understanding of the game. She was really honest in teaching us, especially in preparing us for the college environment. Every day she’d come in with a printed practice plan with groups, all organized. We knew what to expect and how to execute the drills.”
The Raiders, always a contender for state honors, set goals in the beginning of the year to win the powerful Central League, the District 1 crown and the state title. They finished second to Conestoga in the Central League race and fell to Unionville in the District 1 semis before taking third, beating Conestoga, 11-8. But in States, the raiders defeated Conestoga for the second time in the semis, 12-9, and never had a doubt against Manheim.
“We knew the feeling of losing and it hurts,” DiCarlo said. “Coach told us we didn’t want to leave any regrets on the field.”
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DiCarlo said one telling moment of the year occurred when she walked onto the field to play Carroll and was shocked to see Addis ready to coach – despite earlier pleas from the players to stay home with her baby.
“I walked over to the bench and I was shocked to see her,” DiCarlo said. “I said to her, ‘Why are you here?’ She is so dedicated; we’re so thankful to have had her as our coach.”
Addis credited her assistants, Shannon (Burns) McGarrigle and Nicole Caniglia, and JV coaches Katie McGuire and Amy Roseland. She also wanted to mention her coach at Radnor, Hall of Famer Phyllis Kilgour, for the example she set as a mentor and leader.
Finally, a big highlight was the state semifinal win over Conestoga, when the Raiders pulled ahead after dominating the draw controls.
“The Conestoga win was such an exciting win and one I will never forget,” said Addis. “The girls really just refused to lose that game. They had some tough moments in the first half with cards and they really came out of it after I called a timeout. They executed the game plan from that part forward and battled adversity to ultimately come out with a huge W.”