By Harry Chaykun
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 6/6/21
From the whistle that put an end to Conestoga’s 13-9 District 1 semifinal loss to Unionville on May 25, the Pioneer players envisioned another meeting with the Longhorns.
With that in mind, it wasn’t difficult for ’Stoga head coach Amy Orcutt to prepare her players for the PIAA Class 3A semifinal matchup at Coatesville High Saturday afternoon.
Conestoga used an overwhelming attack and a shut-down defense in earning a 17-6 decision over Unionville to qualify for a 3A semifinal match with Central League rival Radnor (a 13-4 winner over Owen J. Roberts) Tuesday.
“We went down against them the last time and our energy level dropped from 10 to 0 in a hurry,” said Conestoga sophomore All-America Kate Galica, who scored four goals, added three assists and chipped in with six draw controls Saturday. “This time our energy was way up, and we didn’t get down on ourselves.”
Galica scored three of her goals and had three draw controls in the opening 25 minutes, helping Conestoga (19-2-1) to a 9-5 halftime advantage.
Senior Megan Marengo paced the winners with five goals. She opened the scoring in the fourth minute of play and also had the first goal of the second half, in which the Pioneers scored six times before being scored on.
“I didn’t score the last time we played them,” Marengo, who is headed to the United States Naval Academy, said. “I told myself before we started that I didn’t want this to be my last game.
“The best thing was how this was a team win. We changed things up from the last time, and everyone played well.”
One of the keys to victory for Conestoga was the defensive effort turned in by Sophia Borelli, whose face-guarding efforts held high-scoring Unionville (21-3) forward Anna Brown in check.
“She did what we asked her to do perfectly,” Orcutt said. “Today we took things to them, we shot well and we got defensive stops. We played as a team.”
The Conestoga defensive unit, which limited Unionville to one goal – with four minutes to play – and seven shots and caused four turnovers in the second half, was anchored by goalie Alana Lepore and also included Brooke Braslow, Kat Bielinski, Skylar Carey, Kiki Liebezeit and Claire Newhall.
Rachel Clark finished with three goals and one assist and Melissa Hewitt also scored three times for ’Stoga. Maddie Passarello and Riley Glackin had two goals apiece for Unionville, the District 1 champion.
“You have to give Conestoga a lot of credit,” Unionville coach Tara Brown said. “They had a good game plan and did things well.
“I’m very proud of all of the things our team did this season. They were a very close group, and it’s going to be hard saying good-bye to our seniors.”
PIAA AAA Quarterfinals
Conestoga 17, Unionville 6
Conestoga 9 8 – 17
Unionville 5 1 – 6
Megan Marengo 5G
Kate Galica 4G 3A
Rachel Clark 3G 1A
Melissa Hewitt 3G
Piper Kienzel 1G 1A
Anna DeVuono 1G
Gabby Ridder 2A
Alana Lepore 4 saves
Maddie Passarello 2G
Riley Glackin 2G
Lily Dietrich 1G
Delaney Harlan 1G
Paris Concord 2A
Mattie Robitzer 12 saves