By Harry Chaykun, Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/20/22
Archbishop Carroll’s continued dominance of Philadelphia Catholic League girls’ lacrosse was on display at Neumann University Friday night.
Coach Lorraine Beers’ Patriots added another perfect PCL season to her incredible streak with a 17-7 victory over Cardinal O’Hara in the Catholic League championship.
Since the opening day of the 2001 campaign, Beers and her Carroll teams have won 21 league titles and 264 straight league games. Carroll, ranked No. 1 by Phillylacrosse.com, is 20-0 and has earned the top seed for District 12 heading into the state tourney. Carroll will seek to repeat as PIAA AA champion.
Cardinal O’Hara, 14-4 and ranked No. 12, also can qualify for the state tournament with a win over Mastery-Shoemaker of the Philadelphia Public League in the District 12 second-place game next week.
“This has become a family thing,” Beers said as she looked around at the former players and parents of former players – some of whom played before the members of this year’s team were born – congratulating her squad after the Patriots accepted the school’s PCL championship plaque.
Senior Kiley Mottice (two assists) and sophomore Chloe Bleckley each scored five goals while Emma Talago (3 assists) was a table setter for the potent Carroll attack, which went ahead to stay 51 seconds into the game when Bleckley scored, assisted by Mottice.
“How can you go wrong when you have players like Kiley and Emma leading the way,” Beers said. “Then you have people like Shannon Wood and Catie McConaghy (one goal apiece), who are just so reliable.
“Our middies are young, and we’ve moved some people around and things have worked out. Megan Sheridan is a junior who never played lacrosse before, but she’s really coming along. It’s just so nice to see the way everyone has worked together.”
Mottice got a pair of goals and an assist in the first 6:32 of the second half as Carroll improved its 11-4 advantage at the break to a 10-goal lead. Her final score was the 150th goal of her high school career.
“This is exciting because we beat O’Hara and won another championship,” the North Carolina-bound Mottice said. “It’s always a big game whenever we play O’Hara.
“You work hard every day getting ready for games like this. And I know that without everyone around me – all of the coaches and all the other players – that this doesn’t happen. They make me work harder every single day.”
Bleckley said everyone followed their regular routine in preparing for the game at practice and in game-day warmups at the field.
“You have to get into it and make sure you are ready,” she said. As she is introduced with the other starters, she greets team statistician Mike Dougherty before running out on to the field.
“We all love Mr. Doc,” she said. “He gave us our slogan before the state final last year, and now we want to get back there again this year.”
Junior Ava Bleckley, who transferred back to Carroll from Academy of Notre Dame, was playing in the PCL final for the first time. She scored four goals, got one assist and chipped in with four draw controls.
“We knew O’Hara had a great team and would want this game,” she said. “But we just had so much fun out there. When we practice, if I have to defend someone, I want it to be Kiley. I’ve learned so much from her and she’s helped make me a better player.”
Junior Machaela Henry got one goal for Carroll, but her key contribution came in the circle as she earned eight draw controls in helping the Pats to a 19-6 advantage.
“O’Hara’s a good team,” she said. “So the more times we get the (draw), the more possession time we have and the more chances we get to score. It’s one of the things our coaches always stress in practice. We know they will be positive and uplifting in what they tell us, so we want to be sure we’re doing what we are told to do.”
Sienna Golden, Henry, Katie Koroly, Ella Wright and Brooke Wilson were among the Carroll players who did solid work on the defensive end of the field.
Claire Natoli (one assist), Ellie Miller and Maddie Sharkey (four draw controls) scored two goals apiece for Cardinal O’Hara, which will be on the opposite side of the state tournament bracket from Carroll if the Lions qualify for the PIAA Tournament.
“The team fought hard and we’re proud of that,” said O’Hara coach Jen Duckenfield. “Carroll is a very good team. You have to play your absolute best if you’re going to beat them.”
Catholic League championship
Archbishop Carroll 17, Cardinal O’Hara 7
Chloe Bleckley 5g, 2dc
Cate McConaghy 1g
Shannon Wood 1g, 1dc
Sienna Golden 1dc
Machaela Henry 1g, 8dc
Ava Bleckley 4g, 2a, 4dc
Ella Wright 1dc
Emma Talago 3a
Kiley Mottice 5g, 2a, 1dc
Bridget Robinson 7 saves
Claire Natoli 2G, 1A, 1CT
Maddie Sharkey 2G, 4DC, 2GB
Ellie Miller 2G
Lexi Culp 1G
Lily Marquis 2gb, 1CT
Annastacia Ciminera 1DC, 2CT
Mack Hand 3 saves
Tags: Archbishop Carroll