End of the road Lady Eagles knocked off by Radnor in PA State quarterfinals

By on June 6, 2012

By: TODD RUTH Review Sports Editor truth.eph@lnpnews.com, Staff Writer

They say if you look hard enough, you can find positives in any situation.

That old adage was put to the test Saturday afternoon in the State girls lacrosse quarterfinals at Exeter High School where District One power Radnor was putting on a clinic against Cocalico, the District Three runners-up.

The Red Raiders took control from the opening draw, using their speed and precision passing to open up a commanding 12-0 lead. The Lady Eagles (20-4) did get on the board just before half but the damage was already done as the Red Raiders cruised to an eventual 20-3 victory.

Despite the lopsided loss, which ended the Lady Eagles’ season in the State quarterfinals for the second-straight year, Cocalico Coach Mary Beth Cardin saw some bright spots Saturday from her young team that graduates just two seniors.

"Certainly it’s nice to win," she said. "But when you can’t (win) and you are playing against a better team like that…It wasn’t like we played poorly…We played a better team and there was no two ways about it. But for my team I was proud of the fact that they played the entire game and didn’t give up. They were still going hard in the final seconds of the game, and for that I was proud of them. And what they can take forth from that game in subsequent seasons will be kind of invaluable."

Radnor, which would go on to lose a 15-14 decision to Garnett Valley in Tuesday’s semifinals, was in complete control from the outset. In fact, the Red Raiders (21-5) opened up a 6-0 lead before Cocalico (20-4) crossed midfield for the first time as their stick to stick passing sliced through the Cocalico defense with surprising ease.

Natalie Miller (six goals, two assists) scored a hat trick in the first 3:21 of the contest before Taryn Deck added the fourth Radnor goal some 30 seconds later.

Shannon Quinn and Christian Norden both tallied less than three minutes later to make it 6-0, and the rout was on.

"They were definitely a very skilled, very fast and very experienced team," Cardin said. "I believe they were a lot of upperclassmen if not seniors, and it showed with their teamwork. Definitely those girls have been playing together for a period of time. They definitely had some very good players and some very fast players."

Cocalico continued to struggle with Radnor’s pace, and the Red Raiders continued to pump in goals. Radnor eventually upped its lead to 12-0 on Miller’s fifth tally of the afternoon before the Lady Eagles finally were rewarded at the other end of the field.

With the Red Raiders’ playing a person short, the Lady Eagles’ Sam Marino found Kari Longstaff in the slot. Her rip got past Radnor goalie Grace Collins for Cocalico’s first goal of the night with 2:32 left in the first half.

But Radnor had way too much firepower, and outscored Cocalico 8-2 the rest of the way. Kari Longstaff, who along with sister Avery is headed to Temple next fall, scored all three Cocalico goals in her final high school game. Avery assisted on one goal and Cortney Gensemer the other.

"For us, the players worked hard all season to get to this point so I am very proud of them and the effort they put in all season," Cardin said. "I think it was a good game for our underclassmen since more of our team were freshmen and sophomores than upperclassmen. It was a good game for them to be able to see what level of play to which they can aspire. We have a lot of younger kids playing club ball now, so I can only hope they’ll take that experience and work hard over the summer and next spring, and be a better player in the post-season than they were this year."

To advance to Saturday’s quarterfinals, the lady Eagles earned a first-round win for the second straight season last Wednesday at Wilkes College with a convincing 18-7 victory over Wyoming Seminary.

Cocalico built a 10-6 lead at the half before pulling away late, out-scoring WS by a 7-2 margin in the second half.

Avery Longstaff led the way with six goals while Kari Longstaff added four goals and four assists. Courtney Forry, Katelyn Costanza and Gensemer all had two goals each while Marino also got on the board for Cocalico.

"They were a good team, a very physical team," Cardin said of Wyoming Sem. "(But) we played well It was not like we didn’t make any mistakes in that game, but it just seemed like we were connecting. We made a lot of midfield connections and the transition was good. The first few minutes it went back and forth, but after that we controlled the tempo the entire game"

"That was a good win for the girls to get to the second round," she continued. "When you have five freshmen starting and they are playing in the second round of the state playoffs, that’s pretty exciting. And hopefully they’ll get that experience again within their high school careers." More LADY EAGLES, page B-3

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