Lady Eagles fall in title game
How important are the first five minutes of the Lancaster-Lebanon League championship game in girls lacrosse when you are playing Manheim Township, the undefeated Section One champs?
“We are normally a slow starting team,” Cocalico coach Mary Beth Cardin said, “but you can’t afford to give an inch to Township. They are so deep, even on the bench.”
That worst case-scenario took place last Thursday at Penn Manor’s Comet Field. Only it didn’t take five minutes. Thirty seconds into the game, midfielder Emily McBride, the League MVP, scored. Less than two minutes later, the Lady Eagles found themselves down 4-0 with a huge mountain to climb.
In the end, the Blue Streaks capitalized on their fast start to capture a fifth consecutive L-L League championship, winning 20-5 in Millersville.
Cocalico did push the ball halfway up that mountain in only 90 seconds with goals by Katelyn Costanza and Brooke Fritz. All of that offense in the first 3:36 of the game had to be a forecast for an incredible high scoring battle. Not so fast.
The next 8:44 of the match saw exactly zero goals. Even the Blue Streaks fans acknowledged out loud the stellar goaltending of Lady Eagle net minder Lauren Marte. The two clubs failed to find the net as the goalies stood tall on both sides of the field. Cocalico sophomore Jasa Lorah was the stingiest defender in front of the net, repeatedly blocking the surges of the Township attackers.
That set the stage for the turning point &tstr; or perhaps the straw that broke the camel’s back. McBride scooped up a loose ball 80 yards away from the Township goal and raced the entire length of the field to make the score 5-2. With the first half at its mid-point, the Streaks went on to score eight straight goals on their way to the crown.
Eventually, Cocalico found itself trailing 13-4 at halftime. When the Blue Streaks’ lead reached a 10-point margin, two minutes into the second half, the clock continue to run non-stop with the mercy rule. Township outscored the Lady Eagles 7-1 in the second half on an unusually warm afternoon.
The Cocalico tally sheet was led by senior Cortney Gensemer with two goals, while Costanza, Fritz and junior Samantha Marino each had one. The Streaks were led by their two Division One college bound stars. McBride scored seven times, while assisting on three others, and senior Tony Yuko delivered six goals. Township’s precision passing game was in full gear as 12 goals were the direct result of assists.
Cardin still believes that this is one of the best Lady Eagle teams in her 10 years at the helm since girls lacrosse became a PIAA sport.
“This is one of the faster, stronger and more skilled teams that we’ve had,” Cardin remarked. “The fact that the youth teams are now in place gives us more tools to work with.”
With Cocalico losing only two starters to graduation from this year’s team, the continuity is in place for future success.
“Our junior and freshman classes have the most depth,” Cardin said. “Three or four of the freshmen have already made big contributions this year.”