Lady Eagles open State play tonight after District finals loss to Township
By: TODD RUTH Review Sports Editor email@example.com, Staff Writer
After falling to Manheim Township in the District finals for the second-straight year, the Cocalico girls lacrosse team will be looking to get back on the winning track Wednesday evening as they begin State Tournament play.
The Lady Eagles (19-3) will open the tournament at Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre and will face District Two champion Wyoming Seminary (13-7), beginning at 6 p.m.
This will be the second year in-a-row the teams will square off in the first round. Last year, Cocalico earned its first-ever State win with a 15-12 victory over Wyoming Sem.
Wednesday’s winner will advance to Saturday’s quarterfinals to face the winner of the first round match-up between Radnor (19-4) and Hatboro-Horsham (19-4).
"Our goal is to go as far as we can, to get further than we did last year, which hopefully would put us in the semifinals," Cocalico Coach Mary Beth Cardin said. "It’s hard to say. We haven’t played any of those teams (in States) so it’s not like we know them going into it. Then again, they don’t know us. That’s a good thing. We play Wyoming Seminary in the first round, and we played them in the first round last year. Will they have some of the same players? I don’t know who graduated but we matched up well against them last year. I think as a team we are functioning as a unit better than we did last year. I hope that will help us going into that game."
In last Thursday’s District final at Hersheypark Stadium, unbeaten Manheim Township got off to a fast start and cruised the rest of the way en route to a 16-4 victory and their fourth-straight District title.
Township jumped out to an early 5-0 advantage on a pair of goals by Devon Schneider and one each from teammates Molly Hendrick, Megan Pinkerton and Abby Belser.
Cocalico’s dynamic duo, Kari and Avery Longstaff, then got the Lady Eagles on the board as Kari put one in the net off a feed from Avery. Then, after Township added another tally, Cocalico’s Katelyn Costanza went in all alone and placed a shot into the top left corner of the net to make it 6-2.
But Township (24-0), which defeated Cocalico 18-6 in last year’s title game, scored a pair of goals right before the half and led comfortably by an 8-2 score.
The Streaks then scored four quick goals to begin the second half and open up a big 12-2 cushion. Avery Longstaff and Kayli Lescoe did both tally at the midway point of the period before the Streaks closed it out with a 4-0 run.
Schneider scored six goals and Hendrick added four tallies to pace the Streaks. Cortney Gensemer added a pair of assists for Cocalico, which was outshot, 24-7.
Despite the lopsided score, Cardin was pleased with her team’s play.
"We had a few unforced turnovers early in the game that, you never know how that influences the outcome, but they played hard," she said. "They proved to themselves that they can believe in each other and that they are a good team and deserved to be here. And with that, as we move forward, they are a very good team that can compete with some of the other teams that are in the State Tournament. This will only help us playing against strong teams as we move forward. I have five starting freshman, and each one of these games is a new experience for them. They are like a deer-in-the-headlights so I think this kind of game is going to be good for them." More LADY EAGLES, page B-2