Cocalico falls to Streaks in District lax finalsOpens State play today at Nazareth

By on June 1, 2011

By: TODD RUTH Review Sports Editor, Staff Writer

The Cocalico girls lacrosse team will play its first-ever State playoff game Wednesday afternoon at Nazareth High School, beginning at 5 p.m.

The Lady Eagles (17-4), who enter the tournament as the District Three runner-up, will face District Two champion Wyoming Seminary (14-3). Wednesday winner will move into Saturday’s quarterfinals and will face the first round winner between District One champion Downingtown East and Upper Dublin, the seventh seed out of District One. The site for Saturday’s game is still to be determined.

This past Thursday, Cocalico gave undefeated Manheim Township an early scare in the District Three championship game played at Hersheypark Stadium.

The Lady Eagles took a 2-0 lead in the game’s first five minutes, using an effective patient offensive attack against the Blue Streaks. But Township finally got it going, went on a 10-1 run over the final 17 minutes of the first half and coasted home with its third-straight District title in an eventual 18-6 storm-shortened victory.

"We lost our composure a little bit and they capitalized on turnovers," Cocalico Coach Mary Beth Cardin said of Township’s key first-half run. "(Township) didn’t really have to do anything for it. We did it for them."

Cocalico took first possession and methodically worked the ball around before Kari Longstaff came out from behind the net and stuffed it home to give the Lady Eagles the early 1-0 lead.

They then made it 2-0 a few minutes later when Kayli Lescoe made an end-to-end rush and put a shot by Township goalie Shannon Nee.

But the rest of the half belonged to Township (23-0), who finally got on the board with 17:41 remaining when Molly Hendrick beat Cocalico goalie Alli Stauffer (5 saves) on an unassisted goal. That sparked a 5-0 MT run which gave the Streaks the lead at 5-2, before Cocalico got one score back on an unassisted tally off the stick of Cortney Gensemer.

However, following the Gensemer goal, Township scored the final five goals of the period and led comfortably at 10-3 at the break.

"Maybe we were a little in awe of the abilities of the other team," Cardin said when asked about the big momentum shift after her team led 2-0. "Take nothing away from them because they are a very good team. They have a lot of very good sticks. They have lots of threats."

As in the first half, Cocalico got the first two tallies of the second half as well as Avery Longstaff put in a pair of unassisted goals at 23:04 and 22:42 to get to within five at 10-5. However, Township scored the next eight goals to put the game out of reach.

Cocalico’s Brooke North finally broke the MT run with a goal with 4:44 to go, but at that point, a storm rolled through and the game was temporarily suspended before Township was declared the winner.

Devon Schneider led the way for the Blue Streaks, netting six goals and a pair of assists. Molly Curcio added four goals while Carolyn Westphal and Hendrick each chipped in with three apiece.

Avery Longstaff’s two goals paced the Lady Eagles, who will now turn their attention to making a similar long run at States.

"We are so proud of them," Cardin said of her team. "We are so excited to play in the first round of States and hopefully we’ll have a good game and maybe get beyond that first round. Our goal all season was looking forward to getting to the playoffs in our own league, and now with the success we had at districts never having played in the championship before, and certainly we’ve never been in a position to go to States before. They have nothing to lose and everything to gain so hopefully they can play well." More GIRLS LAX, page B-2

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