by Tom Utescher
Before taking a weekend field trip to Baltimore, the girls lacrosse team at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy raised its record to 3-0, posting a 19-7 victory in a road game at Jenkintown High School last Thursday.
After the Lions scored five unanswered goals in under four minutes and built a 9-2 lead late in the first half, they saw the host Lady Drakes close up the score to 9-5 early in the second period. SCH reasserted itself to deposit 10 of the last dozen points on this sunny but breezy afternoon.
Senior Libbie Maine racked up seven goals and an assist and junior Kitty Morrissey added three goals and one assist to lead the Lions’ attack, which featured eight different scorers and two other players who assisted on goals. In total, SCH has scored 51 goals in its non-league victories over Jenkintown, Hill School, and Academy of the New Church.
Senior Casey Sullivan, a Lafayette signee who had a goal and an assist last Thursday, noted “One of the good things about our team this year is that we’ve got a lot of different shooters. There’s good balance, so we’re not always going to the same two or three players.”
At Jenkintown, Morrissey found the net in the opening minute, then senior Jennie Lukoff earned the first of her four assists as she fed the ball to Maine. The Lions came right back down off the draw to net a second goal by Morrissey, and before long strikes by junior Taylor Wrubel and senior Ellie Stout (two goals, total) had the visitors ahead 5-0 with just three minutes and 25 seconds elapsed.
Jenkintown was missing several athletes who were away on a school trip, while the Lions were unable to play the two eighth-graders on their varsity roster, temporarily adopting the PIAA rules followed by their hosts.
The scoring tailed off after the initial outburst, and 14:39 was left in the first half when Jenkintown got on the board, with Sarah Dillon converting off of a free-position pass from Haley Smith. Later SCH upped its advantage to 9-2 as freshmen Francesca Fabiani (two goals, total) and Sinead Brierley got themselves into the scoring stats.
In the final minute, Jenkintown’s Tori Contoudis dodged through a group of defenders to make it 9-3 for the intermission, and the Drakes kept the momentum as the second half got underway. Dillon fired her second goal of the day, and later, with 16:42 left to play, Connor Cheek penetrated the Lions’ cage to make it a 9-5 affair.
“We played well in the first five minutes of the game, and then we sort of let up,” Sullivan admitted. “Our defense is fairly inexperienced compared to the rest of the team, and so we need to do a good job of maintaining possession of the ball.”
Coach Lydia Imperiale called a time-out where, Sullivan related, “She told us we had to get our intensity back and play like we were playing against [Girls Inter-Ac power] Episcopal. We picked it up and we started winning the draws, which helped take the ball out of their hands. We also made sure our connections were sharper, and that we were making good passes.”
In a short timespan as the clock dropped from 12:14 to 10:51, Lukoff fed the ball from behind or alongside the cage to Maine, who pumped in three goals while the Drakes added just one. That put the Lions up 12-6, and they outscored their hosts 7-1 the rest of the way. Senior Carly Schwartz stepped up during the late surge to finish with two goals and two assists, and sophomore Winter Chernak finished with one assist for the winners.
Shelby Jackson, a junior but a first-year goalie, made seven stops for the Lions. Fellow 11th-grader Jess Brogan complied 10 saves for Jenkintown, which received two goals apiece from Contoudis and Dillon. The Drakes came away 1-1 after the setback, having won their season opener against Upper Moreland High School, 16-4.