During last Wednesday’s scrimmage, Penn Charter senior co-captain Kelly Kubach (left) settles the ball in her stick as an opponent closes in. (Photo by Tom Utescher)

by Tom Utescher

Winter didn’t want to depart on schedule last Wednesday, but the weather was at least tolerable for a girls lacrosse scrimmage at Penn Charter, where the sun made an appearance just as the affair ended.

The visiting opponent was Ridley High School from the Central League, always a strong lacrosse conference. A member of the Pa. Interscholastic Athletic Association, Ridley was not allowed to start practice as soon as Inter-Ac League schools, and could not play an official game until March 23. Still, the host Quakers were encouraged to be able to outscore the Green Raiders 16-8 in this game-situation scrimmage, especially with some of the team’s most experienced athletes on the injured list.

Those temporarily out of action included seniors Emma Ebert (team co-captain), Allison Rogers (goalie), and Anna Wills (who has signed up to play field hockey at Bucknell University), along with junior Lauren Matt.

“It’s been a lot to deal with right at the start of the season,” said second-year head coach Channing Weymouth, “but on the positive side, we’ve been able to get the new girls some more playing time and have been able to teach them in game conditions. That will add to our depth during the season.”

With half of the senior class sidelined for Wednesday’s scrimmage, leadership on the field fell to the other three 12th-graders. Taking the center draws was Katherine O’Donnell, who will head south to Elon University next year. Ebert’s fellow co-captain, Kelly Kubach, signed with the University of Michigan back in November, and classmate Molly Pighini has narrowed her choices down to two schools in the Big East Conference.

Pighini and Kubach cranked out three and two goals, respectively, against Ridley.

Four goals came from Lauren Matt’s fellow junior, Julia Fleming, and one was provided by a non-related classmate, Lauren Flemming. Julia does have a sister on the team, though – freshman Sarah Fleming. Junior Leigh Steinberg also netted a goal for the Quakers last Thursday, and the fifth member of the team’s 11th-grade contingent is Danielle Thompson.

The Quakers’ leading scorer against Ridley was Avery Shoemaker, a prolific sophomore who soon may simply be known as Avery Goalmaker. It was not surprising for PC fans to see five goals stem from the stick of Shoemaker, who was already a varsity starter last year. Another 10th grader, Grace Harbison, also saw varsity action in 2012. Their peers on the team this year are Abigail Evans, Kaitlyn Kahuila, and Madeline Mahoney. With senior Rogers out of action, Mahoney played the whole way in goal for the Quakers in last week’s scrimmage.

In addition to Sarah Fleming there are three other freshmen; McKenzie Case, Hannah Fox (already a two-year basketball starter at the school), and Meredith Chernak (whose older sister, Winter, is a junior on the lax squad at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy).

In Wednesday’s scrimmage Ridley opened the scoring just 28 seconds in, but PC took the lead for good with a 3-0 spurt, as Shoemaker sandwiched her first two goals around one by Lauren Fleming. The count was 8-5 at the half, and Pighini led the Quakers on a 4-1 run to start the second period.

“We wanted to run through some plays that we had put in, and we were just looking to get into a flow,” Weymouth said afterwards. “It’s always good to get experience trying to execute against another team the things you’ve been working on in practice.”

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