Senior tri-captain Anna Bezhaler cranks out a shot for Germantown Friends in last Friday’s win at Shipley School. (Photo by Tom Utescher)

by Tom Utescher

Last Friday Friends Schools League leader Germantown Friends traveled to the Main Line for a lacrosse match against Shipley School, one of the two teams tied for second place in the FSL.

The visiting Tigers had little difficulty in quashing the challenge from the Shipley Gators, ringing up seven of the first eight goals scored on this sunny, temperate afternoon and continuing on to win, 14-6. Exactly a week earlier, GFS (12-3 overall, 4-0 FSL) had knocked off defending league champ Friends Central, 11-10, dropping the Phoenix down into a tie for second place with Shipley, which brought a 3-1 FSL record into last Friday’s contest.

Harking back to the emotional win over FC, Tigers head coach Katie Bergstrom Mark noted, “There’s always a danger after beating one of your biggest rivals that you can have a letdown and be vulnerable to other losses, but I think we’ve stayed focused.

“We’ve got a great goalie combination,” she continued, “and we’ve been feeding off our defense lately. Our transitions coming out of the defense are much improved, and on attack we’ve learned to become more patient. Our scoring is very evenly distributed, and we’re getting more goals off of assists than earlier in the season.”

Germantown has routinely been splitting time in goal between senior Lauren Shinn and junior Dana Schulman. On Friday, Shinn started and made three saves, then Schulman stepped in for the second period, making five stops.

Neither of the GFS keepers got much of a workout compared to the Gators’ netminder, Alli Kothari, who was under attack much of the afternoon.

“Their goalie was excellent today,” Bergstrom Mark said of Shipley stopper, who finished with 17 saves.

Still, the visitors found the gaps often enough to assure a comfortable victory. There were hat tricks for juniors Schuyler Nissen and Claire Schmidt, and for sophomore Annie Tyson. All three found the net in the first half, as did sophomore Greta Meyer (one goal). Four other Tigers joined in on the scoring in the second period to add one goal apiece;
senior Sophie Mercuris, junior Caroline Myran, and sophomores Grayson Melby and Emma Wagner.

Myran and senior Katherine Walden played key roles in keeping Shipley’s transition offense in check. Gators high scorer Sophie Katz wound up with four goals, but only had one over the first 33 minutes of the game. Anna Scutt shot the first two goals of the day for the home team.

“Sophie Katz is a very good player,” Bergstrom Mark said, “but obviously we were aware of her. One of the things I’m pleased to see is our improvement in evaluating the tendencies of opposing players.”

Schmidt drove to the net for the first goal of the game about five minutes in, and soon it was 2-0 thanks to a bouncer by Nissen. Scutt struck for Shipley with 16:32 to go in the opening half, but any notion that this was going to be a close contest faded over the next eight minutes, when Tyson’s three markers were interspersed with goals by Nissen and Meyer to make it 7-1.

Shipley put up the last two points of the period, but after the intermission GFS ran off three goals in a row and maintained control the rest of the way. Wagner’s goal, with eight minutes remaining, spread the score to 14-4, then Katz stuck Shipley’s last two goals on the board.