Conestoga remains undefeated after tough 2nd round v. Haverford

By Bruce Adams from PAPrepLive

Berwyn – Preparing for the second round of the PIAA District One girls’ lacrosse playoffs, undefeated Conestoga was concerned about Thursday’s opponent, Haverford.

Earlier in the season, the Fords had scored more goals against Conestoga than any other Pioneer opponent in a 17-13 loss.

“I was [secretly] dreading playing Haverford again,” said Conestoga girls’ lacrosse head coach Amy Orcutt. “They’ve got a lot of talented girls, and Nancy [McNichol] does a great job coaching them. It’s a hard game every time we play Haverford.”

While Haverford hung tough throughout the game Thursday evening, Conestoga slowly built its lead and prevailed for a 16-10 victory at Teamer Field.

Senior attack Maggie Gladden led all scorers with a career-high four goals. She scored an unassisted goal with 15:47 left in the first half to put Conestoga ahead for good, 3-2, and tallied two of the Pioneers’ four goal-run midway through the first half that gave the hosts a 6-2 lead – Haverford never got closer than three goals after that.

“Maggie was outstanding tonight,” said Orcutt. “She also caused a couple of [Haverford] turnovers, and a got a few ground balls. It was her best game of the season.”

The Conestoga coach added, “The draw [control] was huge for us tonight.”

Conestoga junior midfielder Liz Scott (nine draw controls), senior midfielder Sondra Dickey (four DCs) and senior attack Hannah Ashton (four DCs) combined to give the Pioneers a solid advantage.
Ashton, Scott, Dickey and senior attack Monica Borzillo combined for 11 goals. Borzillo dished out four assists, Scott two.

Orcutt praised senior goalie Jules Horning: “She came up with big saves at key points of the game.”

Undefeated Conestoga girls’ lacrosse team is clicking on all cylinders

By Bruce Adams from PAPrepLive

Berwyn – The Conestoga girls’ lacrosse team (16-0 overall, 12-0 Central League), which captured its second consecutive Central League title last week, have been clicking on all cylinders this season.

“I think this year’s team is unique because we have the majority of our team last year returning and they all get along and have a lot of fun together,” said Conestoga girls’ lacrosse head coach Amy Orcutt. “They are always laughing and dancing and having a good time together. We play music at practice during warmup and I think it relaxes them.”

Last year’s Pioneer squad lost in the PIAA state finals to defending state champ Garnet Valley, but turned the tables on the Jaguars last Tuesday, defeating them 15-10.

“This group knows what it feels like to win big games and to lose big games and what it takes to get to the state championship game,” said Orcutt. “They are focused and have worked hard to get better each day.”

The Pioneers are averaging more than 15 goals per game, nearly half of them assisted. Leading the way offensively has been senior attack Monica Borzillo, who recently dished out her 100th career assist (a school record). As of Monday, her season totals are a team-leading 44 goals, 53 assists and 19 caused turnovers (tied for the team lead with Sondra Dickey).

“She makes things happen on the field, and has been a key force on the offensive end,” said Orcutt.

In addition to her 19 caused turnovers, Dickey has scored 36 goals and won 36 draw controls.

“Sondra has been great on both ends of the field,” said Orcutt. “She is tall and fast and has a great nose for the cage.”

Like Dickey, Hannah Ashton has scored 36 goals for the Pioneers so far this season.

“Hannah is quick and fast and has a great 1v1 move to cage,” said Orcutt. “She has come up big in many games for us.”

Another big offensive contributor has been Paige Loose (29 goals, 16 draw controls).

“Paige is so quick inside the 8, it’s hard to defend her,” said Orcutt.

The Pioneers have won 195 draw controls, and leading the way has been Liz Scott, with 67 draw controls, as well as 35 goals and nine assists.

“Liz is the motivator on the field and keeps the team focused,” said Orcutt. “She is a major player on both ends of the field.”

Defensively, the Pioneers have caused more than 100 turnovers this season. Inside the pipes, Conestoga goalie Jules Horning has compiled a save percentage a little over .500.

“Jules has made some pretty huge saves in big games,” said Orcutt. “She has so much confidence in the goal and is always composed.”

Two other key defenders have been Elisabeth Ingersoll (14 caused turnovers) and Maggie Hanzsche (seven caused turnovers).

“Elisabeth has great stick work and great field vision in the midfield,” said Orcutt. “She has started to play a little midfield for us and has done a fantastic job. Maggie has been a great defender for us. She has great 1v1 and team defense and is a great communicator with her teammates.”

While Conestoga wants to get back to the PIAA state final, Orcutt is reminding her squad to focus on one post-season game at a time.

“At this point in the season it’s do-or-die for so many teams,” said Orcutt. “So you can’t think about anything but the game you are about to play. There are so many outstanding teams who could beat any team on any given day. We are just trying to focus on each game at a time, because if you look too far ahead, you may not even be there.”

Horning is the last line of defense

From: philly.com

By Aaron Carter

Jules Horning is the last line of defense now. But for years – in soccer and lacrosse – the Conestoga senior goaltender waited in line alongside other talented goalies for the Lady Pioneers.

This season, however, the responsibility for both has been Horning’s alone.

“Being the last line of defense,” said Horning, who will play at Marquette next year, “it is hard sometimes, but I think it’s helped me become stronger mentally.”

Perhaps that strength helped Horning late in Conestoga’s victory against Archbishop Carroll in Monday’s highly anticipated matchup.

Undefeated Conestoga (16-0, 11-0), the No. 1 team in the state according to Laxpower.com, rallied from a two-goal halftime deficit to beat No. 2 Archbishop Carroll, 8-7, at the Proving Grounds in Conshohocken.

Monica Borzillo netted the eventual game-winner with 2 minutes, 28 seconds remaining, but the goal came after Horning made a difficult point-blank save that retained possession for the Central League Lady’s Pioneers.

After Borzillo’s heroics, Horning made another pulse-pounding save after Carroll’s Sam Swart (Syracuse) broke free for a breakaway opportunity.

“In the first half we had difficulties stopping her on the fast break,” Horning said. “She’s a talented player with a really good shot. Obviously when someone is running at me it’s not the greatest situation, but I can always count on my defense to slow them down.”

Last season during Conestoga’s PIAA runner-up lacrosse finish, Horning split halves with Laney Stenson, who is now a freshman goalie at Delaware.

As a junior on the soccer team, Horning also backed up Stenson and Aly Maneri, now a freshman keeper at Vermont.

“The mental aspect is probably hardest,” Horning said of playing goalie full-time. “In big games, there’s a lot of pressure.”

“Whenever you tell someone you’re a goalie,” she added, “people say,’Oh, I could never do that.’ But I definitely enjoy it and have a lot of pride in playing the position for my team.”

On Tuesday, Conestoga embarks upon its PIAA championship quest. Playoff seedings will be determined Sunday.

PIAA District 1 Playoffs Info

SEED MEETING: Sunday, May 15, 2016 – 9am at West Chester East

2016 PLAYOFF SCHEDULE / DATES

1st Round – Tuesday, May 17

2nd Round – Thursday, May 19

Quarterfinals – Saturday, 21 at WC East

Semifinals – Tuesday, May 24 at Downingtown West HS

District One Championship – Thursday, May 26 at WC East

Playbacks – Tuesday, May 24 (at Higher seed)and May 26 (3rd/4th place game at WC East)

Suspended and cancelled games will be played on the next available date.

Garnet Valley falls to Conestoga in state title rematch

By Kieran McCauley (PAPrepLive)

TREDYFFRIN >> When Garnet Valley and Conestoga met in the 2015 PIAA championship game, the Pioneers saw an early four-goal lead evaporate, leading to the Jaguars’ second-straight state title.

In Tuesday’s regular-season rematch, Conestoga did not let the same mistake happen again.

With the help of a five-goal run to start the game, the Pioneers were able to put away their Central League rival, 15-10, on a misty night at Teamer Field.

With the victory, they also clinched the league crown for the second-straight year.

“We were ready for tonight’s game all day,” said Conestoga midfielder Liz Scott. “The Central League title wasn’t on our minds to be honest. We just wanted to go out there and play our game and come out with a victory.”

The Pioneers (13-0 overall, 9-0 league) were able to get off to the tremendous start thanks to attacker Monica Borzillo.

After assisting on the first two goals by Scott and Hannah Ashton, Borzillo put the home team up 3-0 with a score of her own.

“The fast start was huge. We never trailed in this game and getting off to that quick lead helped us get in a rhythm,” said Borzillo, who ended the night with five goals and four assists.

Another goal by Scott, along with one from Paige Loose, opened the lead to 5-0.

“They are a great team,” said Jaguars’ coach Jenny Purvis. “We had some communication issues in the first half and that hurt us. I thought we were able to make some adjustments that helped.”

Following a Garnet Valley (7-2, 12-2) timeout, the visitors responded with two quick goals from Kamryn McNeal and Emily Mathewson.

However, Conestoga scored six of the next nine to help them establish an 11-5 lead at the halftime break.

“We really played our game tonight,” Borzillo said. “That was the difference. We were able to move the ball well and find the open person. Obviously we didn’t forget what happened last year, but I thought we remained calm tonight and played the way we are capable of.”

The Jaguars would not go away in the final stanza. Two goals from Camryn Faith, along with one apiece from Mathewson, Michelle Kosinski and Riley Delaney, tightened the game to 13-10 with seven minutes left.

“We weren’t playing Garnet Valley lacrosse in the first half,” Mathewson said. “Give them credit, they got off to a great start. I thought we turned it around and got back to the style of game we are accustomed to playing.”

That is as close as they would get in the Central League affair. Back-to-back goals by Hannah Ashton helped seal the victory for the Pioneers.

“I thought we did a great job sticking together,” Ashton said. “Garnet Valley is a great team and this was a big win for us. We knew we could do it and to control the end like that was huge.”

Up next Conestoga will put its unbeaten record to the test when they go on the road to face Central League foe Penncrest on Thursday.

“I am so proud of the way these girls played tonight,” said Pioneers’ coach Amy Orcutt. “I thought our defense did a terrific job, we did an excellent job on draw controls. This is a big win for us against a great Garnet Valley team. We just have to continue to get better because I’m sure we will see them again down the line.”

Garnet Valley also continues league play this Thursday, when they host winless Upper Darby.

“It’s only one game,” Purvis said. “These girls know that. I’m really proud of the way they fought and didn’t give up. We just have to bounce back and finish the regular season strong.”