After a tightly contested game for the girls’ Class 2A PIAA state lacrosse title saw Springfield (Delco) defeat Villa Maria by two goals, District 1 runner-up Harriton marched to a 12-6 victory over District 3 champion Manheim Township on Saturday to win the Class 3A title at West Chester East.
The six-goal margin of victory might have been larger if Harriton hadn’t eased up, but the first half showed signs that the game would go down to the wire. Rams attacker Allison Schwab, who finished with four goals on the afternoon, opened the scoring nearly four minutes into the first half, but Manheim Township evened the score on a Taylor Kopan goal with 14:12 remaining in the half.
The teams traded goals until the scoreboard read 4-4, but Harriton found a way to create some separation late in the half, as goals by Katelin Williams and Grace Dwyer gave the Rams a 6-4 lead. Kopan again found the back of the net to cut the lead to one goal, but Harriton scored twice more to take an 8-5 lead into halftime.
Unfortunately for Manheim Township, the whistle to begin the second half may as well have signaled the game’s end. Harriton scored four unanswered goals in quick succession to extend its lead to seven.
“I think we lost a lot of draws, [Harriton was] tough on the circle with their speed, and some of the 50-50 ones just didn’t go our way,” Manheim Township head coach Mark Pinkerton said. “When we got behind and we started pressing, we made some mistakes.”
Manheim Township grabbed a sixth goal with 1:50 left to play, but the score was no consolation for the Blue Streaks, who came up empty-handed in their second state championship appearance in two years.
It was already a tall task to overcome a seven-goal deficit, and the lack of a shot clock did Manheim Township no favors. After jumping out to its lead, Harriton was able to whisk the ball around and keep possession in Manheim Township’s portion of the field without any pressure to score.
“You’re down six goals in girls’ lacrosse without a shot clock and you can just milk the clock,” Harriton head coach George Dick said. “I mean, there should be a shot clock, but once you’re up six goals, you should never lose a game.”
Harriton 8 4 — 12
Manheim Township 5 1 — 6
H: Allison Schwab 4, Grace Dwyer 4, Katelin Williams 2, Lucy Dwyer 1, Emily Stewart 1