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Conestoga, Radnor dominated lacrosse

The Conestoga boys and Radnor girls brought home District 1 and PIAA tournament titles this season in resounding, and similar, fashion.

The Conestoga boys and Radnor girls brought home District 1 and PIAA tournament titles this season in resounding, and similar, fashion.

The Pioneers outscored opponents, 55-17, while the Red Raiders outscored foes, 67-37, in the four state tournament games.

Both teams took part in state title games for the second straight year. While Radnor won its second consecutive title Saturday in Hershey, Conestoga earned the first for its program.

Now, both teams will be facing a similar question going into next season: What will they since the Class of 2010 has moved on?

The leaders for 26-1 Radnor were Kelyn Freedman, a midfielder headed to Georgetown; Alyssa Dunlap, a defenseman headed to Vanderbilt; and Allie Martin, a Penn-bound midfielder. Four other seniors are headed to Division I programs in the fall.

Freedman, Martin, Dunlap, and attack Courtney Campbell were named to the all-Central League first team.

"It's going to be weird because we are such a senior-laden team, but I think all the underclassmen have an attitude that we want to come out and fill their shoes next year," junior goalie Annie Woehling said.

"We can do it . . . but I'm definitely going to miss them."

Radnor is losing 10 players from the senior class.

"They are going to be really young and really green, but I think they'll be eager to learn," Radnor coach Phyllis Kilgour said. "I think you'll see a good, credible team on the field."

Gunning for the Red Raiders will be this year's state runner-up, Springfield (Delaware County), behind the fast and athletic sophomore midfielder Nathalie Basunga and freshman Alex Poplawski.

Also in the running for a state title are Manheim Township and Central League opponent Strath Haven, who handed Radnor its only loss of the season.

Conestoga's challenge. The Pioneers are graduating 19 seniors, seven of whom will be playing for Division I programs next year. Key losses include face-off specialist Ryan Buttenbaum, who is going to Lehigh, goalie Peter Zonino who will play for Hobart, and two of the team's captains, Ryan Lord and Casey Ikeda, both headed to Maryland.

Zonino, Buttenbaum, Lord, Ikeda, and attack Matt Smith (Lehigh) were named to the all-Central League first team.

"Our kids had such great senior role models that I'm really excited about the future of this program," Conestoga coach Brian Samson said Saturday. "We'll have to fill those holes for sure. There were so many great players on the field today."

Trying to fill some of those holes will be sophomore attack Bradlee Lord, junior midfielder Billy Flatley, and junior goalie John Lopes.

Buttenbaum hopes the seniors taught the underclassmen a few things with their championship run.

"Hopefully, poise and some leadership," he said. "And to stick to your guns under pressure. A couple times this season [when] we went down, we were able to pick ourselves back up. Even when we lost games we were able to bounce back."

Looking to take the title from Conestoga will be runner-up La Salle, which will have a lot of talent returning, and St. Joseph's Prep, another District 12 team.