Though Emily Geary is a standout lacrosse goalie, she was not Radnor's full-time netminder last season. She split time with Stephanie Ellis, now playing at Penn State.
"It was hard at times, but it made me mentally stronger," Geary said. "It was challenging, and I think it will help me in college."
Geary has been making up for lost time. In yesterday's nonleague game against Great Valley, she made 12 saves, several of the highlight-film variety, as the host Red Raiders stormed past the Patriots, 11-6.
Ahead by 7-5 at halftime, Radnor (15-3) netted four goals in the first six minutes of the second half en route to pinning slugglish-looking Great Valley (14-2) with its second loss of the season.
"I think our chances in the playoffs are good," said senior attack Lexie Yakulis, who produced three goals and an assist. "We've made a lot of progress since the beginning of the season."
Geary, a 5-foot-6 senior cocaptain, has a partial lacrosse scholarship to William & Mary. The lefthanded goalie also plays for the West Line club team.
"She's got a good head, makes good clears. She's a team leader, and she's improving as the season goes along," Radnor coach Phyllis Kilgour said.
Geary, of Wayne, was one of 150 players to try out for the women's national under-19 lacrosse team last August at Maryland-Baltimore County. She has made the cut to the final 24.
Over Memorial Day weekend, during practices and tournament games at Lehigh, the national roster will be trimmed to 18. Of the three remaining goalies, it is expected that coach Wendy Kridel will keep only two. Geary is competing with Allie Shropshire, of Shawnee (N.J) High, and Katie Janian, of the Bryn Mawr School in Baltimore.
Against Great Valley, Radnor's Carrie Donato and Beth Ellis contributed two goals apiece. The defense was anchored by Ellis, Gabby Miller, Molly Early and Kelyn Freedman.
The tired Patriots, playing their eighth game in 11 days, were held scoreless in the first 21 minutes of the second half.
"I'm not going to make excuses for why we lost to Radnor," Great Valley coach Joe Tornetta said. "They're a solid team, have a good goalie, and they're a well-coached group."
Keelin Hood had a hat trick for the visitors. Kim Wenger, an explosive junior attack, was limited to a first-half score. She was guarded closely by Freedman.
Great Valley5 1 - 6
Radnor7 4 - 11
Goals: GV–Keelin Hood 3, Kim Wenger, Mel Ferrick, Meg Cassels. R–Lexie Yakulis 3, Carrie Donato 2, Beth Ellis 2, Gabby Miller, Katie Geary, Kelly Barnes, Meredith Lussier.
Saves: GV–Steph Berger 8. R–Emily Geary 12.