Phoenixville outscored Sun Valley by two goals over the last 21/2 minutes to provide the margin of victory yesterday in the Phantoms' 16-13 triumph in the opening round of the PIAA District 1 Class AA girls' lacrosse playoffs.
The win earned the eighth-seeded Phantoms (11-6) a second-round meeting Tuesday against top-seeded Great Valley. The Patriots (16-3), who drew an opening-round bye, beat the Phantoms, 17-2, in a regular-season game earlier this month.
Ninth-seeded Sun Valley, which tied for first in the Del-Val League with Harriton and Interboro, finished its season at 11-8.
Ali Allen scored two goals in the 21/2-minute stretch, and Liz Jones added another to provide a cushion after visiting Sun Valley pulled to within 13-12 with 4 minutes, 28 seconds to go.
Jones led the Phantoms with six goals, while Allen and Becky Porter each contributed three.
Phoenixville's balanced scoring helped offset the efforts of the Vanguards' Kelly Custer, who led all scorers with eight goals. Only two other players, Krissy Finn (with three goals) and Amanda Mader (with two), scored for Sun Valley.
"We didn't know much about Sun Valley, so we didn't want to underestimate them just because they were seeded lower than us," Jones said. "When they got within a goal late in the game, we realized we needed to get our heads back in the game."
Phoenixville led throughout much of the game but never by more than four goals. Jones scored at the 20:46 mark of the second half to give Phoenixville a 12-8 lead. But three straight goals by Custer, the last with 5:58 remaining, cut the lead to one. Porter pushed the lead back to two 16 seconds later.
Finn cut the lead to one again before Jones and Allen put the game out of reach.
Phoenixville coach Jen Foresta said the weather was a concern late in the game, when the Vanguards made it tight.
"The wind really kicked up, and we were heading right into it," the veteran coach said. "We made some adjustments that helped."
Although it marked the second straight year Sun Valley had been eliminated in the first round, first-year coach Becky Zane could look to next season.
"We have only two seniors starting," she said. "We have a lot of potential."
Sun Valley 6 7 - 13
Phoenixville 9 7 - 16
Goals: SV-Kelly Custer 8, Amanda Mader 2, Krissy Finn 3. P-Liz Jones 6, Ali Allen 3, Becky Porter 3, Brooke Koniow 2, Nora Gerstenberger, Emily O'Brien.
Saves: SV-Erin DiCamillo 9. P-Chelsea DiFebbo 9.