HERSHEY, Pa. - The Radnor girls' lacrosse team made history yesterday when it beat Strath Haven at HersheyPark Stadium.
With its 20-10 victory, Radnor became the first PIAA state champion in girls' lacrosse. The PIAA had not sanctioned a state tournament in the past, which meant a district title was the top prize for area teams.
The Red Raiders' victory was no surprise. They are the state's top-ranked team, according to Phillylacrosse.com, and are ranked 25th nationally by laxpower.com.
But Radnor was down, 2-0, before it went on a scoring spree for an 11-2 cushion with 4 minutes, 52 seconds remaining in the first half.
For senior attacker Samantha Ellis, it was a storybook ending. The Princeton recruit scored six goals in her final scholastic game, four in the first half.
"It's just unreal," Ellis said. "I had so much faith in them. I knew we could do it."
The Raiders finished the season at 25-1, having swept Strath Haven in their three meetings. Radnor took a 19-18 Central League victory over the Panthers on May 7 and prevailed, 20-11, in a PIAA District 1 semifinal May 19.
Like last month's results, yesterday's outcome was a heartbreaker for Strath Haven (21-5), ranked second in the state by Phillylacrosse.com.
"We came out and played our hardest," senior midfielder Emily Garrity said. "I think we made some mental mistakes, and that cost us the lead."
Staying close with Radnor is a near-impossible task for most teams.
Under coach Phyllis Kilgour, Radnor has won 547 games and six district titles. Its lone loss came in this year's district final. Springfield (Delco) beat the Raiders, 14-9, snapping their 44-game winning streak.
But Radnor may be at the beginning of another lengthy streak.
Midfielder Kelyn Freedman collected four goals and four assists yesterday. Midfielder Allie Martin had three goals and two assists. And junior attacker Courtney Campbell added three goals. All three are juniors.
Garrity, who scored the first two goals of the game, finished with four goals and an assist. Teammate Ana White, a junior midfielder, added three goals.
"It's not mythical anymore," Ellis said of the state championship. "It's real."
Radnor 12 8 - 20
Strath Haven 6 4 - 10
Goals: R-Samantha Ellis 6, Kelyn Freedman 4, Allie Martin 3, Courtney Campbell 3, Allie Kelly 2, Eli Kraus 2. SH-Emily Garrity 4, Ana White 3, Annalise Penikis 2, Alex Duckenfield.
Saves: R-Annie Woehling 8. SH-Lela Meunier 7.