HERSHEY, Pa. - All year, the seniors on Radnor's girls' lacrosse team had been remarkably successful, leading the Red Raiders to a shared Central League title, a District 1 championship and 25 wins going into the PIAA state title game Saturday.
It was fitting then that Radnor's Class of 2010 put it on themselves to win a second consecutive state title, scoring all 14 of their team's goals on their way to defeating Central League rival Springfield-Delco, 14-7, at HersheyPark Stadium.
"This is easily one of the best games we've played all season," said Courtney Campbell, who scored four goals and is headed to the University of Richmond next year.
This is the third time Radnor (26-1) has beaten Springfield-Delco (22-3) this season and the most decisive yet. The two previous final scores were 8-7 and 8-6.
"We knew the past two times we played them we could improve," said Georgetown bound Kelyn Freedman, who scored twice. "They were two close games and we knew we didn't play our best both times."
"Today was a huge team effort," she added.
Radnor jumped out to a 5-0 lead, dominating play for the first ten minutes of the half. Whenever Springfield-Delco would get a scoring opportunity, the Red Raiders' goalie, junior Annie Woehling, came up big, saving seven shots in the first half, killing momentum, and putting her team in a good position to transition to offense.
"My team gets me so pumped up before the game, and today I don't know what it was, but we had dance parties on the bus ride here," Woehling said, laughing.
"Annie played amazing," Freedman said. "Her confidence gives our defense confidence to force bad shots and we did that a lot today."
That kept Radnor rolling, as staunch double-teams caused turnovers and helped the Red Raiders score on fastbreak goals.
"That hot start was really a confidence builder for everybody on the team," Radnor coach Phyllis Kilgour said.
With an 8-3 lead at the half, their biggest against Springfield all year, Radnor opened the second half sticking to their plan, pressuring the Cougars and limiting offensive chances.
The Cougars could never put a run together, and the Red Raiders continued to dominate the draws, possession, and shots on goal, scoring six times in the second half. Then Radnor held the ball for the last three minutes, icing play.
"I think we started sharpening things up in the district tournament, and then when we got into state play our game was coming together better and they could kind of see the light at the end of the tunnel," Kilgour said.
"When we got into states we said, two more weeks that's all," she added.
The win capped off an impeccable playoff run by the Red Raiders, during which they outscored opponents, 67-37, and an incredible career for the 10 seniors who also won the District I AAA title two years ago when there was no official state champion.
"It's indescribable. It's the best feeling ever," Campbell said.
"It's special this year as a senior and with my 10 best friends on the team. We were able to get to experience it together. It's something we get to hold on to."
Springfield-Delco 3 4 - 7
Radnor 8 6 - 14
Goals: SD - Nathalie Basunga 2, Shannon Burns, Courtney Kennedy, Valerie Paolucci, Alex Poplawski, Lauren Notofrancesco. R - Courtney Campbell 4, Allie Martin 3, Ellie Kraus 3, Kelyn Freedman 2, Ali Kelly, Amalia Antonopolos
Saves: SD - Janel Folkomer 3; R - Annie Woehling 11