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Chester County girls’ lacrosse teams looking strong once again this spring

The Chester County girls’ lacrosse scene featured a number of strong teams last spring, including PIAA state champion Conestoga (24-1 overall), ChesMont champion Downingtown East, Bishop Shanahan (18-6 overall), Great Valley (15-5) and Villa Maria Academy. This spring should feature a similar number of top-drawer teams. Here’s an early-season look at the Chester County High school girls’ lacrosse teams:

Bishop Shanahan
Head coach: Laura Capuano, fourth year.
Last year’s record: 18-6.
Key returnees: senior attack Alyssa Manley, senior defender Erin O’Donnell, senior defender Anna Seifert, senior midfielder Kenzie Staska, junior defender Abby Bailey, junior attack Kaela Smith, sophomore midfielder Gianna DeCesaris, sophomore goalie Jess Gorr.
Others to watch: junior attack Avery Abbonizio, junior attack Gabby Richter, junior midfielder Abby Cooper, sophomore midfielder Jess Holowsko, sophomore defender Hannah Tronoski, freshman attack/midfielder Monica Manley, freshman defender Maddy Parke.
Lost to graduation: Mary Teresa Corcoran (Loyola University -soccer); Rylee Hill (Kutztown University); Tara Morrissey (West Chester University); Kelsi Trevisan (Lynchburg College); Cara DiValerio.
Outlook: The Eagles are returning a solid core of players and should once again be a force in the ChesMont League. Shanahan also is aiming for a return to the PIAA state playoffs.

Conestoga
Head coach: Amy Orcutt, eighth year.
Last year’s record: 24-1, undefeated in Central League, PIAA state champions.
Key returnees: senior midfielder Liz Scott, senior attack Scottie Growney, senior defender Elisabeth Ingersoll, senior defender Maddie Little, junior defender Emma McGillis, junior midfielder Ceara Sweeney, junior attack Amelia Kienzle.
Others to watch: sophomore attack Nia Scott, sophomore defender/midfielder Sarah Clark, senior attack Dana Cicchitti, sophomore defender Sydney Sloan.
Lost to graduation: Rilee Scott (West Point), Monica Borzillo (Cincinnati), Sondra Dickey (Lehigh), Maggie Gladden (Tampa), Maggie Hanzsche (Franklin and Marshall), Eliza Hacke (Denver), Hannah Ashton (Rollins), Jules Horning (Marquette).
Outlook: Orcutt said, “We have a young but very talented team, since losing nine starters to graduation. We will look to compete [again] for a Central League and state championship.”

Downingtown East
Head coach: Christa Somits, 11th year.
Last year’s record: 16-4 overall, 10-1 league, ChesMont champions.
Key returnees: Tori Barretta, committed to University of Maryland, was MVP of the league and All American last season. Somits said, “Her athleticism and skill in both the ends of the field will be a big contributor to the team this season.”
Others to watch: senior defender/midfielder Hannah Wurzel, senior defender/midfielder Elise Person, senior goalie Emily Robinson.
Lost to graduation: low defenders Sydney Comber and Olivia Orris. “Both were key components in our defensive unit last season,” said Somits.
Outlook: Somits said, “We have a handful of players that will contribute in different ways to our team, and a positive and motivated senior group. Our biggest challenge will be to win the ChesMont championship again this season.”

Downingtown West
Head coach: Brittney Conzentino, third year.
Last year’s record: 6-12 overall, eighth in ChesMont League.
Key returnees: senior defensive middie Drew McKinney, senior defender Caroline Cliggett, junior defender Nicole Oberholtzer, junior defender Laine Garber, senior middie Delaney Channel, junior middie Tabitha Rodriquez, sophomore middie Peyton Mottice, sophomore middie Corinne Bednarik.
Others to watch: junior defender Katie Hoerman.
Lost to graduation: defender Heather Camden (Drexel); defender Amanda Caruso (swimming for ODU); attack Avery Kelly (West Chester); attack Maddie McFall (West Chester); goalies McKenzie Miller and Claire Foster.
Outlook: Conzentino said, “Coming off a tough season last year with six overtime losses, we look better than ever. As hard as last season was, it definitely united these girls, and molded a lot of maturity, specifically for the young talent going into this season. We return eight starters, three of which are seniors, and two sophomores whom led our team stats last year. Our toughest challenge for this season will be our defense, as we have a lot of new faces. Team goals for this season include being a strong competitor in the ChestMont League, and making a substantial run in the playoffs.”

Great Valley
Head Coach: Kim Wenger, third year.
Last year’s record: 15-5 overall, 10-1 ChesMont.
Key returnees: senior midfielder Olivia Muscella, senior midfielder/attack Natalie Kahn, junior midfielder/defender Maggie Flynn.
Others to watch: junior defender Lauren Liebesman, junior attack Tori Rubin, sophomore midfielder/attack Sarah Karwoski, sophomore midfielder/attack Allie Capetola, sophomore midfielder/defender Katie Peduto.
Lost to graduation: attack Linnea Hughes (playing for James Madison), midfielder/attack Stephanie Aker (playing for Marquette), attack Kristen Knaff (playing for Penn State), attack Ashlyn Smith (playing basketball for Salisbury), defenders Kodi Campetti and Neve Bonelli, midfielders Devon DeHaven and Megan D’Ginto.
Outlook: Wenger lists the Patriots’ biggest strengths as youthful excitement/hunger, a well-bonded team dynamic and committed captain leadership. She lists their biggest challenges as experience and an overall small roster size.

Kennett
Head coach: Dale Watkins, sixth year.
Last year’s record: 9-10.
Key returnees: senior midfielder Vicki Gallivan, senior attack Carli Heimann, senior attack Ashley Mastronardo, senior midfielder Kelsey Mentzer, senior midfielder Jenny Schuibbeo, junior defender Abby Davidson, sophomore defender Andrea Prestianne, junior defender Katharine Clarke, junior midfielder Morgan Schaen, junior attack Jennifer Schaen.
Others to watch: junior attack Eliza Fantazzi, freshman midfielder Lily Sandusky, senior midfielder Elin Powell.
Lost to graduation: attack Aubrey Robinson (playing at Washington University), attack Megan Tandarich.
Outlook: Watkins said, “We have a good returning nucleus, and our success will depend heavily on how we play as a team. We are a little deeper this year and that doesn’t hurt.”

Villa Maria Academy
Head coach: Allie Mongan, first year.
Last year’s record:11-6 overall, 9-4 AACA.
Key returnees: senior midfielder Audrey Fantazzia, senior attack Bri Bamber, junior midfielder Erin Finley, senior attack Annina Iacobucci.
Others to watch: sophomore attack Sarah Delaney, senior defender Sarah Moffit, junior midfielder Lizzy Walheim, sophomore midfielder Adele Iacobucci, freshman attack Hannah Young.
Lost to graduation: None.
Outlook: Mongan said, Our team’s biggest strength is the depth of the roster, we have lots of talented young players. Our team is fast and plays tough. Our biggest challenges will be learning to play together with the younger girls and also becoming more consistent.”

West Chester East
Head coach: Greg Murray, first year.
Last year’s record: 7-10-1 overall, 5-6-1 in the league.
Key returnees: senior midfielder Morgan Catrambome (committed to LaSalle), senior midfielder Cammi Luidens (St. Joseph’s), senior defender Sarah Reilly (James Madison), senior goalie Sophia Francisco.
Others to watch: senior attacker Maddie Smiley, senior defender Jenna Phillips, junior midfielder Alex Heard, sophomore attacker Saundra Godshall.
Lost to graduation: midfielder Shannon Moore (Penn State), defender Maria Carsello (West Chester).
Outlook: Murray said, “Led by 10 seniors, our team is very balanced offensively and will look to create a dynamic attack. Third year starter in goal, Sophia Francisco, and senior captain Sarah Reilly anchor a defense with some new faces that will be challenged to mesh quickly.”

West Chester Henderson
Head coach: Lauren Purvis, second year.
Last year’s record: 10-9 overall.
Key returnees: junior midfielder Jordyn Bauer, senior midfielder Emma Clark, junior attack Lilly Siskind, senior defender Brynn Cullinan, senior defender Emma Laudermilch.
Others to watch: junior midfielder Peighton Bement (currently injured, and injured last season, but committed to Drexel for lacrosse), junior midfielder Shannon Earley, senior defender Breanne Grove.
Lost to graduation: midfielder Hayley DeAgostine (Penn State University), attack Kara Reichert (Virginia Tech), Ryann Bauer (Old Dominion University), Melissa Donato (Washington College).
Outlook: Purvis said, “Our biggest challenge this year is experience. We lost seven starters, but we have many players who are stepping up to meet expectations. This year our team’s biggest strength is working together as one cohesive unit.”

West Chester Rustin
Head coach: Mike St. Clair, third year. (assisted by Deb Sloan)
Last year’s record: 10-9 overall, 4-6-1 ChesMont, lost in first round of playoffs to Conestoga.
Key returnees: junior midfielder Tina St.Clair, senior midfielder Sklyer Demis, sophomore attack Ashley Chisholms, senior defender Elise Krikorian, senior defender Carly Liberatore, senior attack Michelle Chessock, senior attack Kylee Videon, senior defender Casey Wiensteen.
Others to watch: freshman midfielder Jess Ciarrocchi.
Lost to graduation: midfielders Tori Cugine and Ally Fastuce.
Outlook: St. Clair said, “With many returning starters from last year, we should be very competitive in a very strong league. Hopefully we will build on last year’s 10-9 record. Our chief concern is getting through some early season injuries and staying healthy.

Westtown School

Head coach: Emma Bracker, first year.

Last year’s record: 2-12 overall, 1-8 league.

Key returnees: senior attack Maddie Barth, senior attack Sarah Cassway, sophomore attack/midfielder Cate Capuccio.

Others to watch: junior defender Jane Abbott, senior defender Charlotte Abrams.

Lost to graduation: defender Claire Murphy, defender/midfielder Emily Dodds, defender Kate Novak, attack Sammie Pavlov, defender/midfielder Kathryn Ryan, defender Maddie Roberts.

Outlook: Bracker said, “We are looking to improve on last season. We have great leadership in our six seniors and a lot of young talent.”

Note: Several area coaches did not respond to requests for team information. If and when it is provided by those coaches, we will update the story at PaPrepLive.com.

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