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Veteran Swart reveling in Carroll’s unbeaten run

RADNOR >> It might have been rainy, windy and cold at Memorial Field Tuesday afternoon, but Sam Swart didn’t mind.

The Archbishop Carroll High senior was doing two of the things she enjoys the most — playing lacrosse and spending time with her teammates.

Swart and the Patriots ran their season-opening winning streak to eight games with a 21-3 Catholic League demolition of Bonner & Prendergast. Anna Murphy scored five goals, Swart got four goals and four assists, and Grace Gallagher chipped in with four goals and one assist for Carroll.

While the Carroll reserves got most of the second-half playing time, Swart stood under an umbrella on the sideline, occasionally shaking water on her teammates or once using the umbrella as a bat to take a swing at an ice bag that was tossed her way.

“I keep thinking just how fast my time here has gone by,” said Swart, who will play at Syracuse University next spring. “When I was a freshman, Megan Santoleri (now at the University of Delaware) told me four years will go by so fast.”

Swart also often thinks back to a talk she had with head coach Lorraine Beers during that ninth-grade season.

“She told me that my shot wasn’t very good,” Swart said. “My (shooting) percentage should have been a lot higher. She gave me a bag of balls and told me I should take at least 100 shots a day until the next season.”

The more she practiced, the more Swart improved. Four days ago, she and her teammates visited District 1 Class 3A contender Harriton and rolled to an 18-3 decision. Swart finished with seven goals, with goal No. 4 in that game giving her 200 goals in her four-year varsity career.

“That was so exciting,” Swart said. “I knew how many goals I needed, and it was a big relief to get to 200. But what made things so huge was that we got a win like that over that team.

“Katie Detwiler kept finding me when I got open, and that made it easy to score all those goals.”

Swart said Carroll’s approach to how it plays the game has changed from last season, when the Patriots celebrated their 16th consecutive undefeated run through the Catholic League before a disappointing loss to eventual champion Conestoga in the first round of the PIAA Tournament.

“We focused so much on our attack last season,” Swart said. “This year we have five seniors and four of us play a lot. And different people make an impact at different parts of the field.

“Anna Murphy is the leader on attack, I’m there at midfield and Erin Casey leads our defense. And our defense has been much more a part of our games this year.”

In addition to beating Harriton, which will compete in the Class 3A District 1 tournament, Carroll owns a decision over another District 1 3A school, Downingtown West, which fell to the Patriots, 18-6, as well as cross-town rival Radnor High, which will compete in the Class 2A playoffs.

The Pats will take on Central League challenger Garnet Valley Saturday at the Katie Samson Lacrosse Festival at Radnor, and will face Springfield, which is one of the Central’s top teams, as well as Conestoga in pre-playoff warmup contests.

“We’re looking forward to all of that,” Swart said. “And I hope the younger players on this team can keep things going here after (the seniors) leave.

“I’ve seen some of the freshmen at JV practice and they have the skills. It’s just a matter of developing them. I know if they stick with (Beers) that will happen.”

In the Central League:

Strath Haven 16, Penncrest 7 >> Maddy Ruffini and Nicole McNeely provided four goals and one assist each, with Ruffini notching her 100th career goal.

Chloe Brennan paired two goals with two assists for the Panthers, while Katie Capalbo made 10 saves in net.

Kenna Kaut led the way for Penncrest with four goals.

Garnet Valley 21, Lower Merion 7 >> Cam Faith and Madi O’Brien each registered hat tricks, and Kamryn McNeal orchestrated the onslaught with four assists for the Jaguars.

Conestoga 18, Ridley 8 >> Hannah Crowley tallied four goals, and Emily Johnston added three goals and an assist, but it wasn’t enough for the Green Raiders.

Liz Scott (five goals, one assist) and Scottie Growney (four goals, three assists) put together big days for the Pioneers.

In the Inter-Ac:

Agnes Irwin 16, Penn Charter 4 >> Alex Hark buried five goals and two assists, and Emily Wills and Lila Barker deposited four goals apiece as the Owls rolled.

Notre Dame 21, Springside Chestnut Hill 14 >> Kelly Coyle handed out seven assists and added a goal as the Irish won in a shootout.

Maggie O’Brien tallied five goals and three assists, and Makenzie Irvine and Hannah Gillespie fired home four goals each, Gillespie augmenting her outing with two assists.

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