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Matey, Archbishop Carroll have little trouble with Notre Dame this time around

RADNOR >> Following the draw that began the game Monday, the ball ended up in the stick of Archbishop Carroll junior Rachel Matey. In a matter of seconds, it was on the turf in the back of the Notre Dame goal cage.

The second draw went to Matey. This time it took almost a minute, but the result was the same — another goal for the visiting Patriots.

Carroll, which needed overtime to handle the Irish a year ago, established control on attack, in the midfield and on defense early and had little trouble earning its 15th victory without a loss, a 14-1 nonleague decision over Notre Dame at Burns Field.

The Pats host Catholic League rival Cardinal O’Hara for their Senior Day game Tuesday, then visit defending state champion Conestoga Thursday afternoon as they prepare for the upcoming Catholic League, District 12 and PIAA playoffs.

“So much of what we were able to do this afternoon was because of No. 22,” Carroll coach Lorraine Beers said of Matey, who made the switch from midfield to defense and was right at home doing the kind of work that frustrated the Irish (13-6), who had won five of their previous six starts.

Matey, who also plays soccer, will head to James Madison to play lacrosse when her days at Carroll come to an end. She took up lacrosse as a first grader and grew up with the sport. Each day at practice, she concentrates on the skills that will make her a better player when she gets to college.

“We work hard on getting every 50/50 ball,” Matey said. “Whether it’s in the air or on the ground, we want to play clean and not get caught swinging at the ball. But we want that ball.

“Draw controls are so important. You need them to start the game the right way.”

She demonstrated that Monday, winning the opening draw to set up junior Kaitlyn Detwiler for the first of her four goals. Her second-draw success meant that senior Samantha Swart was able to get the first of her six goals.

By halftime, Carroll had a 7-3 advantage in draw controls, with Matey making three of the five she would finish with when the contest was over.

“Last year, we had a tough game with (Notre Dame),” Matey said. “This year, we have better leadership and we’re talking more. We just want to keep winning.”

Senior Anna Murphy and junior Grace Gallagher chipped in with two goals apiece for Carroll while Claire Nappi, who scored with 8:30 minutes left in the first half, had the only Notre Dame goal.

Nappi also made three draw controls for the Irish.

Gallagher learned the game of lacrosse as a fourth grader in the Quix Stix program in Chester County. She transferred from Conestoga to Carroll as a ninth grader. She will play at Saint Joseph’s University, and appreciates having Syracuse-bound Swart as a teammate.

“Sam’s so fast,” Gallagher said. “I just wait for the perfect moment, and I know the ball will come to me or I’ll be able to run in whenever she’s going to shoot.

“We know it’s close to playoff time, and we’re all a little nervous because we’re still undefeated. But we think that’s good, because we don’t want to be overconfident. We just want to keep playing all the way into June.”

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