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Conestoga too much for Abington, punches ticket to PIAA Tournament

TREDYFFRIN >> Amanda Kammes could only shake her head.

Abington’s girls lacrosse team had high hopes entering Saturday’s District One Class AAA quarterfinal playoff game against defending state champion Conestoga.

And after 50 minutes, Kammes was still convinced her Ghosts could beat them.

They just didn’t come up with the effort necessary to do so.

The Pioneers scored early and often, and behind five goals from co-captain Liz Scott dropped the Ghosts into the playback round with an 11-5 victory, a victory that propels the champs into a semifinal meeting with Owen J. Roberts, a 12-6 winner over Strath Haven in another district quarterfinal matchup.

The Ghosts will take their chances in the playback round, with the hopes of becoming one of the seven programs to earn a state bid.

“Unfortunately, this has happened to us repeatedly this year,” said Kammes after a less-than-pleasant, postgame meeting with her team. “This is where Conestoga expects to be. To them, this is a given.

“For us, we have never been there, this is something that we have to fight for, and I was disgusted with our effort today.”

Abington began OK, and the game was knotted at 1 after Sam McGee’s free-position goal 3:13 into the game.

But the Pioneers took over from there.

Led by a pair of goals from Scott, the Pioneers scored the final five goals of the first half and went into the break with an 8-2 advantage.

“Abington is a very good team,” said Conestoga head coach Amy Orcutt, “and our goal was to try and limit McGee as best we could. We were fortunate enough to do that, so I was happy with our play defensively.”

With the focus on McGee, Kammes wanted her offense to pick up the slack. But Conestoga was very good, continually winning draws and maintaining possessions.

By the time Abington settled into the type of lacrosse Kammes was demanding, the Pioneers had control of the game.

“The second half you saw us play the type of lacrosse I think we’re capable of,” the coach said. “I still feel we can play with Conestoga and some of the better teams, but we haven’t done it yet this year.”

“I think, even before the game started, that we were confident,” added Ghosts midfielder Jordan Campbell. “And I have no doubts in my teammates. I know we can play with Conestoga.

“We just got off to a bad start, and we could never recover.”

The second half saw the Pioneers substitute liberally, while the Ghosts scrambled to try and keep up with the champs.

By game’s end, Conestoga was in the district semis, and Abington was still hoping to find its way into the state bracket.

“When our seniors were freshmen, we went nowhere,” Orcutt said. “When those same girls were sophomores we went to the state finals. Last year those girls won the state title.

“This year we want to do it again.”

CONESTOGA 11, ABINGTON 5
Abington 2 3 — 5
Conestoga 8 3 — 11
Abington Scoring – Sam McGee (2); Cathy Staerk (3).
Conestoga Scoring – Liz Scott (5); Scottie Rose Growney (2); Ameli a Kienzle (2); Madie French (1); Sydney Sloan (1).
Goaltender Saves: Abington: Kiki Brasher (13); Conestoga: Anna Frascella (7).

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