ASTON >> The names and faces may change, but the results have stayed the same for 17 seasons.
The Catholic League handed out another girls lacrosse championship plaque at Neumann University Monday night. For the 17th time in a row, the players from Archbishop Carroll were the ones celebrating and posing for pictures with the prized award.
Top-seeded Carroll (18-1) rolled to a 20-3 decision over No. 2 Cardinal O’Hara, giving Lorraine Beers her 17th title in 18 seasons as the Patriots’ head coach. The only blemish on her record came in the 2000 final, when St. Hubert defeated Carroll to close out Beers’ first season.
Since then, Carroll has owned the league title, going 216 games without a loss against Catholic League opponents.
After Tuesday’s District 12 Class 3A title match against Franklin Towne Charter, Carroll will prepare for its PIAA Tournament opener against the fifth-place team from District One. O’Hara will play at Northeast High Tuesday for the District 12 Class 2A title, with the winner meeting District One’s fourth-place entrant in the first round of the state tournament.
Syracuse-bound Sam Swart paced the Carroll attack with four goals, all scored in the opening 13 minutes. Carroll had an 8-0 lead before Michelle McCarthy broke through for O’Hara, which was playing under the direction of volunteer coach Tami (Worley) Kirby, who was an All-American at Penn State University.
The Patriots limited the Lions to eight shots, with starting goalie Maddie Ferraioli, a senior, having to make only two saves before giving way in the second half to sophomore Julia Dellarata, who turned away one shot.
“Our defense is so strong and plays together so well,” Ferraioli, who will attend the University of South Carolina and will not play lacrosse in college, said. “Rachel (Matey) is so good with draw controls.”
Swart, Katie Detwiler (three goals), Grace Gallagher (two goals) and Anna Murphy are among the Carroll attack players who put the Carroll defense to the test at practice each day.
“We put them to work and make keep working harder against them,” Ferraioli said. “Rachel came up to me at practice one day and told me ‘I just don’t like to lose.’ That’s the way she plays.”
Fiona Casey, who along with Swart and Murphy serves as a team captain, is among the Carroll defenders who have shut down some of the top teams in District One, including defending state champion Conestoga and Springfield — both of whom are in the district semifinals — in nonleague wins for the Pats this season.
“We have hoped we could go all the way this season,” said Casey, who will attend the University of West Virginia and has played club lacrosse for Rose Tree Optimist and Philly Blast.
“We get pushed at practice, but that’s when we have time to work on things. Some of our games haven’t been very close, which is why we take practices so seriously.”
Murphy and Swart have played together since they started out with Beers’ Phantastix club team.
“It’s been great having the chance to work together for all these years,” Swart said. “I’ve really enjoyed the way the girls on this team have done things to keep getting better.
“It’s been so enjoyable being on the field with them each day. I’m hoping we can keep this season going on, get past that first round (of states) and keep on playing. I know all of us want to win this, and we want to win this for (Beers). She’s meant so much to so many of us. It’s great to be part of the tradition and carry on this (Catholic League) streak.”