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Long time coming, but Martin and Maguire have state golds

WEST GOSHEN >> Katie Maguire and Jessi Martin didn’t have a chance to win state lacrosse tournament medals when they played at Radnor High.

Maguire was playing field hockey at Saint Joseph’s University when the first PIAA lacrosse championships were contested in 2009. Martin, the former Jessi Lieb, had completed her college eligibility at Penn State by then.

The pair, who are Raiders head coach Brooke Fritz’s assistants, got their gold Saturday morning at West Chester East High’s Harold Zimmerman Stadium when the District 1 Class 2A champions defeated Kennard-Dale, the District 3 runners-up, 20-8, for a state title.

Radnor head coach Brooke Fritz, zoned in on the action Saturday as her team was in the process of winning a state championship game over Kennard-Dale of District 3, was pleased to see former Radnor players and current assistant coaches Katie Maguire and Jessi Martin win the state golds they didn’t have a chance to earn as players. (Digital First Media/Pete Bannan)

“I know it means a lot to them,” said Fritz, who got her first state title as head coach, “and they mean a lot to our girls.”

Maguire, a teaching aide at Radnor, is the school’s head field hockey coach and an assistant under girls basketball head man Mark Jordan. Martin is a stay-at-home mom with two young children.

“We knew that the talent was there,” Maguire said. “The thing about them winning this championship is that they all get along so well and have fun together.”

Maguire will work with seventh-grade lacrosse players with Fritz’s Steps club program this summer before preparing for her second season as head field hockey coach. Her 2016 hockey team opened its season with a game against Archbishop Carroll, which is coached by her cousin, Christina Elisio, another former Radnor player.

Martin was an assistant coach at Lock Haven University and La Salle before joining Fritz’s staff. There are days at practice when she still gets the urge to play and finds herself out on the field.

“I have to watch myself because these girls are so aggressive,” she said. “But that’s just me. It’s still fun to be able to play, but I also have to remember there’s a chance I could get injured.”

Nicole Massimino, one of Radnor’s captains who will be playing at the University of Notre Dame next year, talked about how good it was that lacrosse players from Radnor’s past continue to be a part of its present.

“Radnor lacrosse has a real legacy,” Massimino said. “Last year, we made it to the championship game but lost (to Conestoga). That just made us want to do what we did today even more.

“Jessi helps us out on the field and Katie has taught us a lot of shots. They’ve pushed us and helped us get better.”
Radnor sophomore Cate Cox set up four of senior Julianne Puckette’s nine goals and also earned an assist on a score by Allison Lanzone Saturday.

“Throughout the season, Julianne and I have really jelled,” Cox said. “I have a strong left-handed feed and it’s easy for me to get the ball to her.

“And once she has the ball, no one can stop her.”

Cox also mentioned the role Martin played in helping the team at its practices.

“She’s such a good player,” Cox said. “And seeing her out there pushes us a lot. You know you have to keep playing harder.”

Cox will be one of the key returning players when the 2018 Raiders begin preparing for their season.

“We’re losing 10 players,” she said. “They’ve been a big part of the reason why we are here today. But we have good people coming up and a good class coming in, so we’ll have to work very hard if we want to do something like this team did.”

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