Radnor >> The Conestoga High School girls’ squad celebrated the 18th annual Katie Samson Foundation Lacrosse Festival in style Saturday, scoring a season-high 21 goals in a 21-13 win against a strong Downingtown West team.
Conestoga dominated in the draw control, as four Pioneers – senior midfielder Amelia Kienzle, junior attack Maddie Wood, sophomore midfielder Cam Evitts and junior midfielder Sydney Sloan – combined to win 19 draw controls.
Kienzle, who won seven of them, said, “On the draw control, I try to spot what the other player’s tendencies are, see what they do on the first draw, and adjust from there. It’s a challenge, and it’s what makes (draw controls) fun.
“The great thing about today was that everyone was involved in our offense, we communicated well, and the give-and-gos worked well. Winning here at the (Katie Samson Foundation) Festival means everything to me – it’s for a great cause, there’s a lot of strong teams here, and every year the weather is great.”
The victory improves Conestoga’s record to 9-5 (which includes four one-goal defeats).
“Our offense was really clicking today,” said Conestoga head coach Amy Orcutt. “We were moving the ball well.”
Conestoga freshman Rachel Clark led the scoring with six goals (on 6-for-6 shooting). Pioneer junior midfielder Nia Scott tallied five goals (on 5-for-7 shooting) and dished out three assists, while Evitts scored four goals and Wood had a hat trick. Kienzle and Sloan each dished out two assists and scored once.
Downingtown West, which had entered the game with a 9-3 record, battled the Pioneers toe-to-toe for the first 17 minutes of the game, and held a 6-5 lead with eight minutes to play before halftime, thanks to two goals each from junior midfielder Corrine Bednarik, senior midfielder Tabitha Rodriguez and junior attack Emily Feeney. Later in the first half, junior midfielder Peyton Mottice, who along with Bednarik has been the 1-2 offensive punch for the Whippets this season, contributed a couple of goals and finished the game with a team-high four scores.
“We have a lot of scoring threats on our team,” said Downingtown West head coach Brittney Conzentino. “When we were on the attack today, we scored; but we haven’t been performing on the draw the last couple of games.”
With Conestoga trailing 6-5, Evitts tied the score at 6-6 6:25 before halftime; then 35 seconds later, Clark put the Pioneers ahead to stay with a goal, and a minute later Nia Scott’s goal made it 8-6. Forty one seconds after Scott’s score, Conestoga junior Sarah Clark’s takeaway and quick goal gave the Pioneers a 9-6 lead.
In the final minute before halftime, Evitt and Rachel Clark scored 19 seconds apart, then Mottice scored on an assist from Rodriguez just eight seconds before halftime to make it 12-8.
In the first 12 minutes of the second half, Conestoga increased its lead to 17-9, getting a couple of goals from the 5-foot-11 Wood. The Pioneers’ capped their 12-3 run with a goal from Rachel Clark, who scored after a long run to the net.
“Maddie Wood really helped us on the offensive end today,” said Orcutt. “She uses her height to advantage at the draw and on the offensive end – she’s able to catch balls above defenders.”
Saturday’s scorers for Downingtown West were Mottice (four goals), Bednarik (three goals, two assists), Feeney (three goals), Rodriguez (two goals) and freshman Aliza Thir (one goal).
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