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Unionville’s super seniors aim for first PIAA girls’ lacrosse state title

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This has been a spring full of milestones for the Unionville girls’ lacrosse Class of 2018, particularly the Indians’ quartet of Erin Garvey, Hannah Close, Veronica Hineman and Madison Doucette.
Garvey, a University of Michigan commit, scored her 200th career earlier this season. Hannah Close, a Coastal Carolina commit, tallied her 100 career goal in the state quarterfinal a week ago. Hineman, headed to Duke University, recorded well over 100 draw controls this spring.
And Doucette, a Northwestern-bound goalie, has led a young Indians defense that, playing in its first PIAA Class 3A state semifinal since 2010, held District 1 champion Garnet Valley to a mere four goals in a 14-4 win Tuesday.
One final milestone remains for the Indians (24-2) — its first-ever PIAA championship.
Saturday at noon, Unionville will face District 3 champion Manheim Township in the Class 3A final at West Chester East’s Harold Zimmerman Stadium. It is the first time in the PIAA state final for both teams.
Manheim knocked off District 1 runner-up Springfield, 12-10, Tuesday, to advance to the state final, getting five second-half goals from senior Maris Large, a University of Vermont commit. In Manheim’s last seven post-season games, Large has scored 29 goals. For the season, she has tallied 64 goals.
Other weapons for the Blue Streaks (25-1) are senior attack Lizzie McBride (59 goals, 52 assists), junior midfielder Lucy Svetec (75 goals, 32 assists), and sophomore attacks Taylor Kopan (66 goals, 25 assists) and Shannon Elias (44 goals, 47 assists).
Large and Svetec handle draw controls for Manheim. Svetec, an All-American, set the Blue Streaks’ single-season mark in draw controls.
Manheim senior keeper Haley McCullough and senior defenders Ashley Wenger, Julianne Walker and Erin Gingrich have held opponents to 5.5 goals per game.
Meanwhile, Unionville’s defense is yielding 4.8 goals per contest. It’s a defense that features mostly sophomores and one senior, Taryn Burke. Doucette (146 saves, 108 goals against this season) leads the Indians’ young defense. “Madison has clear sights on the entire field, and specifically on the defensive side of the restraining line,” said Unionville head coach Suzanne Sheehan. “She is strong at making quick decisions and guiding the defenders where to go and when to crash.
“Taryn is another strong leader down there who works well with Madison. Taryn is able to rally the defense in practice and in games and get them excited and back on track.”
Hineman, who 134 draw controls this season, Garvey (73 DCs) and senior midfielder Annie McDonough have been handling the draw controls for Unionville.
“Each of them brings something different to the table when it comes to gaining the draw,” said Sheehan. “All three are very quick to see what is or isn’t working when it comes to the draw, and work with the coaches to make quick changes.”
Hineman not only lead the Indians in draw controls, but also ground balls (44) and caused turnovers (34). McDonough (38 goals, 25 assists for the season) is headed to the University of Virginia, where she will play field hockey.
“Annie works so well with Erin and Veronica,” said Sheehan. “She is a strong communicator on the attacking end, is very talented at getting groundballs and is a leader when it comes to calling plays.”
The Indians’ leading scorer, Garvey, is an all-around performer, with 84 goals, 36 assists, 33 ground balls, 31 caused turnovers and six interceptions.
Close (56 goals, 19 assists) also has been a key offensive force, with help from junior Emma Malone (39 goals, 49 assists) and sophomores Mina Scott and Mauria Blair.
“Emma has such great vision of the attacking end, whether it is vision to go to the goal or to set up a teammate,” said Sheehan. “Emma also is a key component when involved in the transition. Mina and Mauria have a talent for working off ball, and finding an open cut in the 8 meter.”

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