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Conestoga cruises past Easton in 3A state opener

Conestoga’s Kendall McGee advance the ball during game against Easton. (Gene Walsh/Digital first Media)

WORCESTER >> Conestoga took the opening center pass of its PIAA Class-3A state playoff opener straight into Easton’s end Tuesday afternoon. After a few passes, the shot went just wide of the cage 15 seconds into the game, but it was a sign of things to come.

The Pioneers put 29 shots on goal in a dominant 5-0 win over Easton on a cold and rainy day at Methacton High School.

“Getting the ball around the goalie and really using our people on the post really worked,” senior Kendall McGee said. “It was really cold, so obviously our hands — it was hard to get it in. Once we just kept our sticks down and were getting the rebounds it was easy to get the ball in.”

Conestoga, the District 1 runner-up, will face District 3 third-place finisher Hershey, a 7-0 winner of Pine-Richland, in the quarterfinals Saturday at a time and location to be determined.

McGee got the scoring started halfway through the first half.

“It really set the tone for our playing and hyped us all up to get us going,” McGee said of getting on the board first. “We knew that their defense wasn’t too strong and that their goalie was really good with her hands. We were really trying to get it down on the ground. That really set the tone for the whole rest of the game.”

Kiley Allen doubled the lead with 8:24 remaining in the half and Emma McGillis gave Conestoga all the momentum with a score just four seconds before intermission to make it a 3-0 lead.

McGee scored her second goal of the game later in the second half and, less than three minutes later, Sara Rogalski finished off the scoring to make it 5-0.

While the offense was piling on the goals, the defense was doing its job. Goalkeeper Ali Showers faced just two shots in the game.

“Our defense worked a lot (Monday) on keeping their sticks in front of their feet and really working on their footwork and just getting it out,” McGee said. “That really played a huge role in today’s game in getting it out and not having any corners against us. That was one of our top goals for the game today.”

“We gave up 16 corners against Downingtown West,” Conestoga coach Kerry De Vries said. “I didn’t know what to do. Do we change our whole lineup around? What do we do? We can’t do that in tournament time. The fact that our kids didn’t give up one corner against a very good team — very proud of them.”

Grace McEvoy, McGillis and Allen — the senior captains — told De Vries to keep the lineup the same and they would figure it out.

And they did.

Conestoga 5, Easton 0
Easton 0 0 — 0
Conestoga 3 2 — 5
Goals: C: Kendall McGee 2, Kiley Allen, Emma McGillis, Sarah Rogalski.
Assists: C: Sarah Rogalski.
Saves: E: Nicole Fleming 24. C: Ali Showers 2.

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