The Downingtown East girls’ lacrosse squad had to travel four hours to play in the PIAA 3A state quarterfinal against Fox Chapel Saturday afternoon. But the result was worth the long journey, as the Cougars prevailed, 19-7, at State College High School.
With the victory, Downingtown East (17-8), the sixth-place finisher in District 1, will face Springfield, the District 1 runnerup, in the PIAA 3A state semifinal Tuesday at noon at West Chester Henderson.
The Cougars came out strong at the beginning, scoring the game’s first five goals. Fox Chapel, the District 7 runnerup, did not score until 15:52 was left in the first half.
Tori Barretta led the Cougars’ scoring with four goals, while Kira Flynn, Hannah Wurzel and Emily Wurzel each had a hat trick.
“Emily and Hannah were both on fire today,” said Downingtown East head coach Christa Somits. “They were really in sync together, and along with Livi Lawton (two goals, two assists), had a huge impact on the circle.”
Lawton and the two Wurzels combined for 21 draw controls Saturday – Emily Wurzel had 10 of them.
“[Senior defenders] Allison Sheridan and Elise Person were our leaders on defense and did a nice job,” said Somits. “This was a good all-around team effort.”
Cougar goalie Emily Robinson recorded seven saves.
Saturday was a long day for the Cougars, and it began at 7:30 a.m. with the team bus leaving for State College.
“We watched the movie, ‘Miracle’ on the way up to State College,” said Somits. “We identified with that 1980 US Olympic ice hockey team – we came into the state tournament as underdogs, same as them.”
Smoits pointed out that, on the way to the state semifinals, the Cougars have defeated three teams that had only one loss apiece coming into the game – District 1 top seed Central Bucks West (in the second round of Districts), District 3 champion Wilson (in the state opener) and Fox Chapel (which was 21-1 coming into Saturday’s game).
Downingtown East 19, Fox Chapel 7
Downingtown East 12 7 – 19
Fox Chapel 3 4 – 7
Downingtown East goals: Barretta 4, Flynn 3, E. Wurzel 3, H. Wurzel 3, Lawton 2, Fanelli, Hunter, Person, Webb.
Fox Chapel goals: McCrady 3, Dcunna 2, Hardiman, Goodwin.
Goalie saves: Robinson (DE) 7.