TREDYFFRIN >> Conestoga’s Liz Scott, the Daily Local News Girls’ Lacrosse Player of the Year, led the way for a group of trailblazing Pioneers that reached brand new heights the past couple of years.
The three-time All-American midfielder and two-time Central League Most Valuable Player played a key role in the Pioneers’ first-ever PIAA title in 2016.
This spring, as team co-captain, she helped the Pioneers win their first district title since 2006, scoring 66 goals during the season and winning 122 draw controls. In the District 1 Class 3A final, Scott caused some key turnovers by Springfield that led to the Pioneers’ 12-8 win.
During the 2017 campaign, she set the school record for career draw controls, finishing with 423.
A leader off the field as well, Scott (as Conestoga’s Class President) spoke at the 2017 graduation ceremonies at Teamer Field.
“It was very challenging but fun to speak in front of thousands of people, and I’ll never forget that moment,” said Scott.
Another unforgettable moment occurred a few weeks earlier when the Pioneers captured the District 1 Class 3A championship.
“Winning the district championship was fun because our boys’ team won it too,” said Scott, who completed the lacrosse sweep for Conestoga after the Pioneers’ Tommy Sopko was unveiled this week as the 2017 DLN Boys Lacrosse Player of the Year. “It’s always rewarding when you bring hardware home to your school — it brought our school closer.”
The Loyola University-bound Scott did a fine job of bringing the Pioneers together this spring.
“Liz’s best attribute is her leadership,” said Conestoga girls’ lacrosse head coach Amy Orcutt. “She is a motivator, a hard worker, a communicator and is constantly encouraging her teammates.”
Conestoga senior Elisabeth Ingersoll, a US Lacrosse All-American, said, “Ever since our freshman year, Liz has definitely been one of the strongest leaders on our team. She puts in more work on and off the field than anyone I know — whether it’s spending an hour after practice working on the draw, or watching hours of film at home to prepare for games. Her passion for the game is undeniable.”
Another of Scott’s senior teammates, Morgan Littlewood, said, “Liz encouraged everyone on the team to give it their all, even during practices. In Liz’s eyes, everyone on the team plays a key role. She is a 100 percent team player.”
Asked for her most vivid memory of the district championship game, Scott was quick with a response.
“When my teammate, Dana Cicchitti, drove down the middle of the field and ripped it into the back of the net to put us ahead 12-7 [with 3:35 left],” Scott said. “I was closest to her when she scored and I jumped on her in utter excitement. It was a great feeling.”
Orcutt added, “Liz brings so much to the game. Her top attributes on the field are her presence, ability to win the draw and make big plays on both ends of the field.”
Scott is particularly proud of her career draw controls school record.
“It means the world to me to hold that record,” said Scott. “I spend a lot of time on practicing my draws, and it’s nice to know that it pays off. It is such a tedious and specialized position of the game, it’s strategic and technical. There is much more to it than how it is perceived.”
Scott’s most memorable draw control led to her game-winning goal in the Pioneers’ 9-8 overtime victory against Strath Haven.
“One of my coaches looked at me in the huddle at the end of regulation and said, ‘You’re going to get that draw, you’re going to run down, and you’re going to score,’” said Scott. “I walked up to the circle saying to myself, ‘I want it, I want it, I want it.’ I placed it right in front of me, and ran down and got the game-winner.”
Early in the season, the Conestoga girls’ lacrosse team took a trip to Georgia, and Scott helped organize the off-field activities, which including bungee jumping.
“The most memorable part of the trip was our ability to bond as people — bungee jumping off of a 70-yard platform creates relationships with people through fear, courage and determination,” said Scott. “It was an awesome experience.”
The Pioneers experienced an even more awesome moment nine months earlier when they defeated Radnor, 18-7, to win their first-ever PIAA title. Though Scott scored two goals in that game, her most vivid memory of the contest involves a family member.
“One of the memories that has stuck with me through that state title game was when I launched the ball in the center of the 8 to a space, so that my cousin Sondra Dickey could run onto it and catch it in the air and score,” said Scott. “It was a risky pass, but she knew what I was doing, so I’m happy I took that risk. That ball was in the back of the net before I could blink an eye. I loved playing with Sondra.”
Scott comes from a family of lacrosse players. Her father Matt and her three older brothers (Ben, Tanner and Carson) have played the sport, and one of her coaches is her aunt, Cindy Iezzi.
“My biggest lacrosse mentors have been my family members,” said Scott. “My coaches Amy Orcutt, Cindy Iezzi, Maureen Hager, and Brooke Record have also been there to teach and push me past my limits. Coach Orcutt and my Aunt Cindy have taught me a lot about the mentality, spirit, and teamwork of the game. Mo, Brooke and my brothers taught me everything from the basics of cradling to the degrees of angles, in order to help me succeed.”
Ever since she was a young lacrosse player, Scott has worn jersey No. 17.
“It was the number that nobody ever wanted,” said Scott. “It was always the last jersey lying in the grass. That is why I wanted it, because nobody else did. I was determined to make a name for it, so that people did want to wear it.”
Off the field, Scott was involved in a couple of clubs during her time at Conestoga — The Richard Wright Project, and Athletes Educating Students.
“My friend is the president of the Richard Wright program, so she got me to join — we go into center city Philadelphia every couple of months and give schools books, school supplies, and anything else kids need to succeed and further their education,” said Scott. “Recently, the project has created a new school in the city — it’s awesome.
“In Athletes Educating Students, we just traveled to different schools to help athletes stay on their academics and help them with their course load. We emphasized how important education was in all sports programs. Both clubs were exhilarating and really opened my eyes to the realities of our world.”
Scott also was a basketball player for Conestoga, and earned kudos from head coach Chris Jeffries for her hustle and all-around fine play as the Pioneers advanced to the Sweet 16 in states for the first time.
“Basketball has taught me so much,” said Scott. “I think I learn more about lacrosse in basketball than I do about lacrosse in lacrosse. The highlight of the season [for me] was beating Nazareth in the first round of States.”
In the fall, Scott will attend Loyola and become part of their lacrosse program.
“Lacrosse at Loyola is their football, and that was something that attracted me,” said Scott. “The biggest reason why I went to Loyola was because of the women’s lacrosse coaches and program history. They are top Patriot League contenders, and aim to get in the NCAA tournament every year.
“Coach Jen Adams, Dana Dobbie, and Caroline Hager are some of the best coaches and players in the history of the sport, and they are building a dynasty down in Baltimore. I want to be a part of that dynasty.
“I don’t know what I plan on majoring in [at Loyola] — all I know is that I can’t sit in a cubicle. College coaching is a dream of mine right now — anything with sports will suffice.”