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Unionville’s first-ever girls’ lacrosse state title was storybook ending for Indian seniors

West Goshen >> For Unionville’s seniors, featuring an All-American trio of tri-captains Erin Garvey, Madison Doucette and Veronica Hineman, the Indians’ 11-6 victory over Manheim Township Saturday afternoon for their first-ever PIAA 3A state title was a perfect way to end their storied high school careers.
Hineman, who at the final buzzer joined Garvey and Indian in a joyous run toward Doucette on the Harold Zimmerman Stadium turf, said, “For the past four years, Erin, Madison and myself, wanted this [state title] from the beginning, and we knew that this was our year. Today was everything we could have hoped for.”

To view a photo gallery of the Unionville-Manheim state final click here
Garvey, who scored five first-half goals Saturday, said, ““When the game ended, my first thought was, ‘Oh my God, it’s happening. This is unreal. I never thought we’d be standing here today with this [state championship] medal around my neck. I’m really just in shock right now, trying to soak it all in.”

Doucette, who posted nine saves in the 3A state final, said, “[Senior defender] Taryn Burke ran up and hugged me, and my feeling was just pure disbelief and appreciation – we know how hard we all worked and how much we wanted a state title. It was the realization that our dream came true.”
Unionville (25-2) threw the first scoring punch against Manheim when Indian junior attack Emma Malone scored 3:46 into the contest.
“I think Emma’s goal was really key for us,” said Unionville head coach Suzanne Sheehan. “A lot of times in the postseason this year, we’ve had to respond back to an opponent’s goal. But when we scored the first goal today, I knew we could keep the momentum going. That goal was beautiful work by our attack.
“The possession on our attacking end was definitely very strong today. We knew Manheim was strong on the draw, so we wanted to possess the ball longer, where it was 100 percent ours and not up to a 50-50 position. We worked really well in running our plays, and running off our plays, and just finding the open girl. We knew we had a lot of strong shooters and strong attackers down there.”
The strongest shooter Saturday was Garvey, who scored five of the Indians’ next seven goals as Unionville built an 8-1 lead late in the first half against a strong Manheim team that had defeated Springfield-Delco in the state semifinals.
“We were a little anxious early in the game because [Manheim] was a high-caliber opponent, but with Erin getting those goals at such a crucial time, it showed our girls that we got this [game], and we can do this,” said Sheehan. “Erin not only scores beautiful goals, but she’s a leader for the whole team – her goals picked up the team’s spirits today.”

Garvey said, “I think that [five goals in the first half] was just our attack being patient; I just happened to be the person who got open, and there was a little spot in the net waiting for me; it could have been anyone who scored those goals; I have to [credit] our attack who got the ball to me.”
Hineman and senior midfielder Annie McDonough also scored as Unionville built an 8-1 lead.
But Manheim, who had defeated District 1 runner-up Springfield-Delco in the state semfinals Tuesday, hung in there the remainder of the first half, tallying twice (once with 1.7 seconds left before halftime) to cut Unionville’s lead to 8-3 at the half.
Hineman said, “At halftime we felt pretty comfortable but we knew that [Manheim] was going to keep coming at us.”
In the second half, Unionville held Manheim scoreless for the first 16 minutes while building an 11-3 lead, getting goals from Malone, sophomore Mina Scott (assisted by Hineman) and Garney (her sixth and final goal).
Doucette said, “We knew [Mainheim] has some very strong girls and very tall girls who can score from anywhere, and we knew their crease rolls are very good, so we had to stop them in transition and not let them get settled. Our defense knows how to play a tough D, and they did a great job today.”
Doucette made some excellent saves in the second half as well.
Sheehan said, “Madison is a great leader of our defense, very good at communicating with our younger defenders, and she’s aware that they are [relatively] new to the defense and to high-caliber lacrosse. She’s very sensitive with how to communicate with them, but also helps get them in the right spot when they need to be there, when to crash and when to slide.”
As the clock wound down in the second half, Unionvile started to taste a state championship.
“I think we felt really confident at the six minute mark,” said Hineman. “It was a crazy possession game, and we knew we could keep possession for this six minutes.”

“When we got possession of the ball in the last minute, everyone on our team was smiling, and we kind of knew that we had won the game,” said Garvey.
Doucette said, “For me, I don’t think the feeling sank in until the final buzzer. I think I started sensing the excitement of the crowd, the sidelines, the players on the field probably with 10 minutes left, but Manheim is a tough team and they weren’t going to roll over, so when the final buzzer sounded, that’s when I felt confident and thought, ‘Hey we just won the championship.’”
Sheehan thought the Indains’ best attribute this season was their chemistry.
“Even on our defensive side, where we have an assortment of different age groups, you can’t tell who’s new to the team and who’s old to the team because it’s such a strong, cohesive group that has strong chemistry,” said Sheehan. “Today’s game was about having fun – they were just enjoying themselves and enjoying each other, and that’s what helps develop that strong team chemistry.”

Unionville 11, Manheim Township 6
Manheim Township 3 3 – 6
Unionville                   8 3 – 11
Unionville goals: Garvey 6, Malone 2, Hineman, McDonough, Scott.
Manheim Township goals: Large, Svetec 2, Elias, Kopan, McBride.
Goalie saves: Doucette (UN) 9.

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