Corzel makes it a painful setback for Strath Haven

NETHER PROVIDENCE — Merion Mercy senior Caroline Corzel sought treatment for a sore knee after the game.

She limped around with a bag of ice wrapped securely in obvious discomfort after taking a nasty fall late in Tuesday’s District One girls lacrosse tournament opener against Strath Haven.

It’s a price a player with the determination and talent of Corzel is willing to pay.

After leading 22nd-seeded Merion Mercy to a thrilling 12-10 upset of No. 11 Strath Haven, Corzel explained why she felt it was important to have a huge game.

The sprained MCL on that same knee forced her to sit out the Golden Bears’ regular-season meeting with the Panthers. In that contest, Strath Haven won in blowout fashion, 18-8. Corzel could do nothing but watch. You better believe Corzel was awesome, especially in a first half that saw her score six of team’s 10 goals. She finished with seven goals, two assists and three caused turnovers.

“I was out at our last Strath Haven game, so I wanted to come in here and make up for that,’ Corzel said. “They beat us pretty handily the last time. I wanted to make my impact in this game since I couldn’t make none in the last game. Everything was just going right for me, especially in that first half.’

The Panthers had no answer for her in the opening 25 minutes of regulation. Corzel routinely found herself in prime scoring position and didn’t waste her opportunities.

Merion Mercy, which had led by as many as seven goals in the first half, had to overcome the Panthers’ effectiveness on the draw early on. The Panthers had taken 11 of 14 controls to start things off, but found themselves trailing by a half-dozen goals because of the Golden Bears’ ability to create turnovers and move the ball in transition, setting up a bundle of scoring chances.

“Our defense has been strong throughout the year,’ Corzel said. “We have an older defense, but we also have some young girls who do step up. They stay composed and they know how to hit our attackers and midfielders streaking down the middle.’

Corzel was far from a one-player show. Caroline Steller (two assists) and Jackie Benedict both registered two goals, with Allie Scannapieco netting a goal and an assist.

“No. 20 (Corzel) and 24 (Steller) really threw a wrench in our plans today,’ said first-year Strath Haven coach Jenna Werley, who was a lacrosse standout at Springfield and Ursinus. “We didn’t stop them as quickly and as efficiently as we would have liked, but we were planning for everybody on the other team to be strong and we don’t necessarily focus on just one. We knew Merion was going to come out and play, and we just had to plan for that. Whether that was from No. 20 or any of the other players, we try to plan ahead for everybody.’

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