Radnor in tune after simple state start

DALLAS TWP. — The seniors on Radnor’s girls lacrosse team have playing long enough to know what a trip to the PIAA’s hinterlands for the first round of the state tournament means.

They also know what it can signify if they take things lightly.

“Today we really just emphasized that this could be our last game, and it’s do-or-die now,’ Radnor captain Hannah Proctor said after her team polished off Wyoming Seminary, 17-1, in the PIAA Class AAA’s first round. “We just tried to keep up the energy a lot and make sure everyone’s ready to go because obviously the next couple of games are going to be huge for us.’

The District 2 champion Blue Knights didn’t pose much of a challenge. But it was incumbent on the Raiders, the third seed from District One, to ensure Wednesday’s game didn’t get interesting.

They did that with six goals in the first four minutes and nine in the first 10. They triggered the running clock with a 10-goal margin late in the first half, deprived Wyoming Seminary (17-4) the ball with long, methodical stretches of possession and scored the game’s first 13 goals.

“We can’t take anybody for granted because there’s so many unknowns,’ Radnor coach Brooke Fritz said. “I assumed that lacrosse-wise we would have the advantage, but we have to start strong, we have to go fast and I thought we did an OK job with that.’

Any concerns Fritz may have had vanished before Katie Quinn (two goals, assist) opened the scoring 87 seconds in. Her Raiders (21-2) feature eight seniors, a constant on-field reinforcement of the pregame speech about not letting up.

Those seniors also carry the urgency of knowing that every game could be their last as they chase a state title.

“We definitely tried to come out hard,’ Megan Massimino said. “We try to treat every team like it’s our toughest rival and just come out and set an example in the first five minutes.’

Emily Games alternated setting up Massimino for the first of her three goals and Reilly Masterson around two tallies of her own. Masterson scored a free-position shot to make it 6-0, 3:59 in.

Another quick burst resulted in goals by Massimino, Lexi Kenneally and Julianne Puckette within 1:46 midway through the half, and Games completed her hat trick 2:30 into the second half to make it 11-0.

Radnor now meets Central League rival Harriton, 19-4 winner over District Four champ Danville, in Saturday’s second round. The winner gets what is likely to be an all-District-One Eastern final against the survivor of Conestoga and Great Valley.

This journey, though, had to start with a single, non-negotiable step Wednesday.

“We have to go out there and make sure we win all the 50-50 balls,’ Proctor said, “and show why we deserve to be where we are, why we deserve to be the better team and why we deserve to come away with the win.’

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