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Agnes Irwin

Main Line lacrosse teams looking strong once again this spring

For the past few decades, the Main Line has been a hotbed of high school lacrosse, and this spring promises to be no exception. Here is an early-season look at the Main Line high school lacrosse teams (those that have sent us preview information):

Academy of Notre Dame

Head coach: Xan Zimatore, second year.
Last year’s record: 12-8 overall, 7-5 InterAc.
Key returnees: Senior midfielder Caroline Allen, senior midfielder Julia Dambly, senior defender Caroline McHugh, senior attacker Madison Chermol, senior midfielder Lauren Brady, junior midfielder Claire Nappi, junior midfielder Mackenzie Irvine, junior defender Katie O’Connor.
Others to watch: sophomore midfielder Natalie Hughes, sophomore attacker Kelly Coyle, sophomore defender Sarah Jane Quigley, sophomore goalie Jackie Lanzalotto.
Lost to graduation: goalie Kat Land, midfielder Carolyn Riegel, defender Kirsten Mansfield.
Outlook: Zimatore said, “With a strong senior class returning, we are looking to build off of last year’s success and continue to grow as a program. Playing a tough non-league schedule will help us prepare for the very competitive InterAc league games. We have several newcomers who I expect to make an impact immediately. I am excited to see how we develop as a team and expect to see great leadership from the upperclassmen.”

Agnes Irwin

Head coach: Jenny Duckenfield, fourth year..
Last year’s record: 23-1 overall, 11-1 Inter-Ac (champions), Pennsylvania Independent School Athletic Association Champions, Nike/Lacrosse Magazine No. 10 in the country, STEPS Lacrosse North America No. 3 in the country, LAXPOWER.com No. 1 team in Pennsylvania.
Key returnees: Senior attack Hannah Keating (Harvard), senior midfielders Laura Pansini (Princeton), Emily Fryer (Brown), and Kristin Burnetta (Harvard), senior defenders Kate White (Dartmouth) and Sarah Platt (University of Virginia), junior attackers Lila Barker (University of Virginia) and Daniela Wright (Arizona State), junior goalie Hailey Andress (Cornell), junior defender Alicia O’Neil (Cornell), sophomore defender Maria Pansini (Princeton).
Others to watch: Junior attack Olivia Carey, junior defender Emmie Kiely (Brown), sophomore attackers Ellie Kirkpatrick (Vanderbilt), Sydney Wolfington (Penn State) and Alex Hark (Boston University), sophomore defenders Kate Chernitsky, Meredith Murphy (Bucknell), Lily Emery-Baum,(University of Virginia), Emma Macaione (Dartmouth).
Lost to graduation: attack Emma Hill (playing at Gettysburg).
Outlook: Duckenfield said, “We are playing the strongest schedule in the country and we look forward to the challenge.”
In addition to a competitive Inter-Ac slate, the Owls will compete against four high school lacrosse programs ranked in the Nike/Lacrosse Magazine 2016 Pre-Season National Top 25: No. 3 Good Counsel (Md.), No. 4 St, Stephens and St. Agnes (Va.), No. 8 Bishop Ireton (Va.) and No. 14, perennial New Jersey powerhouse, Moorestown. The Owls will also take on the 2015 Ches-Mont League champion and PIAA Semi-finalist, Great Valley, in the annual Katie Samson Festival.

Baldwin School

Head coach: Marisa Lozano, third year.
Last year’s record: 2-17 overall, 0-12 Inter-Ac, lost to Germantown Friends 18-17 in first round of PAISAA tournament.
Key returnees: senior goalkeeper Shayna Silverman, sophomore midfielder Marissa McGarrey, sophomore midfielder Myla Barnett, sophomore midfielder Eliza Thaler, senior defender Hayden Ivey, senior defender Julia Greitzer, senior attacker Izzy Schaeffer.
Others to watch: freshman midfielder Natalie Sgro, junior defender Carrie Schaeffer.
Lost to graduation: attacker Ali Thaler (playing for Harvard), attacker Eliza Mantelmacher, attacker Ive Gonzalez, defender Abby Andrews.
Outlook: Lozano said, “[We are] strong this year with many young key players returning and all four seniors as starters. We have a few talented freshmen and sophomores that are expected to make significant contributions on our attacking end. The InterAc is a tough, competitive league and we are excited and ready to improve on last year’s record.”

Conestoga (boys)

Head coach: Brody Bush, second year.
Last year’s record: 14-11 overall, 9-6 Central League.
Key returnees: Senior defender Jack Reilly, senior defender Sam Bouhdary, senior midfielder Brant Pittman, junior midfielder Hunter Gregory, junior attack Henry Burg, junior attack Tommy Sopko.
Others to watch: Senior defender Drew Clayton, senior defender Tyler Soutendijk, senior midfielder Wes Alexander, senior attack Jack McPherson, sophomore midfielder/faceoff James Reilly, sophomore midfielder Tate Kienzle, junior long stick middie/short stick defensive midfielder Peyton Jones, sophomore defender Jackson Niness, sophomore long stick middie Matt Logan, sophomore midfielder Nick Braendel.
Lost to graduation: Defender Parke Schweiter (Hobart), defender Damase Bagbonon (Loyola), defender Dylan Sidoriak (Towson), defender Robbie Sedlak (VMI), midfielder Sam Friedman (Lafayette), midfielder Chris Brady (Layfayette), attack Steve Hildebrant (OWU), midfielder Matt Nagle (U.S. Coast Guard), attack Greg Taicher (Rollins), attack/midfielder Matt Schleicher, goalie John Roulston (Drexel), goalie Jack Green, midfielder Jace Kienzle.
Outlook: Bush said, “Conestoga’s team strength is from our senior leaders, starting with the defense, and we play a big physical brand of lacrosse because we have the athletes to do that. We have great team chemistry and that positive competitive attitude will be a huge key for success this year. This team has all the tools it needs to be very successful and the biggest challenge would be for the players to replace the production of the [lost to graduation] 20 seniors we had last season.”

Conestoga (girls)

Head coach: Amy Orcutt, seventh year.
Last year’s record: 23-4.
Key returnees: Senior midfielder Sondra Dickey, junior midfielder Liz Scott, senior goalie Jules Horning, senior attack Monica Borzillo, senior midfielder Rilee Scott, junior defender Elisabeth Ingersol.
Others to watch: Senior defender Maggie Hanzsche, sophomore attack Amelia Kienzle, sophomore defender Emma McGillis.
Lost to graduation: midfielder Maggie Stetson (Drexel), defender Sarah Nicholson (Cornell), goalie Laney Stenson (Delaware), defender Sarah Brooke (Franklin and Marshall).
Lost to injury: Junior midfielder Scottie Growney (ACL).
Outlook: Orcutt said, “Our greatest strength is our depth, we have a lot of girls who will be contributing this year. The biggest key for us to stay healthy and injury free! We are already out six starters with injuries, so hopefully they will make it back and continue to stay healthy.”

Devon Prep/Delco Christian

Head coach: Dando Speers, third year.
Last year’s record: 7-8.
Key returnees: This team, a combination of Devon Prep and Delaware County Christian School, has three key returnees from each shool. Devon Prep’s key returness are senior defender Anthony Walker, noted for his strong, physical play; senior midfielder and returning captain Mike Love, noted for his quickness and great field awareness; and senior midfielder Eddie McGinley, an experienced veteran. Key reurnees for Delco Christian are junior returning captain Dan Poirier, the leading scorer and points leader from last year; junior goalie Ethan Harvey; and sophomore midfielder Timothy Fitzgerald, noted for his speed and fine shooting ability.
Others to watch: Junior defender Dan O’Connor (Devon Prep), sophomore attack Dano Deger (Delco Christian), sophomore defender Anthony Maiale (Devon Prep), sophomore attack Stephen Klauder (Devon Prep), sophomore defender Brody Veleber (Delco Christian).
Lost to graduation: Two players from Devon Prep – attack Drew Hayden and goalie Joe Walker (made 179 saves in the regular season last year, second-best in school history).
Outlook: Speers said, “Playing as an Independent team again this year, we’re trying to qualify for the district tournament. We look to have a physical, smart, and fast play this year from the team. The biggest keys will be to stay disciplined in every aspect of the game, we can’t take any games for granted. We’ll be focusing on dominating the face-offs and groundball game, great communication on defense as well as great goaltending. Our biggest challenge will be staying poised and maturing throughout the season, as we have many young returning players that will play a vital role in starting positions.”

Episcopal Academy (girls)

Head coach: Josie Ferri, third year.
Last year’s record: 21-5 overall, 10-2 Inter-Ac, Pennsylvania Independent School Athletic Association (PAISAA) tournament finalist.
Key returnees: Senior attacker Grace Norley, senior midfielders Colby Gallagher and Julia Hondros, senior defenders Claudia Becker, Meghan Manley, senior goalie Sydney Gagnon, junior attackers Corinne Zanolli and Taylor Lucey, sophomore attackers Katie Crager and Olivia Cunningham.
Others to watch: Senior attacker Lauren Brenner, junior attackers Rachel Yackel and Sarah Keffer, sophomore midfielder Olivia Tuma, sophomore defenders Bridget Boyle, and Lauren Rodio, freshmen midfielders Lindsay Walling, Olivia Dirks, and Izzy Rohr.
Lost to graduation: attackers Lily Crager (first team All-Inter-Ac) and Lauren Repke, midfielder Jane Crager (first team All-American), defenders Sydney Gibson, Ali Rushton, Christy Palazzese, Hannah Harrity and Daly Colarossi.
Outlook: Ferri said, “I am confident that the strong leadership from our upperclassmen, combined with the speed of our underclassmen, will lead to another successful season. We will play a rigorous out of league schedule, which will include, St. Stephens St. Agnes, Georgetown Visitation, Victor (N.Y.), St. Ignatius (Cal.), John Carroll (Md.), Holy Cross (Md.), Loyola Academy (Ill.), Hill Academy (Conn.) and Garnet Valley – we are very excited for the challenge. This is a very special group and I can’t wait to see all they will accomplish together this season.”

Friends’ Central (girls)

Head coach: Lauren Becker Rubin, 13th year.
Last year’s record: 17-5 overall, 9-0 Friends Schools League (champions).
Key returnees: Senior midfielder Jesse Rubin, senior midfielder Miranda Mastrocola, senior defender Avital Schweitze, senior goalie Anne Pizzini, senior defender Hannah Anderson, senior attack Lily Snider, junior midfielder Lorna Macfarlane, junior attack Sophie Berger, junior midfielder Hayden Posencheg, junior midfielder Hannah Posencheg.
Others to watch: freshman midfielder Benna Berger, sophomore defender Morgan Crowley.
Lost to graduation: Sophie Macfarlane (playing at Brown), Emily Tedesco (playing at Muhlenberg), Abby Crowley, Lisa Bernstein.
Outlook: Rubin said, “We have a solid core group of seniors and juniors returning, and they will definitely take the lead and set the tone. We have several freshman and sophomores who will contribute right away. However, many players will be taking on new roles and heightened responsibilities, so it might take us a little more time to build up. We have a dedicated and hard working group committed to getting better, and we will!”

Harriton (boys)

Head coach: Joe Proud, fourth year.

Last year’s record: 10-9 overall, 4-7 Central League.

Key returnees: Senior defender/long stick middie Matt Binnion, senior midfielder/attack Patrick Stewart, senior midfielder Justin Kruszewski, senior defender/long stick middie Brysen McMullin, senior defender TJ Arms, senior defender Sam Gorodetzer, senior attack Marc Margolis, senior midfielder Eric Cignarella, senior midfielder David Greenfield, senior long stick middie/midfielder Aaron Diamond-Reivich, senior defender Teddy Kotler, junior attack Hakan Atillasoy, junior defender Cyros Strickland, junior midfielder Bill Stahl, junior goalie Jack Turner, sophomore attack Charlie Veasey.

Others to watch: Senior goalie Ian Walsh, junior attack Co Czworkowski, sophomore midfielder Jack Thomas, freshman midfielder Ben Schall.

Lost to graduation:  Midfielder Patrick Bernicker (Ursinus), goalie Victor Fink (MIT), midfielder Jack Veasey, faceoff midfielder Brian Meyer (Washington College), defender Ben Finger.

Outlook: Proud said, “Harriton had its best season in recent history last year and [we] will need to work very hard to build on that as a program.  We will rely on a deep senior class, a group of veteran defensemen and strong goaltending to be successful.  There is a solid mix of returning and new players on the offensive end and in the middle of the field that will need to gel as a group to replace losses to graduation.  If this team can continue to develop and evolve over the course of the season, they can be competitive in an always-strong Central League and District 1.”

Harriton (girls)

Head coach: George Dick, ninth year.
Last year’s record: 20-5 overall, 9-3 Central League, PIAA District One runnerup
Key returnees: Senior midfielder Alex Ladda, senior attack/midfielder Laura Lasprogata, senior midfielder/defender Liv Tevis, senior defender/midfielder Haley Morris, junior midfielder/defender Claudia Conrad, junior defender/midfielder Emma Arronson, junior attack Jordan Heller, sophomore goalie Devin McClain, sophomore attack/midfielder Greta Stahl,
Others to watch: Sophomore midfielder/defender Molly McDonough, sophomore midfielder/defender Sarah Marks.
Lost to graduation: Midfielder Jane Henderson (playing for Lehigh), midfielder Maura Henderson (competing in track at Lehigh), attack Julia Marks, defender Allie Margulies,attack Mel Sukonik.
Outlook: Dick said, “We have many experienced returning players and solid newcomers that will work hard to continue the success of the Rams’ lacrosse program.”

Lower Merion (boys)

Head coach: Ernie Shapiro, third year.
Last year’s record: 8-10.
Key returnees: Senior defender Mike Berg, senior defender Tanner Eisenhard, senior attack Mike Bernicker.
Others to watch: Senikor midfielder AJ Thompson, senior midfielder Demetri Traynham, senior midfielder Ezra Oshtry, junior attack Everhett Grimes.
Lost to graduation: Attack Evan Wolf (Amherst College), midfielder Jack Shade (Brevard College), attack Jordan Canter (Arcadia).
Outlook: Shapiro said, “We look forward to competing in the always-difficult Central League.”

Merion Mercy Academy

Head coach: John Geary, fifth year.
Last year’s record: 17-4, won AACA league title.
Key returnees: Senior midfielder Caroline Heath, senior defender Amelia Piccone, junior attack Caroline Steller, senior goalie Lauren Thomas, senior defender Kaitlyn Devine, senior midfielder Jackie Benedict.
Others to watch: Junior goalie MaryCate Markey, junior defender Maggie Wilson, junior midfielder Kaely Kyle, junior midfielder Allie Scannapieco, sophomore midfielder Annie Dombrowski, sophomore attack Ariana Lavelle, junior defender Kelsey Farkas, junior midfielder Kolbe Keating.
Lost to graduation: midfielder Caroline Corzel (UCal).
Outlook: Geary said, “This season we will have a good blend of senior and juniors. We look for strong play from this core and anticipate some exciting play from our strong younger talent. We are excited to again be playing in the Checking for Cancer event and the Katie Samson Festival.”

Radnor (boys)

Head coach: John Begier, 10th year.
Last year’s record: 21-6.
Key returnees: Senior midfielder Jack Wilson, senior defenseman Dario Falcone, senior defenseman Alex Hino, senior midfielder Adam Neiberg, junior attackman Clayton Proctor, junior attackman Westy McLaughlin, junior midfielder Kyler Albany, junior defenseman Phil Regan.
Players to watch: Senior midfielder Luke Jones, senior midfielder Cole Scheuerle, senior midfielder Dan Connolly, senior midfielder Jake Honesty, junior goalie Tucker Ballbach, junior midfielder Chris Austen.
Outlook: Begier said, “We have new faces both offensively and defensively stepping into key spots. Our league looks as competitive as its ever been, and we are excited for the challenge of the upcoming season.”

Radnor (girls)

Head coach: Brooke Fritz, sixth year.
Last year’s record: 22-3 overall, 10-1 Central League.
Key returnees: Senior attack Emily Games, senior midfielder Fallon Quinn, senior midfielder Katie Quinn, senior midfielder/defender Abby Lord, junior midfielder/defender Nicole Massimino.
Others to watch: Junior attack Julianne Puckette, junior attack Hope Smith, junior goalie Alexa Solomon.
Lost to graduation: Lindsay Frumer (Dartmouth), Kaelee Helms (William & Mary), Katy Junior (Penn), Lexi Kenneally (UConn), Maddie Lally (Penn State), Reilly Masterson (Penn State), Megan Massimino (Georgetown), Hannah Proctor (Notre Dame).
Outlook: Fritz said, “We have big shoes to fill, especially on the defensive end of the field, but I think we will reload and be ready for our tough Central League season. We are fast and we are experienced, but most importantly, this group has a great bond and gets how important a cohesive culture is. I’m excited to get started and grow with this group.”

Sacred Heart

Head coach: Bill Santora, first year.
Last year’s record: 4-14 overall, 2-10 AACA.
Key returnees: Senior midfielder Ashley Corsi, senior defender Gab Hunt, senior midfielder Bridgid Gliwa, senior midfielder Moira Fullman, sophomore midfielder Hannah Seifried.
Others to watch: Freshman midfielder Danielle Santora.
Lost to graduation: goalie Katie Honebrink, midfielder Jenna Palumbo, attack Celine Dugan.
Outlook: Santora said, “The key for [us] this year will be for the junior and senior class to step up in the offensive category. Having a new freshman goalie will make it a challenge to prevent scoring by the opposition, but with the senior leadership of Gab Hunt on defense, hopefully our goalie will [display] confidence in the goal. The biggest challenge this year will be getting the girls to work together and compete in our superior AACA lacrosse league. But I have confidence that the nucleus of girls we have will rise to the occasion and be competitive with most of our league teams! We look to improve our record from last year.”

Shipley (boys)

Head coach: Mark Duncan, 15th year.
Last year’s record: 15-6 overall, 5-2 Friends Schools League (second place).
Key returnees: Senior attack/middie and co-captain Tate Gallagher (Richmond commit), senior middie and co-captain Amir Fluellen (Salisbury commit), senior defender Nick Ibrahim-Gonzalez, junior defender Trevor Green, junior middie Nick Yi (Cleveland State commit), junior attack Pete Moeller, junior attack Chad Allison, sophomore defender Will Drake.
Others to watch: Junior attack Frank Campanale, junior goalie Colton Gallo, sophomore middie Griff Gallagher, senior defender Nick Ragaglia.
Lost to graduation: Long stick middie Chris Verdeur (Gettysburg), defender David Wolfson, defender/midfielder Keagan Farr.
Lost to transfer: Senior goalie Ian Walsh (transferred to Harriton).
Outlook: The Gators return their entire offense from 2015 – a team that won 15 games and that scored 269 goals (13 per game). Last year, Shiplay averaged almost nine assists per game, and scopped up more than 700 ground balls (more than 30 per game). Unfortunately, the Gators lost Walsh, who posted a .700 svae percentage and started every game the past three years. Gallagher scored 72 goals and dished out 51 assists in his junior campaign. Rounding out the Gators’ starting mid line is Fluellen, who scored 31 goals and dished out 31 assists past year. Junior faceoff and two-way middie Nick Yi had 14 goals and 11 assists in just seven games last year before an injury sidelined him. An all-junior attack line of Peter Moeller, Chad Allison and Frank Campanale put up more than 50 points, with each player starting every game. The Gators are looking to junior goalie Colton Gallo to step in between the pipes. Nick Ibrahim-Gonzalez is a takeaway and ground ball machine – last season he had 79 ground balls and 65 takeaways.

Shipley (girls)

Head coach: Molly Fernandez, first year.
Last year’s record: 5-11 overall, 4-3 Friends Schools League.
Key returnees: Senior defender Emily Talluto (LaSalle commit), sophomore midfielder Ashleigh Gundy, senior midfielder Jenna Litner.
Others to watch: Senior midfielder Christina Piasecki, freshman goalie Grace Donnelly.
Lost to graduation: defender Anna Scutt, midfielder Madison Tucker, attack Demi Karalis, goalie Alli Kothari (Michigan), attack Rachel Shapiro.
Outlook: Fernandez said, “Right now our team is built upon a strong yet very young defense. Spearheaded by senior captain Emily Talluto, who is headed to La Salle next year, our remaining low defenders are all underclassman but extremely athletic. Our defense is anchored down by freshman goalie Grace Donnelly – her Dad played goalie at Navy.
“Our biggest key this season will be winning the draw. We have been working with sophomore Ashley Gundy on mastering the draw in technique and placement. With her height we are expecting to have a high percentage of draw controls. Shooting percentage will be our second biggest focus. If we can score on all of our shots we will outlast any team.
“Our biggest challenge this season will be staying disciplined in everything we do. Most importantly we will be focusing on the art of possession on our offensive end. Last year we had a habit of forcing the low percentage shot, which would led to the opponents’ goalie save and fast break goal.”

Villa Maria Academy

Head coach: Kiera Huntsman, first year.
Last year’s record: 12-6 overall, 10-3 AACA.
Key returnees: Junior midfielder Audrey Fantazzia, junior defender Sarah Moffit.
Others to watch: Freshman midfielder Adele Iacobucci.
Outlook: Huntsman said, “The girls are doing a great job with their defensive positioning and slowing the ball on transition. The biggest key this year would have to be to use their voices, creating more of a chatter on the field. We also do not want to force the ball too much and create the best shot option.”

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