Berwyn – The Conestoga girls’ lacrosse team (16-0 overall, 12-0 Central League), which captured its second consecutive Central League title last week, have been clicking on all cylinders this season.
“I think this year’s team is unique because we have the majority of our team last year returning and they all get along and have a lot of fun together,” said Conestoga girls’ lacrosse head coach Amy Orcutt. “They are always laughing and dancing and having a good time together. We play music at practice during warmup and I think it relaxes them.”
Last year’s Pioneer squad lost in the PIAA state finals to defending state champ Garnet Valley, but turned the tables on the Jaguars last Tuesday, defeating them 15-10.
“This group knows what it feels like to win big games and to lose big games and what it takes to get to the state championship game,” said Orcutt. “They are focused and have worked hard to get better each day.”
The Pioneers are averaging more than 15 goals per game, nearly half of them assisted. Leading the way offensively has been senior attack Monica Borzillo, who recently dished out her 100th career assist (a school record). As of Monday, her season totals are a team-leading 44 goals, 53 assists and 19 caused turnovers (tied for the team lead with Sondra Dickey).
“She makes things happen on the field, and has been a key force on the offensive end,” said Orcutt.
In addition to her 19 caused turnovers, Dickey has scored 36 goals and won 36 draw controls.
“Sondra has been great on both ends of the field,” said Orcutt. “She is tall and fast and has a great nose for the cage.”
Like Dickey, Hannah Ashton has scored 36 goals for the Pioneers so far this season.
“Hannah is quick and fast and has a great 1v1 move to cage,” said Orcutt. “She has come up big in many games for us.”
Another big offensive contributor has been Paige Loose (29 goals, 16 draw controls).
“Paige is so quick inside the 8, it’s hard to defend her,” said Orcutt.
The Pioneers have won 195 draw controls, and leading the way has been Liz Scott, with 67 draw controls, as well as 35 goals and nine assists.
“Liz is the motivator on the field and keeps the team focused,” said Orcutt. “She is a major player on both ends of the field.”
Defensively, the Pioneers have caused more than 100 turnovers this season. Inside the pipes, Conestoga goalie Jules Horning has compiled a save percentage a little over .500.
“Jules has made some pretty huge saves in big games,” said Orcutt. “She has so much confidence in the goal and is always composed.”
Two other key defenders have been Elisabeth Ingersoll (14 caused turnovers) and Maggie Hanzsche (seven caused turnovers).
“Elisabeth has great stick work and great field vision in the midfield,” said Orcutt. “She has started to play a little midfield for us and has done a fantastic job. Maggie has been a great defender for us. She has great 1v1 and team defense and is a great communicator with her teammates.”
While Conestoga wants to get back to the PIAA state final, Orcutt is reminding her squad to focus on one post-season game at a time.
“At this point in the season it’s do-or-die for so many teams,” said Orcutt. “So you can’t think about anything but the game you are about to play. There are so many outstanding teams who could beat any team on any given day. We are just trying to focus on each game at a time, because if you look too far ahead, you may not even be there.”