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PIAA Class 2A Girls Lacrosse: Maillet, McNeely lead Strath Haven to states win

DOWNINGTOWN — Strath Haven got off to a fast start in its PIAA Class 2A girls lacrosse opener Tuesday and never looked back in a 15-8 win against Susquehannock, earning its first states win during the reign of coach Pigeon Graham.

The District 1 runner-up Panthers (17-5-1) jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the first 12 minutes at Downingtown’s DiSerafino Stadium and led by three or more goals for the balance of the game.

Strath Haven senior midfielders Devon Maillet and Danielle McNeely combined for 11 goals. The Colgate signee Maillet scored seven times after tallying six in the district final.

“I think the key in the beginning was moving the ball quickly,” Graham said. “We knew that they were going to pressure us high and they were going to come out and double-team, so we tried to draw the double teams and make the pass to the open girl.”

With McNeely winning the early draw controls, the Panthers scored just 42 seconds in via Maillet. McNeely scored three minutes later, won the ensuing draw, then Maillet fired home her second goal of the game.

Despite several solid saves by Susquehannock sophomore goalie KC O’Neill, Strath Haven built a 6-0 lead with 13:26 to go before halftime. Maillet already had a hat trick.

Susquehannock began to get more control of the draw and its offense began to score. Junior midfielder Addison Roeder and junior attack Sydney Marusko combined for seven goals.

Susquehannock cut Strath Haven’s lead to 8-4 by half and trailed only 9-6 with 15:28 to play when Roeder’s shot found the net for her fourth of the game.

Strath Haven then went on a 5-0 run, holding the Warriors scoreless for the next 10 minutes.

McNeely gave the Panthers a quick goal when, with Strath Haven up 10-6, she recovered a Susquehannock turnover and scored. The Panthers won the ensuing draw and Laura Connor tallied to make it 12-6 with 9:53 to go.

Graham praised the Panthers’ defense.

“Our middies, Devon and Danielle, always (perform) and our defense is always solid, they work well together and did a great job communicating today and coming up with the big stop,” said Graham. “Olivia Fox, Annie Atsaves and Ali Broome played well. They all just play really solid defense together as a unit, it’s hard to pick one of them out because they work so well together.”

Just as in the district final, Strath Haven put senior defender McKenzie Raech on the draw later in the game, with successful results.

“We were really feisty today and wanted those groundballs,” Maillet said. “We worked hard for them. … I think we really worked as a team today. Coming into this game we were really motivated and wanted to win. It was a team effort.”

The Panthers advance to the quarterfinals Saturday to play District 7 champion Mars, who defeated District 10 champion Conneaut, 15-7.

“The whole team played well today, it’s really fun to have a state win under our belts, and go on to the next game,” Graham said. “We’re hoping to keep this season going.”

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