MARPLE — As her teammates packed up their gear and headed out of Cardinal O’Hara’s stadium after Archbishop Carroll’s 16-4 victory over Mount St. Joseph Academy Tuesday, Keri Barnett did a little house cleaning.
The senior went around one end of the field and picked up any loose balls scattered around and put them in her backpack. That’s usually a task for freshmen and sophomores, but Barnett took it upon herself to make sure Carroll had all of its equipment before leaving. To her, it was no big deal.
“We all share it,” Barnett said.
No wonder the coaches in the Catholic League picked Barnett as the league’s Most Valuable Player. No job is too small for the West Chester-bound senior.
“She’s a good kid and she’ll do whatever you tell her to do,” Carroll coach Lorraine Beers said. “We tell her to play the whole game, take almost every draw and get exhausted, but she just keeps on going. She has endless energy.”
As usual, Barnett did a little of everything to send the Patriots (17-4) into Saturday’s quarterfinals of the PIAA Class 2A tournament against Villa Maria, an 18-4 winner over District 2 champ Crestwood. Barnett scored twice, had two draw controls from the center and played a key role on defense to lead the Patriots past the Magic (16-6), who were making their PIAA tournament debut.
“She can do every part of the game,” Beers said of Barnett. “She has great stick skills. She’s amazing at tracking balls and getting groundballs. We need her on the draw circle or taking the draw, either way. She’s awesome on D. You have to have her on D. She’s a threat everywhere. She’s one of those kids that you just can’t take off the field.”
Barnett set the tone early. It was a 1-1 game after the Mount’s Maggie Wooley found the back of the net, but Carroll scored five straight goals to take a 6-2 lead at halftime.
“They pass the ball really quickly, which we was saw against Penn Charter,” Wooley said. “Staying on the 8 (yard mark), it’s so hard to defend that. Almost all of their goals were off feeds and quick shots. That was hard to defend.”
Mount received two goals from Devon McGarvey, one in each half, but it was not enough to match the second half the Patriots put together. After hitting the crossbar and dishing out an assist in the first half, junior Kiley Mottice scored four times to break the game open.
“I knew I needed to get out of my head and play,” Mottice said. “It’s a beautiful day to play lacrosse and I want to be in states. Our team worked hard to get to states and I knew I had to get some in there.”
Emma Talego had one of her three goals and both of her assists in the second half. Nicole Pawelec tallied twice in the second half. Julia Basciano finished with two goals each.
“We just really work really well together,” Barnett said. “We do it together. If one person gets a ground ball on defense we’ll transition to offense. It’s all together.”