PHS shows no rust in district lax semifinal
After a week off from their last game, there may have been fear of a little rust or a slow start from the Parkland girls lacrosse team in the district playoffs. But there was no such thing in Tuesday's semifinal.
Seven days after winning the East Penn Conference title, the Trojans, which received a first-round bye in districts, took on Moravian Academy for the right to play in Thursday's District 11 championship game.
Five goals from senior midfielder Mackenzie Galli helped lead No. 1 seed Parkland (19-2) to a 16-9 victory over No. 4 seed Moravian Tuesday night at Emmaus High School's Memorial Field.
"We worked really hard this last week to prepare what we had to do to get ready for this game," said junior Lexi Rice, who scored the second goal of the night for the Trojans. "We knew they just had a big win against Emmaus and they were going to be up for this one. It felt nice to be out there again, playing hard and getting the win."
After the Lions scored first on a goal from Katie Schantz, Parkland ran out to a 9-3 lead as Ana Emrick recorded her second goal of the game early in the second half.
Olivia Simone and Meaghan McMullan responded with back-to-back goals in under a minute for Moravian Academy, though, to make it a four-goal game.
But the momentum came to a halt when Galli got behind defenders. The VCU-bound attacker struck twice in 23 seconds to make it a safe lead once again for the Trojans.
Parkland's other senior starter, University of Colorado signee Sophie Castillo, chipped in three goals. They all came in the first half to help build up the lead.
Freshman goalie Brie Barraco played like an experienced veteran in making important saves in important situations to keep her team in the lead and the Lions from making any kind of runs. Barraco made eight saves on the night.
"Brie played phenomenal," said head coach Dawn Cippola. "She saved a lot that could have been game-changing."
Freshman Camryn Barnett was one goal shy of recording her first career hat-trick, but moved the ball well and helped the offense flow all night. Cat Gaffney also tallied two goals, with Sarah Staggard finding the back of the net once.
Parkland now gets the game they've been waiting a month for. The Trojans will square off with number two seed Southern Lehigh, a 9-7 winner over Parkland back in April, in the District 11 final Thursday night.
"We're looking forward to it," said Rice. "We need to settle the ball better offensively and get our offense into a rhythm. We've had a long season now to work together, and we don't want it to end yet."