Girls fall to Easton in league title game
The Parkland girls lacrosse team made a big comeback, but came up just short of finishing it off for a victory.
After falling behind 7-1 in the opening 9:52 of the first half, the Trojans slowly chipped away throughout the remainder of the game. When senior Abby Giacobbe found the back of the net with just 15 seconds remaining, the Trojans had tied the game at 13-13 to force overtime.
But Easton star attacker Leanna Deegan won the opening draw control of the extra time, raced down field and fired the game-winning goal into the top left corner just 16 seconds into overtime for a 14-13 victory in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference championship game Monday evening at Northampton High School.
The loss snaps a streak of five consecutive league titles for the Trojans (15-5), and ends an 18-game win streak against Easton (15-2), a team they beat by one goal during the regular season.
The two teams know each other well. They have played in four championship games (two EPC and two District 11) during the last two years, all won by Parkland.
Deegan has given Parkland fits in nearly every game. With the combination of her size, strength and athleticism, she is a matchup problem for any player on any team. To prevent her from doing damage, it is always key to win the draw control.
In overtime, the one the Trojans needed most, they did not get.
“We had been practicing defending her on the draw for a while,” said Parkland head coach Dawn Cipolla. “She’s just really good at it, and really tall, so she has some advantages she can use. It unfortunately didn’t fall our way when we needed it to.”
Parkland found itself playing catch up from the outset. Easton scored the game’s opening goal just 13 seconds in, and tallied seven of the first eight to hold a commanding 7-1 lead with just about 10 minutes played.
But, one goal at a time, the Trojans began chipping away at their deficit. Mackenzie Roth recorded three of her five goals in the first half, and Parkland scored five of the final six goals in the last 14:11 to pull to within two goals at 8-6 at halftime.
It went back and forth early in the second half and the Trojans found themselves down 13-11 with less than three minutes to go.
Senior Camryn Barnett scored her third goal of the game with 2:16 left to set up Giacobbe’s tying goal as the clock was nearing zero.
“I think we finally started to play our game at the end, working together and getting some stops on defense,” Cipolla said. “We have an inner drive about us to just never give up, and I loved seeing that they didn’t give up. I just think they played a better game.”
Roth had a team-high five goals with three assists, and Barnett had the hat trick. Morgan Hurd contributed two goals and an assist, and Abby Pope, Irene Lee and Giacobbe each had a goal. Senior goal Brie Barraco made eight saves.
After the game, Parkland had five members named EPC All-Stars. Pope, Katie Rawski, Jill Bushinsky and Barraco were all-stars, and Barnett was named the league MVP.
Parkland moves on to the District 11 tournament and will be the two seed with a game Thursday against seventh-seeded Nazareth at 7 p.m. at Parkland High School.