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PIAA Class 2A Girls Lacrosse: Carroll, Twin Valley ready for another showdown

The Archbishop Carroll seniors know only one way to finish a girls lacrosse season, and that’s as state champions.

A victory over highly regarded Twin Valley in the PIAA Class 2A championship game Saturday at Panzer Field in State College and the Patriots would earn legendary lacrosse status. It would be their fourth straight state title, unprecedented for a girls team in the Keystone State, and the fifth championship in the history of the program.

Carroll’s flirtation with immortality will be tested early and often by the Raiders, who they defeated in the last two Class 2A state title games. The action begins with a 10 a.m. faceoff between Carroll’s Sienna Golden and Ellie Kaplan of the Raiders, two of the top draw control specialists in the state. It doesn’t take a lot of imagination to visualize the matchup setting the tone.

“I would say Golden and Ellie Kaplan of Twin Valley are probably the two best I’ve seen,” said coach Keith Reidinger, whose Wyomissing squad has lost to both teams this postseason. “(Carroll) has multiple scorers, multiple points of attack and then really, quite frankly, they’re great off the draw. It’s going to be a good matchup off the draw … and Twin Valley just has a way of always being there toward the end.”

Golden also has a way of being there at the end, whether it’s on the lacrosse field, where she’s been a starting midfielder for the three-time defending champion Patriots (20-2) or the field hockey pitch. Before Golden heads to Ohio State on a field hockey scholarship there’s some more business to take care of.

With 90 draw controls won, Golden is flirting with the century mark despite not filling that role until late in her career.

“I wasn’t really the main draw girl for the past three years, so it was nice to step up this year and take on that role,” Golden said. “We have a lot of leaders on defense and offense. Having there be a senior leader in midfield is very important to me and I know it’s important to a lot of us.”

Golden has a process she goes through when she’s out there for draws. It’s a lot more scientific than simply snarling at the opponent.

“Honestly, it’s patience and being able to tune down the motions you have,” Golden said. “It all comes down to digging and pushing and the motion you have. If you don’t have a good motion, you’re not going to win it.”

Golden was credited with one won draw control, Chloe Bleckley four as the Patriots defeated Bishop Shanahan, 4-1, in the semis. The Patriots scored three second-half goals in a 74-second span to pull away.

Across from Golden will be Kaplan, a sophomore and the daughter of coach Courtney Kaplan. Ellie won 12 draw controls and scored three goals in the semis to spark Twin Valley to a 10-9 win over Villa Marie.

Like Carroll counterpart Lorraine Beers, Courtney Kaplan is adept at building a powerful program. The Raiders have won three straight District 3 titles. But they’ve been unable to get past the Patriots, who defeated them 10-8 in the 2022 championship and 17-5 in the final last spring at Panzer Field.

In terms of common opponents, the Patriots this season beat Radnor, which plays Conestoga for the state 3A title, 11-10. Radnor defeated Twin Valley, 8-7, in the regular season.

That obviously will mean nothing once Golden and Kaplan square off Saturday morning.

Source: Berkshire mont

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