WEST CHESTER — District 3 champ Twin Valley defeated District 12 runner-up Cardinal O’Hara 13-9 at West Chester East High School Saturday in a PIAA Class 2A girls lacrosse quarterfinal.
The Raiders (24-1) will move on to the semifinals for the second consecutive year and will face District 1 runner-up Strath Haven on Tuesday at Methacton High School at 3:30 p.m.
“It feels great because I feel like we have a tougher track the way the brackets are,” Twin Valley coach Courtney Kaplan said. “This was a really tough game. We knew it was going to be a really tough game. I’m hoping that this got us prepared for the next one and that we can get ourselves in the finals. I feel like we’re headed there.”
Julia Givens scored a team-high four goals and had one assist for Twin Valley. The senior was able to get open with ease throughout the game as the Lions were unable to cover the numerous threats on the Raiders.
“I definitely think it started on the defense,” Givens said. “They just would have a great stop, and then our offense would do it and it was just my teammates finding me. It wasn’t me that much, it was just having a good passing connection.”
Anna Kaplan led Twin Valley in assists with two and also scored two goals. The team captain said she believes this win gives the Raiders the confidence to be the first team from Berks to not only make a PIAA championship game, but win it as well.
“I mean we’re really just hoping to make it farther than we did last year,” Anna Kaplan said. “And I think we’re all just really getting excited and pumped up for the next team. I think we can win the championship this year and I’m just proud of my team and coach.”
Twin Valley outscored the Lions 6-5 in the second half after taking a 7-4 lead into halftime. The Lions battled throughout and were never out of the game.
Ellie Miller scored a team-high five goals for Cardinal O’Hara, three in the second half as the Raiders had to buckle down against the Lions’ top scorer.
“Number 18 (Miller) is just a phenomenal lefty crease roller and so we just had to send help,” Courtney Kaplan said. “So just knowing that we need extra hands on deck, which then just slides the whole defense and, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t; that’s just the way it goes. Sometimes you take a risk, but ultimately it worked out.”
Cardinal O’Hara outscored Twin Valley 3-2 in the final 10 minutes, but the Raiders were able to hold on for the victory as the defense made the necessary adjustments.
“I will watch a lot of film and then I try to piece it together so that they don’t have to go through what I go through,” Courtney Kaplan said. “I know my girls so well and I know I match up a lot of times just because I know what their skill set is, so you know some of it is that, but they do the work and they have to physically do all that stuff.”
Emma Raines scored the game’s first goal, then Anna Kaplan, Courtney’s daughter, gave the Raiders a 2-0 lead four minutes in.
The Lions tied it at 2-2 six minutes in. Both sides battled for possession over the next several minutes and exchanged a couple goals.
The Raiders began to pull away when Jade Shearer scored with 14:41 left in the first half to make the score 4-3.
Twin Valley outscored Cardinal O’Hara 3-1 during the final 15 minutes of the half and goalie Paige Borkowski made two saves in the final three minutes.
Borkowski finished with seven saves, Hadley Munn scored two goals and had one assist, Raines scored one goal, Shearer scored three goals and had one assist, Samantha Rhoads scored a goal and Emma Winther had an assist for the Raiders.
Heading into perhaps their most important game in program history, Givens said she believes the key to making more history will be staying focused and taking everything one step at a time.
“I just think we have to play our game like we do, don’t let the nerves get to us and just keep playing our game,” Givens said. “We’ll keep working hard and practice staying focused on taking it game by game.”
Source: Berkshire mont