Photos/Videos: Colleen Claggett, Scotty Haines, Lennie Malmgren & Mark Zimmaro
By: Jerome Taylor
In the first edition of this season’s girls lacrosse roundup from the Friends School League, perennial powers continued their reign, new challengers to the crown emerged, and a program first win occurred.
Here’s what happened in the first two weeks of FSL play:
Coming off their title 2021 FSL championship campaign, Germantown Friends finds themselves pacing the league once again. Led by a six-senior conglomerate, the Tigers are off to an undefeated start in conference play.
On Tuesday, the Tigers followed up a dominant 14-2 victory over Moorestown Friends on April 8th with an equally impressive 16-4 win over the George School. Clare Meyer had a 7-point afternoon on Tuesday (3 goals, 4 assists), and she, along with fellow senior midfielders Annie McLaughlin (2 goals on Tuesday) and Zoe Schaedle (2 goals on Tuesday), have been pivotal to the Tigers’ pace this season.
“They’re just such dynamic, smart players, and they can really push our transition,” head coach Katie Bergstrom Mark said. “Our transition is so much fun to watch because everyone’s involved… it’s really beautiful kicking it out wide and getting the transition started.”
Germantown Friends’ transition success starts on the defensive end. As seniors, Bluma Hammarhead and Dylan Ragas have been sparking the Tigers’ offense by getting the ball to a combination of Meyer, McLaughlin or Schaedle.
Both McLaughlin and Meyer made history as 8th graders by becoming the first 8th graders to play on Germantown Friends’ varsity roster. Now, both are in the midst of their last season with the Tigers and are trying to earn their third varsity championship.
Meyer, the reigning PASLA FSL MVP, is one of many multi-sport athletes playing for Bergstrom Mark’s team, and in the fall, she’ll be heading to Dartmouth to play basketball. But right now, her senior midfield line, along with senior attacker Alexa Hanson (3 goals on Tuesday), have been the focal points for the Germantown Friends’ versatile offense.
“[Hanson]’s always been the consummate team player, and now she’s running our attack beautifully and setting the standard that we share the ball with each other,” Mark said. “When I look at a result, and we have 7-8 people scoring for me, that's really good lacrosse.”
To Mark’s point on Tuesday, seven players found the back of the net for the Tigers, and that balanced scoring attack will be pivotal if they want to successfully defend their crown this year against some familiar foes and new faces as well.
“We know everyone is looking at us, and we want to be competitive as possible,” Mark said.
Speaking of new faces, Academy of the New Church is the only other team (along with the Tigers) with an undefeated league record, and they’re also undefeated overall. The Lions are off to a 6-0 start, including three wins over conference foes.
They started conference play by knocking off George School 13-4, and they followed that up by beating Abington Friends 11-3 and most recently, they defeated Westtown 13-5 on Tuesday.
Becca Clark led the Lions with a combined 15 points (11 goals, 4 assists) and 20 controlled draws in her games against Westtown and Abington Friends. After scoring her 100th career goal last year, the senior is picking up right where she left off and has been a catalyst in the successful start for the Lions. The lefty was also impressive against Perkiomen, scoring an additional 8 goals in the 15-3 non-league victory.
The Lions have also gotten significant offensive contributions from Sabrina Brock, Xola Wade and Briana McCurdy en route to securing an unblemished record up to this point.
On the other end of the field, Tara Pitcairn has been a stalwart in net, with 8 saves against Abington Friends, 6 saves against Westtown, plus another 6-save performance sprinkled in against Perkiomen. Her play has undoubtedly helped the Lions, who are aiming to capture their first title in program history.
When Ally Muller put the ball in the back of the net for the fifth time against Shipley on Tuesday, she didn’t just secure an overtime victory for Abington Friends but also secured some history. The 9-8 win over Shipley was the first time Abington Friends topped the Gators in their program’s history.
Defensively, the Kangaroos also got a stellar 15-save performance from their goalie Isabella Washington-Vasquez.
After a league opening loss to Academy of the New Church, George School bounced back with a dominant 16-3 win over Friends’ Central on Friday. Freshman twins Izzy (5 goals, 1 assist) and Lexi Matson (3 goals and 1 assist) and senior Tori Gallagher (3 goals, 1 assist) led the Cougars offensively in their first league win of the year.
On Tuesday the Cougars fell to powerhouse Germantown Friends for their second conference loss of the year and now find themselves fifth in the standings.
1. Academy of the New Church 3-0, 6-0
2. Germantown Friends 2-0, 3-2
3. Abington Friends 2-1, 4-3
4. Shipley 1-1, 2-1-1
5. George School 1-2, 3-2
6. Moorestown Friends 1-2, 1-3
7. Westtown 0-1, 0-1
8. Friends’ Central 0-3, 0-3-1
For corrections/additions - please reach out to Jerome Taylor @ThatGuy_Rome
Tag(s): Home Schools Girls Lacrosse Non-Conference Academy of the New Church Friends Central School George School Germantown Friends Moorestown HS Shipley Westtown School Friends Schools League Abington Friends Friends Central ANC Friends Select George School Germantown Friends Moorestown Friends Shipley School Westtown School