Carroll girls lacrosse goes to the state championship — again

Michael Livingston

The Archbishop Carroll Girls Lacrosse team steamrolled Mount Saint Joseph Academy 20-5 on Tuesday as the team advanced to their third consecutive PIAA 2A State Championship final. 

Junior Chloe Bleckley and Senior Lainey Straub led the scoring with four goals a piece, while seniors Machaela Henry and Cate McConaghy netted three of their own. Sophomores Claire Sexton (2), Kate O’Neil (1), Gracie Kucia (1), and freshman Greta Potten (1) got in on the scoring faction as well. 

For most of the season and well into the Philadelphia Catholic League and state playoffs, the Patriots have relied on a high-scoring offense to jump on opponents early and often, something that is easy to take for granted when a team becomes so accustomed to it. 

However, Head Coach Lorraine Beers said the team takes nothing for granted.

“These girls don’t look at it as there being nothing to play for,” Beers said. “They know the pressure that’s on their shoulders. So how could you take it for granted?”

During Tuesday’s contest, the Mount took an early 1-0 lead. However, senior Machaela Henry won a quick draw and blew past the defense to tie the game all up at one a side. A goal from Chloe Bleckley gave the Pats a 2-1 advantage a few minutes into the half, though the Magic would tie it up soon after. Lainey Straub filled the void with an absolute missile from the right side to give Carroll the lead once more. After another game-tying goal from The Mount, Carroll began to pull away, much to the credit of sophomore Clair Sexton, who recorded two goals in less than a minute to widen the margin to two. 

As the first half winded down, the Patriots’ lead continued to grow, reaching an eventual five-goal difference by the game’s intermission. The Patriots had dominated the first half, with much credit going to their dominating defense, which forced multiple turnovers that turned into transition goals, giving Carroll their straddling lead. 

As the second half began, Coach Beers’ team showed its unique versatility as it flipped the script, holding possession for nearly the entirety of the final frame, all the while adding 11 goals to their total. On the off chance that Saint Joseph’s did get a prolonged offensive possession, it would usually end in the stick of senior goalie Bridget Robinson, who, after a rough start, was able to captain the Pats defense through nearly 30 straight minutes of scoreless lacrosse. 

Robinson headlines a list of recent Carroll grads who will be making the move to the college lacrosse scene next year with her commitment to Longwood University. Laney Straub (Penn State), Aniyah Bishop (LaSalle), Ella Wright (Ohio State), and Ava Bleckley (James Madison University) will all continue the Carroll lacrosse legacy in the NCAA next year. 

As for the Pats, they will await the winner of Bishop Shanahan and Twin Valley HS before heading up to State College to compete for their third straight state title Saturday with a 10:00 a.m. draw time. Roll Pats!