Thursday, March 30, 2017
By Harry Chaykun
They gave up three goals and were held scoreless in the first half of the game.
Then, they lost one of their leading scorers and key possession players on draws in the first minute of the second half
The Conestoga Pioneers reacted to what could have been serious adversity and bounced back to earn a 15-8 Central League decision over visiting Harriton at Teamer Field Thursday afternoon.
Greta Stahl (four goals, two assist) scored twice and Lauren Binnion added a goal to give Harriton a 3-0 lead with 12 minutes left in the opening half. The next six goals came from the sticks of Conestoga players, with Liz Scott getting three, Scottie Rose Growney adding a pair and an assist, and Amelia Kienzle tallying 21 seconds after Scott got the first ’Stoga goal.
“We were getting the opportunities,” Conestoga coach Amy Orcutt said of the first half of the first half. “But we weren’t making the most of our shots.”
Two of the Pioneers’ goals in the first half came when they were one player up because of a Harriton yellow card. Rams goalie Devin McClain help hold her team together by making eight saves in the opening 25 minutes.
With both teams one player down early in the second half, Stahl scored again for Harriton. Conestoga’s Scott had drawn her second yellow card with 24:01 to play and spent the rest of the game on the sideline.
Katelin Williams pulled Harriton even at 6-6 in the third minute of the half, but Kienzle scored and ’Stoga went on a run that resulted in six of the next seven goals.
The last three of those goals were scored by senior Dana Cicchitti, who got one goal in the season-opening win against Notre Dame and two in Wednesday’s Central League victory at Springfield-Delco.
“Maddi Little got hurt, and then we lost Liz (Scott),” said Growney, who finished with five goals and one assist and added eight draw controls. “That wasn’t what we wanted in a game like this. We regrouped and said that someone had to step up for us.
“Dana was so clutch with what she did. She was awesome.”
When Cicchitti started her scoring spree, Conestoga had a two-goal lead. One minute and 17 seconds later, the Pioneers were up by five goals with seven minutes left in the contest.
Ceara Sweeney, Morgan Littlewood, Sydney Sloan, Lindsay Erickson and Emma McGillis chipped in with some strong defensive work for the home team.
“This was a nice team win,” said Cicchitti, who missed the end of her junior season – when Conestoga swept through the PIAA tournament to earn its first state championship – because of pneumonia.
“I guess I just turned out to be the right person in the right place in this game.”
The place Cicchitti and her teammates hope to stay is at the top of the Central League standings. They will face another big challenge Tuesday afternoon when they host Radnor in a rematch of the 2016 state final.
“I just wanted to help pick up my teammates when we needed it today,” Cicchitti said. “It was great hearing Liz yelling for us from the sidelines. We know we have to keep working and trying to get better.”
Conestoga 15, Harriton 8
Harriton 4 4 – 8
Conestoga 6 9 – 15
Greta Stahl 4G 2A
Katelin Williams 3G
Molly McDonough 1G
Devin McClain 9 saves
Scottie Growney 5g 1a
Liz Scott 3g
Dana Cicchitti 3g 1a
Amelia Kienze 2g 1a
Cameron Evitts 1g
Maddie Wood 1g
Anne Frascella 7 saves.