All right, so people keep badgering me for when a Super 7 is coming out, so let’s go with today. We usually try to save the first one for previews/outlooks/overviews whatever we tend to call them these days, but with everyone having a game or two – minimum – under their belts, this isn’t a bad time.
Email is firstname.lastname@example.org, Twitter is @MattChandik. Here we go…
1. Strath Haven (1-0, 0-0)
The Panthers came oh-so-close to their first PIAA title a year ago when they couldn’t stop Garnet Valley from a late comeback that ended with two-time All-Delco Halley Barnes‘ overtime goal. However, the upside is that they bring a whole bunch of talent from that team, which was on display in a season-opening 17-3 bludgeoning of Bishop Shanahan. Kirsten Wilhelmsen and Katherine Restrepo led the charge with four goals apiece, while Kristen Hansen fired in three. I expect the No. 1 spot to be a topsy-turvy one with several suitors, but in terms of who’s back, it’s hard to argue against the Panthers, unless you want to go with…
2. Radnor (0-0, 0-0)
Yeah, the Red Raiders are pretty darn good, too. It’s basically a 1A and 1B situation for me and I understand the argument for either side. Brooke Fritz‘s group gets a bit of a later start than everyone else, so that’s why there aren’t any games played yet. But once they start the games, the Red Raiders will be a handful for everyone to take on. As Fritz said in the season preview, defenders Lyndsey Britton and Abby Junior will lead the charge for Radnor, while goalie Grace Collins should rank among the county’s elite goalies.
3. Garnet Valley (1-0, 0-0)
The two-time state champs got the Jenny Purvis era started off right as they took out Unionville, 11-8, in the season opener. Expect big, big things from Haley Warden this year. The junior midfielder has All-American potential, potential she flashed in lighting up the Indians for four goals, and is merely the latest in a long line of superb Warden lacrosse players. Freshman Emily Mathewson joined in on the fun with a pair of goals, as did Sabrina Fusco and Dana Davis. GV has nonleague dates with Our Lady of Good Counsel (Md.) and Archbishop Carroll before starting the league slate with Strath Haven and Radnor in the same week. Tall task.
4. Springfield (2-0, 0-0)
Two-time All-Delco Alex Poplawski is the most talented returning player in the county. The Stanford commit showed off why as she tossed in six goals to go with two assists as the Cougars knocked off Downingtown West, 14-9, in the opener, before handing out four assists to go with a goal in a 16-4 win over West Chester East. She’s got running mates, too. Emily Paulus sniped five goals and added a pair of helpers, while Kate Ryan and Emily Santana fired in hat tricks against the Vikings. I’m interested in seeing if Springfield is on the same level as the top 3, plus Harriton and Conestoga.
5. Archbishop Carroll (0-0, 0-0)
The 84,761-time (or so. Give or take a year or two) defending Catholic League champions haven’t gotten started yet, but once they do, they’ll be a force to be reckoned with. All-Delco Natalie Schmitt will be the headliner and she’ll have help in the form of Radnor transfer Taryn Deck. Don’t expect to see eye-popping stats from anyone because Lorraine Beers gets all of her players involved in Catholic League play, but what will be interesting to see is how the Patriots do in nonleague play. A year ago, they couldn’t buy a win, even though almost every game was close.
6. Episcopal Academy (0-2, 0-0)
The Churchmen didn’t do themselves any favors with the nonleague scheduling. There was a tough 9-8 loss to Garrison Forest before taking one on the chin, 17-3, against defending mythical national champion McDonogh (Md.). It’s still impossible to go with anyone else as the Inter-Ac favorite until someone proves they can knock EA off its perch that it’s held for eight years. The Churchmen and Notre Dame split the title last year, but EA claimed the PAISAA tournament final. MC Curran has gotten off to a hot start with four goals in the opener, while Lily Crager scored her first varsity goal against McDonogh.
7. Notre Dame (1-0, 0-0)
The Irish smoked The Hill School, 18-5, to get their season started off right. As you might expect, Nora McCallion was at the forefront with five goals and two assists, while Katie Schneider paired three goals with two assists. Delaney Tuite and Jess Derstine also tossed in hat tricks. After one game, at least, it seems like ND is doing just fine offensively without two-time All-Delco and All-American Kristen Bandos, but let’s wait and see if that holds up. McCallion takes over the mantle of “Best Passer in Delco” from Garnet Valley All-Delco AnnaElise Morello and she should be able to make a lot of things happen for ND.
Also considered: None.
You’ll notice that every team’s name is highlighted. Clicking on the link will take you to the team page. I’ve been in Hershey for the past two days for state basketball, so I haven’t gotten around to updating everyone’s stats yet. I should have everyone ready to go by Monday or early Tuesday. Keep an eye out for more previews, too.
– MATT CHANDIK