By: Alec Eskin
The Regular season for lacrosse in 2022 is now over and a new season has started: the District One Playoffs. This is not a new kind of year for the Jaguars as they have been here before a numerous amount of times. The Jaguars have made it to at least the District One Semifinal game the last five years (not including 2020). Last year, they were able to make it to the District One Championship game before eventually losing to the District one Champion Unionville Longhorns. This year, they are going in as the number seven seed after having arguably the toughest strength of schedule of any team in District One. They will certainly have their hands full this coming playoffs as well. However, they have a multitude of really good players.
On offense, you have division one commits in Sophie Kingsborough (Coastal Carolina) and Ava Kane (Rutgers). Then, you also have high contributing attackers in Mia Raucci, Maddie Shoemaker, and Lex Garrity (Clemson). Kingsborough just scored her 100th goal this year and has been lethal on eight meter free shots. Then, Kane has been winning a lot of draws after suffering a knee injury earlier on in the year. Also, she has been getting heavily involved on offense putting herself in the right places at the right times to score goals. Lastly, the emergence of Raucci and Shoemaker have made a big difference on offense and provide a lot of talent for years to come.
Then, you have midfielders in Kaitlyn Stankavage (Temple), Mia Zebley (Elon), and Sydney Erdman(Kentucky for nursing). All of which are the most versatile and fast players on the field. Stankavage is always the person around the ball and is at her best in a fast pace, transition offense. Her speed also has helped out Garnet Valley of free shots, being able to get opposing goalies to bite on pump fakes during free shot attempts. Mia Zebley has had a breakout year, having a lot of success on both ends of the field. She had quietly had games with multiple goals in any game no matter how much or how little Garnet Valley scores. Lastly, Sydney Erdman did a really solid job filling in for Kane on draws while out. She has been able to make some noise as well on both ends of their field with her quickness.
On defense, this is perhaps the part of the team that had the most turnover, but they have handled it in stride. You have Kennesaw State commits in Mak Butler in goal and Erin Barnes ondefense. Both of them have made stops in the highest of pressure situations and have been very clutch for the Jaguars this year. Then, the underclassmen in Bridget McCann (junior), Jess Bellis (freshman), and Jenny Green (freshman) have all been huge for Garnet Valley this year and will provide some big talent and stability for the foreseeable future.
Garnet Valley will be facing off against Great Valley today at 5:30 PM, who is the ten seed and a very tough opponent coming off of a win against Council Rock North. This entire team has a lot of depth which could bode well for them in the playoffs. Then, their strength of schedule could help prepare Garnet Valley to play against good teams as the Jaguars played against the likes of Archbishop Carroll, Penn Charter, Episcopal Academy, Manheim Township, Conestoga, Radnor, Unionville, and OJR. Some of these teams they could very likely face in the playoffs again if they advance far enough. If history is a tell of what could happen, then Garnet Valley definitely has a shot at making a run. This could be a very entertaining in the 2022 District One Girls Lacrosse Playoffs.