March 25, 2010

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Mount lacrosse squad young but not green

Marple Newtown defenders finally realized they had to double-team the Mount’s Olivia Gannon (center, with ball). That was after the MSJ freshman fired in a team-high five goals.

As if it wasn’t bad enough to lose six lacrosse players to graduation, four of the underclassmen on the 2009 Mount St. Joseph Academy squad have not returned this spring.

That means the Magic are in trouble, right?

Apparently not, going by last Thursday’s opening scrimmage against host Marple Newtown, a Central League power of long standing. Visiting MSJ jumped ahead at the outset and led the rest of the way until the ersatz contest reached a 14-9 conclusion. Marple actually made up some ground near the end of the scrimmage, when the Mount had some of its reserves playing on the field and in goal.

“I wasn’t surprised at all,” third-year head coach Lori Ehret said of the Magic’s impressive performance. “I knew right away that we have a strong, solid team this year. Our JV is just as strong, too.”

The youthful Mount squad includes just two seniors. Defense wing Corinne Caracausa will play lacrosse at Holy Cross College, and first home Tara Beppel, a Norwood Fontbonne Academy graduate, is still sorting out her college options.

There are three junior mainstays in the midfield, returnees Stevie Wells and Shannon Zoldey, and Jenna Seybert, a transfer from Gwynedd Mercy Academy who started for the MSJ field hockey team last fall. Two other 11th-graders from last year’s team, Maura Carroll and Melissa Gavin, are currently working the swing shift between JV and varsity.

The Magic’s defensive unit includes a pair of sophomores, Maddie Haas and Haley Hendel, while a third 10th-grader, Laura Pacheco, plays at the other end of the field in the line attack.

Three talented freshmen are spread along the field, Olivia Gannon on attack, Coach Ehret’s daughter Emilee in the defensive midfield, and Norwood Fontbonne alum Dominique Nyzio back in the line defense.

“The freshmen are playing like veterans,” the Mount’s mentor noted. Everyone knows what they’re doing out there.”

Three other members of the impressive ninth-grade class have caught the coach’s eye; defenders Meghan McCabe and Lexi Meister, and line attacker Liz Tilger.

In the goalcage, Gabbie Roundbehler got the start in last week’s scrimmage, and the team’s other keepers are fellow junior Angela Saponaro and freshman Alex Lista.

The team’s primary assistant coach is another Ehret daughter, Margaretha, an All-Inter-Ac lacrosse and field hockey player at Penn Charter who went on to play college hockey at the University of Virginia and at Penn. A second highly-qualified assistant is Springfield (Montco) High grad Becca Edwards, who was a senior starter for the 2009 Penn lacrosse team that reached the NCAA semifinals.



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