GA girls' lacrosse is a youthful program this spring

by Tom Utescher
Posted 3/31/21

In girls' lacrosse, Germantown Academy certainly qualifies as a young program this spring, with a total of 19 freshmen and sophomores in the ranks as opposed to just nine juniors and seniors. …

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GA girls' lacrosse is a youthful program this spring

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In girls' lacrosse, Germantown Academy certainly qualifies as a young program this spring, with a total of 19 freshmen and sophomores in the ranks as opposed to just nine juniors and seniors. Following some early Inter-Ac setbacks on the road at Springside Chestnut Hill (11-16 on March 19) and Episcopal Academy (7-17 on March 22), the Patriots came back home last Thursday to make a stronger showing in a non-league bout against Lower Merion High School.

GA jumped ahead early, but the Aces were back within two goals at halftime, when the Pats led, 11-9. Six minutes into the second period Lower Merion was just one point behind before the Patriots began to steadily pull away. A few late markers by the Aces set the final score at 22-17.

Of course, there was no official competition at all for last year's GA seniors, including Norwood Fontbonne Academy grad and Hill native Maddie Burns, who is now playing at the University of Michigan.

Current senior Elise Smigiel, who has signed with Marquette, is also an NFA alum, as is her sister Lucia, a freshman who has made the varsity squad.

The elder Smigiel is a GA team captain for 2021 along with her four classmates, Talison Jordan, Juleana Landmesser, Devin Smith, and Mackenzie Smith. Mackenzie Smith will be joining the lacrosse program at Middlebury College, Jordan will be attending the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia, and Landmesser will attend Penn State. Devin Smith expects to decide soon between her two college "finalists."

Only Jordan and Devin Smith started in Thursday's game; Mackenzie Smith had a conflict, Landmesser was recovering from a stress fracture, and Smigiel had what is thought to be a minor ankle ailment (but she did enter the game later on).

In last Thursday's scrimmage, juniors Heidi Cross and Cailin Hasson both started, as did sophomores Sage Battisto, Sarah Marvin, and Mia Raven. Another 10th grader, Taylor Weiss, started in the goal cage. She has been splitting time in the nets this season with freshman Zander Shallow.

The only other juniors on the roster are Quinn Dooley (a third-year varsity player) and Kate Cooper.

Besides the three sophomores who started against Lower Merion, the 10th-grade contingent features Gracen Brant, Claire McMichael, and Josie Munson. Munson is a transfer from Colorado who was a valuable member of GA's basketball team this winter.

Freshmen Maggie Borek, Emma Goodwin, Giada Ippoldo, and Caitlin Luviano got the nod to start last Thursday, and the large freshman class also includes Riley Malone, Marguerite Morrissey, Kaitlin Pokorny, Lucia Smigiel, Annabel Gaito, Sophie Goodridge, and Hadley Herbert.

A handful of these players were officially classified as varsity/JV swing players, but just about everybody got into the action last Thursday without much of a drop-off seen in the level of play. In this second spring of COVID, it appears that there will be fewer JV games played than in a normal season.

Cheltenham High School and Penn State alum Mary Dean is back for her fourth season as head coach at Germantown Academy. This year she's joined by assistant Julia Galantich, a 2018 graduate of Chestnut Hill College who scored 133 career goals and provided 106 assists for the Griffins.

In the Patriots' game last Thursday, GA got four goals apiece from Cross (three assists) and Goodwin (two assists), and three goals and three assists from Raven. Other multiple goal-scorers, with two apiece, were Herbert (three assists), Borek (one assist) and Luviano (one assist).

In goal, five saves were recorded for Weiss in the first half, with four for Shallow in the second stanza.

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