"The big difference from the district game was that our defense answered the call," third-year Jaguars coach Kate Henwood said. "They had a phenomenal second half."
Goalie Kate Stroup, with solid support from low defenders Missy Koscinski and Coley Ricci, notched nine of her 15 saves after the break.
"Our defense deserves a lot of credit," midfielder Allyson Heavens said. "When it mattered the most, they came up big. They made certain that we didn't give the game away."
On Saturday, at 12:30 p.m. at Hersheypark Stadium, Garnet Valley will try for its second straight state crown, against Strath Haven. The Panthers ousted District 3's Penn Manor, 9-5, in the other semifinal.
After prevailing in the regular season, the Jaguars bowed to the Red Raiders, 13-12, in districts.
"This was a big redemption game for us," senior attack Halley Barnes said. "We were all so ready to get them back."
Heavens, a 5-foot-3 senior ticketed for Penn State, registered three of her five goals in the first half.
"She's so dynamic," Henwood said. "She's one of the most athletic kids you'll see at the high school level."
Late in the first half, a tally by Heavens and two scores from junior Ashley Pyle gave the Jaguars (23-3) a 10-7 advantage.
Early in the second, Natalie Miller's fourth goal moved Radnor (19-5) in front, 11-10. Garnet Valley answered back with scores from AnnaElise Morello, Barnes, Heavens, and Haley Warden.
"They caused a couple of key turnovers in that stretch," Red Raiders coach Brooke Fritz said. "I think we got a little bit jittery."
Heavens, on an assist from Kara Stroup, made it 15-12 with a little less than six minutes to play. Radnor fought back again, with Shannon Quinn's fourth score and Moira Mahoney's first, to make it 15-14 with 29 seconds remaining.
On Saturday, the Jaguars will try for a third win against Strath Haven this season. In the district quarters, Heavens and company rolled, 16-6.
"They're a familiar foe," Henwood said. "A lot of the girls play on the same club team [Brandywine Majors]."
Garnet Valley 10 5 – 15
Radnor 8 6 – 14
Goals: GV-Allyson Heavens 5, AnnaElise Morello 3, Ashley Pyle 3, Halley Barnes 2, Haley Warden, Kara Stroup; R-Natalie Miller 4, Shannon Quinn 4, Libby Lowry 2, Kristen Norden, Taylor Quinn, Taryn Deck, Moira Mahoney.
Saves: GV-Kate Stroup 15; R-Grace Collins 4, Colleen Packer 3.
Contact Rick O'Brien at 610-313-8019, email@example.com, or on Twitter @ozoneinq. Read his blog, "The O'Zone," at www.philly.com/ozone