Strath Haven earns share of Central title

Strath Haven's Kristen Hansen (right) wins a battle for the ball with Harriton's Jane Henderson (left) and Sabrina Tabasso.
Strath Haven's Kristen Hansen (right) wins a battle for the ball with Harriton's Jane Henderson (left) and Sabrina Tabasso. (ED HILLE / Staff)
Posted: May 08, 2013

Twenty minutes after it was over, Morgan Glassford still could hardly catch her breath.

"I'm sorry. I'm just really excited," she said, exasperated, during an interview.

As a senior on the Strath Haven girls' lacrosse team, which clinched a share of the Central League title on Tuesday, Glassford had plenty to be excited about.

Glassford scored four goals and added two assists to lead the Panthers to a 12-11 home victory against Harriton.

With a win, the Rams would have captured the Central League title outright, but with a four-way tie atop the league, it is shared by Strath Haven, Harriton, Springfield (Delco), and Radnor.

Strath Haven coach Rachel Busza said that, although the regular season is over, the Panthers haven't seen the last of their league opponents.

"I think all the Central League teams will end up playing each other at least twice in the district playoffs and state championships," Busza said. "I really think the Central League is the creme de la creme."

Glassford scored three of her goals in the second half to help hold off a late-game rally by Harriton, which had trailed by three at halftime.

"In the first half, [Glassford] wasn't getting the shots she wanted," Busza said. "But when she turns it on, she can shoot it."

Senior midfielder Kirstin Wilhelmsen, a Lafayette recruit and Glassford's cousin, scored three goals and had two assists.

Busza said Glassford and Wilhelmsen have been playing lacrosse together "all their lives."

"This was an emotional game for our seniors," Busza said.

Sophomore midfielder Jane Henderson scored six goals and junior goalkeeper Melina Avery made 13 saves to lead the Rams on a cloudy, rainy afternoon at the Strath Haven Middle School lacrosse field.

A goal from Harriton senior Caleigh Foust, who was held mostly in check all game, cut the Strath Haven lead to 12-11 with 3 minutes, 53 seconds remaining, but the Rams weren't able to regain possession.

Strath Haven junior midfielder Kristen Hansen won the ensuing draw - her 17th draw control of the game - and the Panthers executed a stall for more than three minutes to run out the clock.

"We're very fast, and we know our stall works well," said Hansen, who also scored a goal. "We were able to spread out and work the ball around.

"I love the seniors, and I'm glad we could win it with them," she added.

When it was over, Glassford, who hadn't won a share of the Central League since she was a freshman, leaped into Hansen's arms.

"It's awesome," Glassford said. "As a senior, it's everything I've wanted."

Harriton 4 7 – 11

Strath Haven 7 5 – 12

Goals: H-Jane Henderson 6, Sabrina Tabasso 2, Caleigh Foust, Maura Henderson, Katie Melvin; SH-Morgan Glassford 4, Kirsten Wilhelmsen 3, Bri Irons 2, Kathryn Restrepo 2, Kristen Hansen.

Saves: H-Melina Avery 13; SH-Hallie Yancey 6.


Contact Joey Cranney at JCranney@philly.com.

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