Garnet Valley rolls in semifinal

Posted: June 05, 2014

Garnet Valley athletic director Seth Brunner handed Jenny Purvis a Hershey bar, and the coach took two steps back before yelling, "We're going to Hershey."

When her players returned from celebrating around goalie Paige Mitros, Purvis stood in front of Garnet Valley's bench holding the candy bar in both hands, extended toward her players.

The bar represented what the Garnet Valley girls' lacrosse team has worked for since missing the state playoffs last season, and what it earned with its 20-7 win over Mount Lebanon at Cumberland Valley on Tuesday in the PIAA state semifinals.

"I don't even like chocolate, but this means so much," said Purvis, who didn't let go of the Hershey bar until she left the field. "I'm just so happy that this is where we're going to be ending up. It's such a feat to be able to get to that state championship."

Last season, Garnet Valley missed the state playoffs after winning PIAA titles in 2011 and '12.

"We're really excited," said Haley Warden, who led Garnet Valley with seven goals Tuesday.

"That's where our dreams have been," Purvis said. "That's where we've been working, truly, since last May. The girls have really dedicated themselves to this sport and this program."

Garnet Valley will play Springfield (Delco) in the state final, a rematch of the District 1 championship game that the Jaguars lost, 10-9, on a goal with 3.4 seconds remaining.

"We're really ready for a rematch," Warden said. "It means a lot for us. We have a huge senior class, and we're really tight. We want to go out with a bang."

"I don't think there's a team out there in the state that we couldn't beat right now," Purvis said. "Springfield is phenomenal, but if we bring our best game and play how we know we can, we will be successful on Saturday."

Garnet Valley's seniors passed up a class trip to Hershey Park on May 27 because they had practice.

When the team finished a handshake line with Mount Lebanon, the players raced to the bag of Hershey bars to grab some.

They got their trip to Hershey, after all.

Mount Lebanon 4 3 – 7

Garnet Valley 12 8 – 20

Goals: ML-Allena Holzworth 3, Alyssa Battaglia 3, Anna Albers; GV-Kara Nakrasius 3, Emily Mathewson 4, Erica Coyne 2, Sabrina Fusco, Haley Warden 7, Madison Valerio, Dana Davis, Liz Toohey.

Saves: ML-Carina Barnes 3, Maddie Weber 3; GV-Paige Mitros 9.


ncarroll@phillynews.com

@NickJCarroll

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