Springfield reaches final

Emily Verica (left) hugs Emily Santana, who scored four goals in Springfield's victory. The Cougars will play Garnet Valley for the title on Saturday.
Emily Verica (left) hugs Emily Santana, who scored four goals in Springfield's victory. The Cougars will play Garnet Valley for the title on Saturday. (CHARLES FOX / Staff Photographer)
Posted: June 05, 2014

Aly Gormley sat on the track at West Chester Henderson and unlatched the brace from her right leg after Springfield (Delco) defeated Great Valley, 13-8, Tuesday in a PIAA girls' lacrosse semifinal.

The Cougars midfielder stuffed the black brace into her backpack. She said it is her "security blanket" after she tore an anterior cruciate ligament in the first round of last season's state playoffs. The ligament is still a bit weak, Gormley said, and the brace protects her lateral movement.

The brace works best for Gormley's juke maneuver, which her coach calls her special move. Gormley swiftly moved from right to left early in the first half. A Great Valley defender fell to the turf, and Gormley fired in her first of two first-half goals.

Gormley did not notice that her special move caused the defender to wobble.

"I was just happy to put it into the back of the net," Gormley said.

Springfield will play Garnet Valley in the PIAA final at noon Saturday at Hersheypark Stadium.

Gormley did not think she would play this season after starting her rehabilitation. The injury sidelined her for soccer in the fall and basketball in the winter. Gormley started playing lacrosse again in February.

"It's really awesome to be back," she said.

Emily Santana called Gormley a "great asset" and was happy Gormley was able to play in the postseason after missing most of last season. Santana scored four goals, three coming in the second half.

The junior midfielder scored 68 seconds into the second half to increase Springfield's lead to seven. Great Valley charged back, narrowing the gap to three goals with 9:35 left.

The Patriots' Brittany Edwards scored four of her six goals in the second half. But the Cougars scored three straight times, the second coming from Santana, to stop the rally.

The horn sounded 2 minutes, 30 seconds later, sealing Springfield's win. Gormley sprinted from midfield toward her teammates, who rushed goalie Katie Bedard.

A parent pulled out a stash of chocolate bars and tossed them around the bleachers.

For the first time in four years, Springfield is going to Hershey.

Great Valley 2 6 – 8

Springfield (D) 7 6 – 13

Goals: GV-Brittany Edwards 6, Courtney Cortese, Olivia Muscella; S-Aly Gormley 2, Autumn Spence, Emily Santana 4, Kate Ryan 2, Bridget Whitaker, Emily Paulus, Taylor DeBernardi 2.

Saves: GV-Mia Tornetta 8; S-Katie Bedard 6.


mbreen@phillynews.com

@matt_breen

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