An early lead wasn’t enough for the State College girls’ lacrosse team, which fell 8-5 to Chartiers Valley in the first round of the PIAA tournament on Wednesday at Lock Haven University.
“We definitely played with a lot of heart and I’m just so proud of my team,” Caroline Friberg said after the game.
The senior finished the season with just under 200 career goals, but will continue playing when she attends Drexel University.
The Lady Little Lions’ early lead came after Friberg scored in the game’s sixth minute. The goal inspired an offensive spurt — it took less than four minutes for Sophia Brandimart to give State College another goal for a 2-0 lead.
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However, the Lady Little Lions soon found themselves back on their heels facing an onslaught of Chartiers Valley shots.
Maria Stamerra finally broke through for the Lady Colts with five minutes to go. Three minutes later, the Lady Colts struck again as Margo Mason found the goal after a defensive shuffle. The Colts almost scored a third time when Stamerra charged the goal, but the ball was ultimately stopped by State College goalie Megan Klaus.
State College found renewed energy with the game now tied and the offense found their feet once again. With one minute left in the half, Lady Little Lion Erika Lose was able to get past goalie Grace Schneider for a goal.
State College finished the half when Brandimart connected with Brielle Curtis on a pass, who then dished the ball to Friberg for her second goal of the game.
“We always say before we go out we want to score two goals in the last 30 seconds of the half,” Lady Little Lions coach Megan Wagner said.
The half finished with the Lady Little Lions holding a 4-2 lead but tied 13-13 for shots.
The two-goal lead quickly diminished at the start of the second half when the Lady Colts scored two goals within the game’s first two minutes.
First, Kenzie Shaak scored with a quick shot past Klaus and then Lauren Lohman gave the Colts their second goal.
The Lady Colts finally took the lead after Courtney Chiurazzi made an expert pass to Stamerra who made her third goal of the game to give her team the lead.
The goal forced State College to call a timeout.
“I thought we came out really hard in the beginning and played hard the whole first half and I think we worked hard the whole game but in the second half we just couldn’t bring it back up,” Brandimart said.
The pause in action didn’t faze the Lady Colts who came back to score three more uncontested goals.
Lose scored again for the Lady Little Lions with 2:47 left in regulation, but the team couldn’t make its comeback.
“I thought they were a strong team,” Lady Colts coach Kim Eldridge said of State College. “(They were) very athletic, very aggressive in the midfield and played tenaciously and we just happened to come out on top.”
“I think they brought the intensity from the beginning, it was there in the first half and they kept it going until the second half until the very end,” State College assistant coach Naomi Radio said of her team.
The team finishes the season with a 12-7 record and will graduate five seniors.
“Five really important amazingly awesome seniors,” said Wagner, referring to Friberg, Klaus, Abby Stevenson, Meredith De Long, and Lauren Kelly.
“I’m just going to miss having them on the team,” Curtis said. “I’m just comfortable playing with them. We have great team chemistry.”
“There (are) big shoes to fill on this team next year,” Wagner added.