GIRLS' LACROSSE: Manheim Township tops Cocalico - LancasterOnline: Sports

GIRLS' LACROSSE: Manheim Township tops Cocalico

Clinches third straight perfect regular season

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Posted: Friday, May 4, 2012 11:28 pm | Updated: 4:32 pm, Mon Jan 20, 2014.

It's been a little more than three years since Manheim Township's girls' lacrosse team lost to a L-L League opponent. The date was May 8, 2008, and the Blue Streaks fell to Penn Manor 14-11 in the league finals.

Township has played 38 league games, and 55 total regular-season games, in three seasons since then.

The Streaks have lost none of those.

Township cleared its final hurdle for a third straight perfect regular season with an 18-4 win over Cocalico in the regular-season finale Friday in a L-L League Section One-Two crossover game. The Streaks remained perfect at 14-0 L-L, 18-0 overall, while the Eagles lost their first game of the season and fell to 14-1, 16-1.

"I look back to when we were freshmen and I honestly didn't think our class would be as good as we have been," said MT senior Megan Pinkerton. "It's definitely something to be proud of."

Township coach Mark Pinkerton credits his team's success to two main factors.

"Very good quality youth program and great dedication by these players in the offseason," said Pinkerton. "They constantly are pushing themselves to get better."

After Avery Longstaff gave Cocalico an early 1-0 lead, the Streaks answered with a 6-1 scoring run to take a 6-2 advantage with 14:24 left in the first half.

"I think we played them harder than we have in the past," said Cocalico Mary Beth Cardin. "We had some opportunities that we missed on but I would welcome the chance to play them again."

After Kari Longstaff's goal put the Eagles within three at 6-3, Mark Pinkerton had seen enough.

"I called timeout just to catch our breath and told them to relax," Pinkerton said. "We were sloppy early and we just had to get back to basics."

Megan Pinkerton, Molly Hendrick and Devon Schneider all netted shots in the final three minutes of the first half to put the Streaks ahead 9-3 at halftime.

"We just didn't play well early in the game," admitted Schneider, who scored a game-high five goals. "I think the second half showed the kind of team that we are."

It did.

After the teams traded scores to start the second half, Township pumped in eight unanswered in the remaining 16 minutes. Six players found the back of the net for Township in the run. Gabby Cardina scored three times, while Emily McBride, Sarah Svetec, Schneider, Hendrick and Carolyn Westphal scored once in the run.

Township's defense was equally as impressive.

Defenders Katherine Torrance, Maddie Eberly, Kasey Mann and Erin Ketchum fronted a unit anchored by goalie Shannon Nee. Nee's game-high 13 saves have been her norm of late and her performances ignite the rest of the team.

"Shannon's been playing great this season," said Schneider. "When she gets a big save it really pumps up the rest of the team."

Mark Pinkerton agrees.

"She's seeing the ball well and exploding to it," he said. "She's peaking at the right time because she's focused."

As focused as Township has been on completing another perfect run.

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