Frascella helps Conestoga girls' lacrosse beat the heat and Great Valley

When it's 92 degrees outside, the humidity is thick, and the sun seems relentless, playing lacrosse will test your resolve.

Anne Frascella decided at a young age that running up and down the field in the heat wasn't necessarily for her.

Fortunately for Conestoga, goaltending was.

Despite being bogged down by heavy, heat-capturing equipment, the senior was stellar in goal Thursday as the Lady Pioneers beat visiting Great Valley, 18-6, in the second round of the District 1 Class 3A playoffs.

"It was just sweat everywhere," said Frascella, who finished with 11 saves. "It was definitely hot, but it's all worth it in the end."

Referees made sure water-only breaks were taken midway through each half, but the number of faces speckled with crimson told of the heat's power.

"Ugh, it was awful," said Frascella. "You just have to keep your head in the game and not let exterior factors get to you."

Not much fazed Conestoga early.

The Lady Pioneers jumped to an early 4-0 lead, which they parlayed that into a 12-2 advantage by intermission.

Frascella made eight saves in the first half, three of which turned into goals on Conestoga's ensuing possession.

Her very first saves, however, ironically came in middle school while trying to avoid the heat during a local neighborhood recreational league.

"I started playing goalie kind of by accident," she joked, adding that her team needed a volunteer to play goalie. "I was like, 'I guess I'll play. It's a hot day. I don't want to be running around the field.' So, I stepped up to play goalie, did really well and decided I'd stick with it, and I have through the years."

This season has been her first as a full-time starter, and the experience has also taught her resolve.

"This year, being in every game, starting in every game, it's just mentally and physically exhausting. So I have to make sure I go home and rest up every night so I'm ready to play my best," she said.

Next year, she'll attend Temple but isn't sure if she'll play club lacrosse.

For now, she still has high school goals to capture.

Also on Thursday, Conestoga senior Liz Scott finished with four goals, while junior Amelia Kienzle and sophomore Sydney Sloan added three goals apiece.

Credit also belongs to the Patriots, however, for responding to the halftime words of coach Kim Wenger, who implored her team, "If we're going to be hot, let's be hot and have some fun!"

Great Valley responded by scoring the first four goals of the second half. The Patriots were led by senior Olivia Muscella's three goals.

Conestoga eventually responded by scoring the game's final six goals.

Conestoga 12 6 - 18

Great Valley 2 4 - 6

C: Liz Scott 4, Amelia Kienzle 3, Scottie Rose Growney 2, Ceara Sweeney 2, Sydney Sloan 3, Madie French, Dana Cicchitti 2, Sarah Clark.

GV: Olivia Muscella 3, Tori Rubin, Sarah Karwoski, Mackenzie Hilditch.

Saves: C-Anne Frascella 11; GV-Laura Bullock 6.

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