Across the backs of their shirts, the Unionville girls had two simple words: “Our turn.”
The Indians had just hoped to make the state playoffs. Then, they wanted just to take out top-seeded Garnet Valley – a dominant force in District 1 that had cruised through districts and into the state tournament semifinals.
But Saturday, it was their turn to do a whole lot more.
Senior Erin Garvey dropped a double hat trick as Unionville cruised to an 11-6 victory over Manheim Township, capturing its first state title in the girls’ PIAA Class 3A lacrosse championship at West Chester East. The Indians controlled the contest throughout, scoring eight of the first nine goals, including five in a row by Garvey.
“We have a senior group chat, and we were texting in it before the season,” said Garvey, who has committed to play lacrosse at the University of Michigan. “We wanted something to represent our season in two or three words. … [Hannah Close] just threw out ‘Our turn,’ and it got us here today.”
The game was never in doubt.
Although the Blue Streaks (22-1) entered the day with a perfect mark, Manheim Township had to climb out of a four-goal hole just four days ago against District 1 runner-up Springfield-Delco. And with a championship on the line, the District 3 champs found themselves down three within a matter of seven minutes.
Unionville (23-2) dominated at the draw, and, led by senior Veronica Hineman, a Duke recruit, the Indians were able to play make-it-take-it lacrosse much of the way. Even when the Blue Streaks were able to gain possession, Unionville goalkeeper Madison Doucette – who finished with seven saves on the afternoon – made a number of stops at close range to keep her team well out in front.
“[Erin] always seems to get us going,” head coach Suzanne Sheehan said. “She kept our attack momentum going and had a really great game.”
With an 8-3 advantage at intermission, the Indians stayed on the gas. It took just more than a minute into the second half for junior Emma Malone to get her second tally of the game, and Unionville extended its lead to 11-3 as it held Manheim scoreless for more than 15 minutes.
When Doucette made her final save of the afternoon with 2 minutes, 30 seconds to play, the Indian faithful roared.
It indeed was their turn.
“We’ve always come close,” Sheehan said. “With this group of seniors, it was just so appropriate. … They’ve gotten a little further and further each year and now, it was our turn.”
Unionville 8 3 — 11
Manheim Twp. 3 3 — 6
U: Erin Garvey 6, Emma Malone 2, Veronica Hineman 1, Annie McDonough 1, Mina Scott 1
MT: Lucy Svetec 3, Lizzy McBride 1, Taylor Kopan 1, Shannon Elias 1
Saves: U: Madison Doucette 7. MT: Haley McCullough 4