Exeter girls' lacrosse team tops Mifflin for Berks League championship

Photos courtesy of Karen Howard The Exeter Twp. High School girls' lacrosse team celebrates a Berks League championship. Row1 from left: Annabelle Distefano, Brenna Barkasi, Kayla Arantowicz, Emily Larson, Morgan Stump, Lexie Einsig; Row 2: Gabby Pochron, Stephanie Howard, Natteaya Klebart, Maggie Nowotarski, Hailey Leister, Aliki Torrence, Leah Franklin, Lexi Gundersen, Asst Coach Janice Kinny; Row 3: Asst. Coach Gail Torrence, Jen Eck, Meghan Motze, Joannah Einsig, Willow Botley, Head Coach Jill Rudy, Abbie Halferty, Elise Dickie.

It was a big night for Exeter lacrosse. Both the Exeter boys’ and girls’ lacrosse teams qualified for the Berks League championship games last Thursday, May 9. It was a split decision as the Exeter girls’ won the title with a 12-11 overtime victory over Governor Mifflin, while the Exeter boys lost to Wilson, 14-4.

For the girls, it wasn’t easy. After snapping their Berks League winning streak in the final game of the regular season, the Lady Eagles rebounded with a 13-3 semifinal victory over Berks Catholic. But the Mustangs gave Exeter all they could handle in the championship game, as they took the contest into overtime.

Late in the first overtime period, Hailey Leister scored the game-winning goal that put the league championship trophy back in Exeter’s hands.

“This was one of the goals that the girls had set out for as soon as our season came to an end last year,” said Exeter Head Coach Jill Rudy. “They worked very hard in the off-season and during the season to make sure that they did not drop a game in playoffs again this year.”

Last year’s 13-9 semifinal loss to Governor Mifflin stuck in the minds of the returning players during the entire off-season. They went through the regular season undefeated then were stunned in the first round of playoffs.

“The girls knew that they had dropped a game that they should have one last year,” said Coach Rudy. “They let themselves think too far ahead of themselves and not focus on a game-to-game basis. They were determined not to let that happen again.”

The Eagles held a 6-4 halftime lead, but Governor Mifflin wasn’t going to let them get away from them. The Mustangs came back in the second half, then held an 11-10 lead late in the game. But Morgan Stump gave the Eagles life once again with her game-tying goal.”

“Composure was the key to the win,” said Coach Rudy. “The girls stuck to the game plan and kept calm even when things got rough out on the field.”

After tying the game and sending into overtime, Coach Rudy was impressed with the team’s focus. “They kept saying this is our game and we deserve to win it.”

That’s just what they did. Leister goal gave the Eagles the victory and erased all of the bad memories from last year’s playoffs.

“Shear satisfaction,” said Rudy when asked her thoughts when she saw the overtime goal hit the back of the net. “This team has worked harder and more as a unit than I have seen. It was great to see them keep there composure and obtain one of their goals for this season.”

Leister led the Exeter offense with six goals and two assists in the game. Stump added two goals and three assists while Abigail Halfferty and Emily Stump also had two goals.

Governor Mifflin was led by Melanie Colozzi with five goals, while Emma Jones scored four. Caroline Kallos scored the other two Mustang goals.

The Exeter boys just weren’t able to handle the powerful Wilson team. The Bulldogs shutout the Eagles in the first half, holding a 7-0 lead. Exeter was able to get up off the mat in the second half, but couldn’t muster up any kind of comeback push.

Bryan Crim led the Exeter offense with two goals and one assist, while Darion Einsig scored the Eagles’ other two goals.