Advertisement

Twin Valley girls lacrosse earns commanding win over Penn Trafford in first round of the PIAA Class 2A playoffs

As summer approaches and the high school sports season nears an end, only one thing matters for the remaining teams in playoff action: staying alive.

And as it has proven several times in the PIAA Class 2A playoffs, the Twin Valley girls lacrosse team not only survives, it thrives.

Having made the final in each of the past two seasons, the Raiders began their quest for the 2024 state title with a 17-2 win over Penn Trafford Tuesday afternoon in a PIAA Class 2A first-round matchup at Elverson.

With the win, Twin Valley (19-6) advances to face Chartiers Valley (17-3), the second-place team from District 7 and a 15-5 winner over Conneaut Tuesday, in the quarterfinal round on Saturday at a time and site to be announced.

“It’s always nice to keep going no matter what grade you’re in,” senior Anna Givens said. “But just being seniors and getting back here means everything because we always want to keep playing and just leaving this team makes me so sad. So the more I get to play with them the happier I am.”

Twin Valley senior Anna Givens. (COURTESY OF BILL SNOOK)

The Warriors (17-4), the third-place team from District 7, won the opening draw and controlled possession for the first two minutes before goalie Lynzee Anderson made a save to regain possession for Twin Valley, the District 3 and BCIAA champions.

From there, junior Kylie Duke led a counter-attack and scored with 9:47 left in the remaining period. Duke scored a game-high four goals and had one assist.

Twin Valley junior Kylie Duke, right, and Twin Valley senior Amelia Wood, left. (COURTESY OF BILL SNOOK)

Shortly after the opening goal, sophomore Ellie Kaplan scored and was assisted by senior Amelia Wood to give the Raiders a 2-0 lead with 9:18 remaining in the first.

Kaplan was dominant on the draw throughout, earning a game-high 15 draw controls and recording her 200th career draw control in the process. She finished the game with three goals and two assists.

Twin Valley sophomore Ellie Kaplan. (COURTESY OF BILL SNOOK)

“It was definitely a position we needed to fill and I think every game she gets better and tracks it better and just moves quick,” Twin Valley coach Courtney Kaplan said. “I’m so proud of her.”

“She’s a great asset to the team and we’re just really lucky to have her,” Givens said of Ellie Kaplan. “We’re glad that there’s gonna be people after us that will be leaving a legacy and that this program keeps building and getting stronger.”

Givens scored three goals, two assists and three draw controls, and Wood also scored three goals and had one assist.

“Getting this far again feels so good to just keep going,” Wood said. “Our team has been working so hard to get us to this point because we all want it (a PIAA title).

“Our whole team has a lot of grit and intensity, and it just keeps us going and motivated.”

Ellie Kaplan scored her second goal of the game with 7:56 to go in the first, as the midfielder fired a fast shot top shelf to make it 3-0.

Moments later, Twin Valley worked the ball well around the Penn Trafford goal for a long stretch until Givens charged through the defense to score.

Kaplan scored her third and fourth goals of the game to make it 6-0. Seniors Chelsea Hurley and Hadley Munn, and sophomore Meredith Siever all found the back of the net for a 9-0 lead after one quarter. Hurley ended the game with one goal and two assists.

Twin Valley senior Chelsea Hurley. (COURTESY OF BILL SNOOK)

“Offensively we just took the opportunities they gave us,” Courtney Kaplan said. “There were a lot of holes that they could attack through and the shot selection I thought was good for the most part.

“There were a lot of hat tricks today. This has been our MO forever. When we have so many people scoring it’s hard to guard us. So having that many people to put the ball in the back of the net is an advantage.”

Duke scored from the penalty zone with 9:34 left in the first half and Wood added another goal with 1:02 left to make it 11-1 at halftime.

Wood and Givens each scored one goal in the third, as Twin Valley led 13-2 after the third quarter.

Givens, Wood and Duke would added goals in the fourth before Maddison Lawrence closed out the scoring with 1:45 left in the game after being assisted by Munn.

Munn finished the game with a game-high three assists and one goal.

Twin Valley senior Hadley Munn. (COURTESY OF BILL SNOOK)

“There’s just a lot of free movement and people were cutting through, they’re taking risks and just overall everyone is working for each other,” Givens said of the Raiders’ offense. “We didn’t even have to do a lot, everyone was just doing their part, and that made it really easy.”

“Everyone’s seeing each other and we all felt the communication and worked together,” Wood said.

Twin Valley senior Amelia Wood. (COURTESY OF BILL SNOOK)

With the final home game of their high school careers behind them, and with graduation awaiting on Saturday, the Twin Valley seniors are looking forward to finishing out their careers with a deep run in the state tournament.

After winning championships at the district and county levels in 2022 and 2023, the Raiders lost to Archbishop Carroll both years in the PIAA 2A final. Twin Valley also lost to the Patriots in the semifinal round of the 2021 PIAA 2A playoffs.

While another go at a PIAA title is not something the Raiders take for granted, it is surely a goal that never leaves their focus.

“I don’t think we ever expect anything; it’s just we always have to work hard no matter what,” Givens said. “Every team changes, each year we lose people, we gain people. So we are always working hard in practice. We’re always fighting, we keep our feet moving. Any effort that we can put in that’s what we’re gonna do.”

“This is what we do all that work for,” Courtney Kaplan said. “The grind through the regular season, those tough games and then (in) our practices, things are starting to click that we’ve been working on for a long time. I have seen them turn the corner and so this is the right time for all that to happen. I’m so excited.”