Sunday, May 17, 2009

PHUEL Girls Championship Writeup

Girls high school ultimate is still growing in the Philadelphia area, but this year they had a city championship of their own, with all four teams playing at Edgely Field this Saturday, opening straight into the semifinals.

Top seeded Lower Merion met Radnor on one field. Radnor is in their first year of existence, and I can attest that over the course of this year, they have significantly improved. They've gone from bagels to fighting for every point, and hopefully Lindi Sabloff can continue their rise. However, they were no match for LM's Lady Babaganouj today, with a callahan on the first point by LM's Hannah Garfield starting the scoring -- a couple early points went long and were hard fought, but LM came up with them and never let up.

On the other field, defending champion Cardinal O'Hara had their hands full with Haverford High. Both schools had their proms last night, and multiple members of both teams were either missing or not at 100%. Despite this, the action was intense, but HUDA seemed to come up with every swilly throw from either team, and managed to cut way down on the turnovers, and took at 7-5 halftime lead. O'Hara fought back to tie it up at 9-9 and force a universe point, but HUDA fought through and scored a large upset over O'Hara to earn their spot in the finals.

The finals would then pit two Central League foes, LM and Haverford, in their fourth matchup of the season, with at least one more to follow under the lights at a nice little event hosted by Haverford this Thursday (featuring both school's JV, boys, and girls teams), and certainly allowing for the possibility of tangling once more at states next weekend.

But no other games, past or future, mattered today. Both teams came out fired up, and Haverford's energy from their previous win certainly poured onto the field. Impressive cuts by Natalie Nunez and impressive catches all around kept the teams close early, but a mid-game run by Lower Merion was able to put Haverford away, highlighted near the end by a beautiful 70-yard huck from Emily Eisner, followed up by a deep cut of her own to seal the game winning point, giving Lower Merion's Lady Babaganouj their first ever PHUEL City Championship, and putting them in a strong position to make a run for the state title next week.

Full results here: