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Girls Three-Peat LAX Champions

In a season of injuries and illnesses that decimated the roster and forced starters to go entire games without any minutes of rest during the action, Harvey’s girls lacrosse team battled fatigue and formidable foe to win a third consecutive HVAL championship, a 13-12 nail-biter on the road against Wooster, a team that had defeated the Cavs handily in both of their regular season matchups.

Harvey started the game strong, scoring four unanswered goals, two within the first six minutes of the game by junior Juliet Jaques. Senior Ellie Kalman and ninth grader Emily Sorio also had two nice quick shots to pull Harvey ahead. The Generals quickly realized they needed to catch up fast, and they responded with three goals. It was neck and neck the whole time. Harvey maintained a narrow lead throughout the first half on the hosting Wooster School who came into the game undefeated in eight games against league opponents and was the favorite to win. The Generals fought back to tie up the match at 6-6 at the halfway point.

The second half of the game was not any easier. Sophomore goalie Shelby McCaine came up clutch as the MVP with 16 saves. Most of them happened in crucial moments, with four saves back-to-back on 8-meter free-position shots. Shelby’s best play came when she attacked a loose ball behind the goal and gained possession, which allowed the Cavaliers to call a timeout and reset their game plan. Harvey held only a three-goal lead, 12-9, against Wooster’s powerhouse offense.

Girls Lacrosse 2022 HVAL Champions

“I told Shells (McCaine) at the timeout that if we did earn the win, that her aggressive out-of-the-crease play behind the net on the 50/50 ball was the game saver,” coach Greg Janos said after the game. As the second half moved along, Harvey and Wooster continued to battle for the lead. With the Cavs up 13-9, Wooster fought back with three unanswered goals, but the Harvey goalie rose to the occasion to help the Cavaliers hold on to their one-goal lead until time expired and give Harvey its third consecutive HVAL championship.

Kalman led the Harvey offense with four goals in her final game as a Cavalier. Jaques finished with three. Sorio and fellow ninth grader Lila Leibowits had two goals and one assist each. Junior Emma Galgano also scored twice. She scored Harvey’s first goal and her team’s final goal, which proved to be the game-winner. Sophomore Katie McCulloch, who added an assist, teamed up with junior Celia Baer to pull off vital defensive moves throughout the game to keep their team in line for a win.

But it was Shelby’s 16 saves that earned her the team’s ceremonial hammer as the Player of the Game. She bested a Wooster team that had beaten Harvey twice in the regular season by blowout scores of 16-5 and 18-7. 

Coach Janos voiced his pride in the 2022 squad and was happy they took his words to heart. “All day my message to the team remained the same: hate to lose. I told the girls that Wooster was the favorite and they weren’t going to give us the upset victory. I said we need to get out there and take it. I asked a lot of the team and they delivered. This victory was definitely earned and it was a complete team effort.”

Coach Janos also praised the contributions of his two assistants, Harvey alum Abby Hassett ’13 and John Peters. “Coaches Hassett and Peters had large roles in the championship victory by being able to coach and make changes on the fly while I spearheaded the on-field efforts,” Coach Janos said. “In fact, it was Abby who made the decision to move Katie (McCulloch) up to d-wing which was a move I never thought of, and it turned out to change our defensive chemistry and proved to be what we need in a long tough stretch of the season,” the coach said. “This was indeed a full-team effort,” he added.

The 2022 championship is Harvey’s fourth in the 11-year history of the program with Coach Janos at the helm.

iGirls varsity lacrosse 2022 HVAL Champ team selfie

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