Radnor Fall Sports Round-Up

Jesse Conen

 

Boy’s Football

“If you’d have told me we’d be 6-and-1 at this point, I’d certainly take it. We have a chance to beat Garnet, and then who knows what can happen. We’ve played great pretty much every game,” said running back Matt Cohen, arguably the most instrumental of the 25 seniors on the Radnor Raiders football squad, which has had one of the best starts to a season in the program’s illustrious history. Coach Tom Ryan’s Raiders are currently the top of the District AAAAA division in PIAA District One, a position that places them as the favorite for the district title.

The Raider’s offensive weapons have been the impetus for their successes this season, led by a core of veteran seniors with boatloads of experience. Radnor is 5th in Delaware County for points per game (33.9) and 3rd in yards per game (370.6), electrifying the scoreboards with winning scores such as 63-21 against Ridley, 27-24 against Marple, and 42-8 against Harriton. Cohen, along with senior captains Sean Mullarkey and Jahmair Rider, quarterback and wide receiver respectively, form a three-pronged attack that most defenses have been unable to stop. Cohen, recently named Main Line Boy’s Athlete of the Week, is second in the county for total yards (966), first in carries (163), and third in touchdowns (10). In addition, Mullarkey has thrown for 1,065 yards this season with a county-leading QB Rating of 181.47, and Rider is sixth in receiving yards (435) and second in touchdowns (7). These three, along with the offensive line led by seniors Henry Collins and Anthony Laudicina, have made for one of the best offenses in Raiders history.

With a home match up against undefeated Garnet Valley on the horizon and the Central League title still up-for-grabs, the Raiders still have everything to play for. With the current divisional standings, count on Radnor football to be playing well into November for the first time in a while.

 

Boy’s Soccer

Just two seasons ago, the 2016 Radnor High Boys’ Soccer team was in dreamland after winning the District One AAA Final and making it all the way to the state quarterfinal. The run evoked memories of the legendary 2004 State Championship team, but when they fell short, it was back to the drawing board for Coach Joe Caruolo. For the first time in the program’s history, Radnor is playing in the AAAA division against tougher opponents. The Gents have been challenged more than they ever have been, but they have more than met the challenge.

Radnor has sported an impressive 12-2-1 record (6-2-1 in The Central League). With three games to go, they have solidified themselves has one of the biggest threats in the whole district. Scoring 37 goals while only allowing 11 with 10 shutouts, Radnor has proven to be a challenge for teams across Southeastern Pennsylvania. The most surprising point about the team though: they do not have one main contributor. An astounding 16 different players have scored a goal for The Gents. Leading the charge are junior Ben Engstrom (6), senior David Azzarano (5), and junior Jackson Birtwistle (4).

Defense has also been a focal point for the team this year too. Goalkeepers Henry Cooke and Nate Congleton have both been brick walls for the team, providing two reliable options at the position. Senior center-backs Bennett Mueller and Evan Majercak have also played a major role in the team’s successes, leading by example and playing solidly each and every game. A major setback for the Raiders has been the loss of Ben Verbofsky, the only four-year varsity player on the team. With the depth of this Radnor team though, it turned out to have a little impact on the overall performance of the team.

Currently 8th in the AAAA division, Radnor holds the last position that receives a first-round bye, a solid spot considering this is the program’s first year in the division. Following a tough loss to league opponents Lower Merion, Radnor has three more matches (Garnet Valley, @ Upper Darby, and Wissahickon) to maintain their top-8 spot. If Radnor can win their next three matches, Verbofsky returns from injury, and the goals continue to come, we could be looking at another deep playoff run from your Gents.  

 

Girl’s Field Hockey

3 games in to the Radnor Girl’s Field Hockey season, any onlooker could not help but feel nervous about where the season was heading. Losing the first three matches (all to good teams nonetheless) by a combined score of 7-2 spelled out danger for Coach MacGuire’s program. The team, however, was able to work out their kinks. Despite this slow start, 10 straight wins have leapfrogged the Raiders up the standings to where they now stand: second in PIAA District 1 AA. The latest of those 10 wins, an 8-1 destruction of rival Lower Merion, showcased the team’s full-range of capabilities, announcing Radnor onto the scene for the district title this year.

In that LM game, senior captain and Fairfield commit, Page Lowry, scored three of her 18 goals this season, a mark that puts her at seventh in the area for goals and goals per game (1.80). The other two captains, Olivia Shea and Meredith Webb, have also helped catapult the team up the rankings with Shea utilizing her offensive abilities while Webb leads the defense. Two juniors, Duke commit Barbara Civitella and Louisville commit Brigid Lowry have also contributed greatly to the team’s success with their wide range of attacking skills. Junior Phoebe Proctor has also stepped up to fill a major role as the starting goalkeeper and has only allowed 5 goals in the 10-game streak.

With all these key players stepping up late in the season, it seems like the Radnor Girl’s Field Hockey team can’t lose. If that’s the case, then we could be witnessing another deep playoff run from a Radnor team.

 

Girl’s Soccer

In the overall improvement of all Radnor fall sports programs, Coach Jake Solderitsch’s Radnor Girls’ Soccer team probably takes the cake. After losing first team All-Main Line defender Jenna Spray to a torn ACL in the first scrimmage, the Raiders went on a 1-6-1 stretch in which the outlook for the team seemed bleak. However, with some resilience and hard work, the team has gone 4-2 in their last six games, amassing 12 goals (they could only manage 5 in their first eight), landing them at a comfortable 5-9-1 record. In addition, seven of the nine losses were decided by a single goal, affirming the misfortune that this team has had to battle through to be where they are.

Despite the record, Radnor has still received massive contributions from its star players. Last year’s Golden Boot winner Sophia Mutterties leads the way in goals again, as senior Isabelle Breedveld also contributes greatly to the team’s recent successes. Leadership in the midfield from senior captains Audrey Rosenblum and Denison commit, Brooksey Perrin Hee, has also been instrumental in this season’s turnaround. Improvements in the team’s goaltending, a role shared by senior Anna Gurian and junior Katie Bell, have also launched the team up the rankings.

With three games to go and plenty of momentum, the Raiders still have a shot at a solid record, a deserved achievement considering the adversity this group has faced this year.

 

Girl’s Volleyball

4 years ago, four freshmen walked into the RHS Gym to begin their first preseason with the Radnor Volleyball team. Already seasoned players, the four had been playing together for years in the local CYO league. When all four made varsity, it would spell out success for the program for years to come. Now, with those four as seniors, the Raiders volleyball team has a chemistry unmatched by any other team in the Central League. Using their experience, seniors Sammy Scannapieco, Grayce Henderson, Izzy Criscuolo, and Erica DiCarlo have all led the relatively young varsity team by example, bringing Coach Goldstein’s Raiders to a solid 7-8 record.

Each one of the core four seniors leads the team in a major stat category, exemplifying the chemistry of the team and how well they play together. Scannapieco plays libero, a defensive position responsible for the first hit in most circumstances. The responsibility has led her to the third most digs in the Central League with 212. DiCarlo, a setter, is responsible for the second hit, allowing her to rack up a team-leading 222 assists (second in the Central League). The third and final hit is most usually Henderson, the outside hitter, a role which has led to her impressive 82 kills. If the ball were to come back over the net, middle blocker Criscuolo would be in position to block the ball, which she has done 18 times this season, putting her 10th in the Central League. These seniors work together so seamlessly, each playing their particular role, that they almost form a mini-team within the team. It is this group’s chemistry has been the main cause for the team’s success this season, and they have done a fantastic job of instilling teamwork into the younger generation of players, a bright sign for the future.

After Wednesday’s Senior Night thrashing of Marple Newtown 3-0, the Raiders have five more games to improve their record. In all, this season has been a great way to end the high school careers of the core group of players that have been mainstays in the program for the past four years.

 

*Statistics Good Through 10/10/18