By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 1/1/18

Archbishop Carroll coach Lorriane Beers called Sam Swart “The X Factor.”

Player of the Year Sam Swart

“She had that confidence by senior year,” said Beers. “And as coaches we had the confidence that she could do it all with the ball.”

With Swart leading the way, the Patriots went the distance in 2017, winning their first PIAA championship with a thrilling 9-8 victory over Springfield-Delco on June 10 in the Class AAA final at West Chester East.

Swart scored two clutch goals to put her team ahead for good in the second half and possession of the ball for much of the final 10 minutes as her team held off a talented Springfield squad. The performance capped a dream season for Swart, who scored 89 goals and led a program that had always fallen just short to the ultimate goal.

For her accomplishments, Swart, who is playing at Syracuse, has been named the Phillylacrosse Girls’ Player of the Year for 2017.

The Patriots have been the bridesmaid for years. Despite winning 17 straight Catholic League titles and being stamped a state contender since the first PIAA tourney in 2009, the Pats had never reached a semifinal until downing

“I don’t know what it was, but this team – for some reason – felt different,” Swart said. “Our bond and the friendships we had were unique. I had never been on a team before like this.

“You could walk up to anyone and know the bio for anyone. It was so awesome to go to high school with them and be with them every practice. We knew this was our year. We weren’t going to be stopped; it was a perfect ending.”

Swart was known as perhaps the fastest and most dangerous offensive players in the state. She also emerged as a defensive force and a strong transition player with her quickness and ability to change direction.

Sam Swart (Photo by Matt Chandik)

“Assistant coach Pete Hewitt was talking about (this year) and saying you don’t replace Sammy with one girl,” said Beers. “We will have to replace her with a committee.

“That’s how much she did for this team. She did so much between transition the ball, helping the goalie, playing tenacious defense, and of course going on attack. You don’t always have a girl who always wants to go to goal.

“She also is a great passer who has good vision. And of course she can run and change direction. She doesn’t just have speed; she has endurance. The kid can run forever. As a senior she had great judgment. She understood what it took. In the state final, for much of the game she only had one goal. She had patience. All she wanted to do was win.”