Kennard-Dale's Morgan Day sets national girls' lacrosse scoring record
HUMMELSTOWN >> The two most prolific scorers in girls' high school lacrosse history play about 420 miles apart.
But in a strange twist, Morgan Day and Megan Shortt were much closer when they were introduced to the sport.
Day passed Shortt to set the national girls' lacrosse career scoring record Thursday in Kennard-Dale's 15-11 District 3 tournament victory against Susquehannock. Day and the Rams earned their second state tournament berth with the win at Lower Dauphin High School.
"This is just a huge deal," Day said. "Being able to break that record, and in such a big game, it was great."
For both Day and the girl she passed for the individual milestone, the achievement came at a critical point in their teams' seasons.
Now playing college lacrosse at Division II Catawba in North Carolina, Shortt registered 459 goals in her career split between Bishop McGuinness and East Forsyth high schools in that state. Shortt set the goals record while helping East Forsyth win its conference championship. Day, meanwhile, netted six goals Thursday, pushing the new national record to 465, in an elimination game for the PIAA tournament.
The two also share a geographic connection for the start to their lacrosse careers.
Until she was 9, Shortt lived not too far from Kennard-Dale. She first picked up a lacrosse stick as a 5-year-old in Harford County, Md., which borders the state line and Kennard-Dale's school district.
"I was still trying to figure out what position to play," Shortt said Wednesday via phone from North Carolina. "I've always been short. Very, very short."
Shortt shuffled between goalie and defense before moving to attack. It all happened in one year while she still attended elementary school in Maryland.
"That's when I learned to shoot and score," Shortt said.
Day didn't learn lacrosse until fourth grade, but her height put her in the same midfield position she plays today. Her parents moved from Harford County, too, before settling north of the Pennsylvania border near Kennard-Dale.
They both were present on the sideline Thursday. Father Kevin Day is an assistant coach, and mother Kelly Day keeps the scorebook. She has documented most of Morgan's goals since midway through her sophomore year.
Day needed only one goal to pass Shortt's record, which is recognized by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS). She tied it Tuesday during the final minute of Kennard-Dale's district semifinal loss to Manheim Township, which won a seventh District 3 crown a few miles away at Hersheypark Stadium.
Over at Lower Dauphin Middle School, Day waited 10 minutes into the match before notching her first goal for the record. Even younger sister and freshman Maddie Day first cleared a shot past Susquehannock's goalkeeper before Morgan found the net.
The Rams built a 4-1 lead with Morgan Day assisting on one.
With 14:14 left in the first half, the older sister got her milestone. Two quick passes — the last from Maddie Day — set up Morgan, who raced by and plunked the ball into the net.
"It is kind of cool," Morgan Day said of her sister's assist. "It's not something we planned out."
Coach Kelly Wetzel also denied any scheming for how the goal would come. About a month ago, when Day secured the NFHS record for Pennsylvania, Day and senior teammate Lyndsey Duty made sure they would hook up for that one.
In girls' lacrosse, the player who controls the ball as a conductor can be the best friend of a goal scorer. Day takes that to heart after having Nicole Black — who finished three assists shy of an NFHS career record in 2013 — and Duty for that relationship.
"Without either one of them, especially Lyndsey, I wouldn't be here talking about this," Day said. "We're best friends. She knows me on and off the field. She is the reason I have this record."
At least this time Day shouldn't have to break a record twice. That was the case when she set Pennsylvania's career goals mark.
The NFHS acknowledges accuracy of its records can be challenged.
"Obviously we don't have a universal reporting system," said Chris Boone, assistant director of publications and communications. "We rely on coaches and schools to report."
That didn't happen after 2013 Manheim Township graduate Molly Hendrick scored what would have been a state record 432 career goals. When Day broke the NFHS-confirmed Pennsylvania record of 430 in her final home game late last month, she tied Hendrick.
A game later, Day passed Hendrick for the state's unofficial record. Officially, she still must await the filing of paperwork for NFHS verification.
"I have to go back for all of the years and photocopy all of the books and send that to them," Wetzel said.
Contact Matt Goul at 771-2045.
Here are the all-time leading career scorers across the nation, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations:
Player, school Years Goals
*Morgan Day, Kennard-Dale (PA) 2012-15 465 and counting
Megan Shortt, Bishop McGuinness/East Forsyth (NC) 2011-14 459
Shair Masun, Clarkstown (NY) 1999-2002 443
Corinne Wessels, Osbourn Park (VA) 2011-14 438
*Molly Hendrick, Manheim Township (PA) 2010-13 432
Katie O'Donnell, West Chester Henderson (PA) 2011-14 430
Shannon Smith, West Babylon (NY) 2005-08 428
Sydney Holman, East Chapel Hill (NC) 2010-13 416
Emily Garrity, Strath Haven (PA) 2006-09 406
*Records awaiting NFHS approval