In all of her years playing lacrosse at Broadneck High, Roxanne Elsey was never a member of an undefeated squad.
"We always lost to Severna Park," said Elsey, standing on the soggy Siegert Field at Anne Arundel Community College yesterday. "That's something that this teamhas been talking about."
Moments earlier, Elsey had scored two goals and an assist againstBaltimore's Notre Dame College in AACC's 9-6 victory. The win helpedthe Pioneers (12-0) move within two games of fulfilling their dream of an unbeaten season.
A brief and sudden thunderstorm delayed thestart of the game for 20 minutes. Then lightning forced its stoppagefor 20 more with just under four minutes gone in regulation and the Pioneers holding a shaky 2-1 lead.
But the delay didn't seem to bother the Pioneers' superior first-half passing attack, which broke a 2-2 tie and had the Gators' defense pinwheeling on its heels. Anne Arundel got goals from Karen Cord, Sharon Orendorf, Megan McElhenny andGina Seaboltto build a 4-2 lead with 14 minutes, 55 seconds left in the half.
McElhenny, who assisted on Seabolt's goal, scored her second goal of the game unassisted before feeding Orendorf from behind the goal with 4:23 left in the half. Anne Arundel held a 6-2 lead at the intermission.
Elsey scored back-to-back goals in a two-minute span during the second half -- the second of which caromed off the legs of keeper Julie Gesker (seven saves) before going in -- to give the Pioneers what appeared to be a commanding 8-2 lead with 18:52 left in the game.
Over the next 10 minutes, however, Notre Dame ralliedwith two goals by Kristen Schuete and a third on a free-position tally by Mary Kate Monakil (29 goals on the year) to come within 8-5 with 7:57 remaining in the game.
"We had a good second half, but I guess we just ran out of time," said Notre Dame coach Melissa Falen, whose squad fell to 4-7. "We had several good opportunities, but we just didn't capitalize on them."
If not for the play of Pioneers keeper and Broadneck graduate Shannon Pastrana (nine saves), who blocked two free-position attempts in that stretch, the Gators surely would have pulled to within a goal of the home team.
"We do a lot of free-position goals in practice, but the pressure in a game is quite different," said Pastrana, whose free-position save helped the Pioneers to pull out an 11-10 victory against Harford Community College earlierthis season. "I'd rather have to block a free position than one witha player running at me. But that was a tough second half."
In thesecond half, the visitors held an 8-6 advantage in shots after a first half in which they were outshot, 13-4, and out-scooped,27-17, in ground balls by the Pioneers.
The Pioneers got their last goal of the game from Cord with 4:07 left. Schuete added her third goal with 3:02 remaining, but the Pioneers held on to win.
"We want to go 14-0, and that's my primary concern right now," said first-year Pioneerscoach Lacy Frazer. The squad visits St. Mary's tomorrow and faces Villa Julie on Tuesday -- two teams the Pioneers already have beaten.
"At the beginning of the season, I never thought we'd be where we are right now," she added. "There are three or four girls on the team who had never picked up a lacrosse stick before this year. But this team is a true team because they all get along well."
Scoring from Elsey, Cord, Orendorf and McElhenny -- each with two goals -- is further indication of the team's compatibility.
"The scoring is usually pretty well spread around," Elsey said. "We never get upset with each other, and we all want to see our teammates do well."
"I can'tpick one player on the team above anyone else as an outstanding player," Frazer said. "They get along with each other and they get along with me and that's what has made it."