Joppatowne girls lacrosse players Lisa Aquino and Chrissy Maly were treated to their share of defensive pressure in the Mariners' county matchup against the Bel Air Bobcats Wednesday. But that didn't stymiethe seniors.
They combined for 10 goals to lead the Mariners to adecisive 21-15 victory over the Bobcats.
Aquino and Maly were tightly marked by Bobcat defenders Carly Bivens, Jill Schultz and Laura Casey.
But Aquino and Maly had too much speed, stick control, and powerful shooting for the Bobcats. Maly often used her right shoulder as a block, bolting by defenders and firing hard shots into the net.
Senior Christine Bass and freshman Natalie Majerus each scored four goals, and junior Patty Whitehead scored one for the Mariners.
"The couple of kids who do our scoring are so dynamic," said Mariner coach Pam Reich. "They're very quick and have a variety of shots."
Bel Air head coach Carol Barker, after losing 10 starters to graduation, has said this season is a rebuildingyear. She has just two returning starters in defender Schultz and midfielder Bivens. That means there's a host of inexperienced players on the field, especially on defense.
To make matters tougher, Bobcat starting goalie Trish Heater was out sick. Junior varsity goalie Danielle Memmo got the call and finished with nine saves.
With Joppatowne's explosive offense, there figured to be an onslaught of scoring in Wednesday's game.
The Mariners (4-1, 6-2 overall) held a 10-7lead at the half. Junior Lisa Thomas scored six of the Bobcat's seven goals in that half, two assisted by Jen Emig and one by Stacy Tytus.
"We've been waiting for her (Thomas) to break out," said Bob
cat coach Carol Barker. "I think she was making a little better cuts and making use of her speed more effectively."
In the second half,the Bobcats (1-3, 1-7 overall) were unable to gain ground, as the teams exchanged goals -- four apiece -- in the first 12 minutes.
During that stretch, Bobcat goals came from Thomas, Shelley Paradise (five goals for the day), Stacy Tytus and Kellam Comer.
Bass scored the first goal of the half for the Mariners, Majerus scored on a free position shot and Maly scored twice in that stretch as the score stood at 14-11 at the 13:00 mark.
The Mariners then went on a 6-1 run to go ahead 20-12 with just four minutes remaining in the game. The Mariners were able to capitalize on fouls, scoring several goals on free-position shots.
"We did a good job of double-teaming . . . but we have to work on our one-stick checks," said Barker.
At the 3:56mark, Paradise scored for the Bobcats on a ground ball pickup and again on an assist from Emig with six seconds remaining to end the game.
Mariner junior goalkeeper Betzi Faust kept the Mariners in the game with 15 saves. She came out of the goal area a few times to offset Bel Air's shots on goal and had several good clears.