Webster puts Mount de Sales on the attack Her goal is to score, or assist a teammate

April 25, 1993|By John Coffren | John Coffren,Contributing Writer

"I look to pass as much as to score. As long as we win, it doesn't matter to me."

That's strange talk coming from one of Baltimore area's leading lacrosse scorers.

Mount de Sales senior third home Giovana "Jo" Webster also baffles defenses with her unpredictable attack style, full of quick cuts, touch passes and creative shots. It's a style that has led to 55 goals and 30 assists and the best start by Mount de Sales (14-0, 4-0) in seven years.

Webster, a co-captain with three seniors, leads a Sailors squad heavy with youth -- more than half the Sailors are freshmen and sophomores -- and firepower.

Four of the area's top 10 scorers play for Mount de Sales, #F including sophomore second home Amy Buck (38 goals and 13 assists), sophomore first home Paige Regan (16 goals and 19 assists) and senior third man Christy Tirocchi (22 goals and 12 assists).

It has been eight years since Mount de Sales won the Association of Independent Schools tournament by beating current two-year reigning champion Roland Park, 19-0.

Last year, Mount de Sales shared the West Division title with Seton Keough, but lost, 11-4, to Garrison Forest in the AIS quarterfinals.

Webster who coordinates goal attacks, finds ways for the Sailors to score, even when she's unable to get the ball into the net herself. When St. Mary's triple-teamed her, Webster set picks for Buck and Tirocchi, allowing others to bring on the attack.

Surprisingly, right-hander Webster doesn't favor the strong side of the goal.

"I try to shoot overhand, but I can shoot either way," she said. "I look at the goal and place my shot. I'll shoot left, right, as long as I make it in."

Coach Bill Held said: "Ninety-five percent of the time, she's a great shot selector. She's no thrower. She knows our credo: If you have a reasonable chance to shoot it, take the shot.

"The only way to play Jo is a zone. One on one, she can't be stopped."

Held emphasizes strong defense and ball control over fast-paced shootouts. He said he knows the dampening effect his coaching style has on the Sailors' offense.

"I know they get frustrated when I hold them back, but Mount de Sales has to come first, and they know it," he said.

Webster played her first two years at Mount de Sales under then-coach Linda Teodosio. She said that Held has a completely different approach.

"He knows exactly what each person is capable of," she said. "He yells a lot and pushes you as far as you can go."

Even Held's most capable player has a weakness, perhaps her only one, but she has learned to compensate.

"I don't have a lot of speed," Webster said. "I walk my defense player around. I use off-the-ball movements to lose defenders. I learned that from my dad and my sister."

Lacrosse is a family affair for the Websters. Her sister, Jennifer (Glenelg '88), led Howard County in scoring before playing one year at Loyola College. Her father, Donald, hasn't missed one of Webster's high school games.

Webster began playing lacrosse seven years ago in the Howard County Heroes League. She played one year at Glenelg before transferring to Mount de Sales.

Before this year, Webster played fullback for the Sailors' soccer team, but her father advised against her participation this year -- to avoid any injury that would disable her for lacrosse. Webster said she just played soccer to stay in shape.

Webster's love of lacrosse runs through the year, beginning with summer Baltimore Metro play at Garrison Forest and a return to Howard County Heroes. In the fall, she plays at Overlea and indoors winters at Catonsville. In case she gets the urge to put in a few hours at home, Webster can practice at the goal her father set up in the back yard, complete with a smiley-faced wooden goalie.

Last summer, Webster made the 20-girl team selection on the High Schools South National Team from a field of 400 of the top players in the state.

Webster will attend Division II West Chester (Pa.) on an athletic

scholarship. She'll study criminal psychology.

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