Mount de Sales tries on favorite role against St. Mary's

April 17, 1994|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,Special to The Sun

Mount de Sales coach Bill Held will find himself in an unusual position today when he leads his fourth-ranked lacrosse team into the final of the eighth annual Friendship Tournament against St. Mary's.

The role of favorite.

The Sailors, who have posted upset wins against the higher-ranked Saints in each of the past two seasons, today will be expected to beat No. 8 St. Mary's in the tournament finale at 3 p.m.

But Held isn't taking anything for granted.

"All it takes is for one attackman to step up and take control of the game," said Held. "We can't take anybody for granted."

Both finalists enjoyed blowout victories in yesterday's semifinals.

Mount de Sales took an 11-0 lead at the half before rolling to a 17-1 win over the Institute of Notre Dame. St. Mary's then scored its second lopsided win in two weeks over Archbishop Spalding, defeating the Cavaliers, 18-4.

Both teams used the opportunity to work on various aspects of their games.

The Sailors (14-0) concentrated their effort on passing and executing a number of new plays.

"We tried to work on our midfield passing," said attacker Amy Buck, who led the Sailors with four goals and two assists. "If you can get assists, it says a lot about your stickwork. I think if we play like we did today, we'll do well tomorrow."

Also leading the team's offense were Christy Buck, Lisa Banbury and Katie O'Connell, who scored three goals each.

The Saints (7-2) worked on their play also, though coach Tina Lewnes was careful not to show too much of her hand.

"We didn't want to work on too much because we knew Mount de Sales was watching," said Lewnes. "Basically, we'll try to stick to our normal game plan. [The Sailors] play tight on the inside, so we'll have to work on getting the ball in."

Attack wing Kirsten Angle led the Saints with four goals and Mary Sutton, Stephanie Fallon and Elizabeth Shaffner added three apiece.

Angle said that the past losses to Mount de Sales -- including a 9-6 decision in last year's tournament final -- only serve to incite the hungry Saints. "We're really excited to play them again," said Angle. "We didn't have a bad game last year, but we think we can win."

Despite losing, St. Mary's dominated last year's final for most of the game. They outshot the Sailors, 27-16, and held leads of 2-0 and 4-2 before the hosts scored five consecutive goals to take command.

And if the Sailors are to repeat, they may have to do it without the help of top defender Ana Martinez, who's been sidelined with the flu for several days. Her absence was evident in the Sailors' 8-6 victory over Garrison Forest last week, and Held admits that it may hurt in today's final.

"When she's healthy she controls the whole middle of the field for us," said Held. "Not having her at full strength is going to hurt."

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