No. 15 Liberty can't keep up with speedy St. Stephen's, 12-6 Va. team stops Lions in tournament final

April 07, 1996|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

On a day more suited to football than lacrosse, St. Stephen's/St. Agnes used its passing game to blitz opponents at the Liberty Lacrosse Invitational.

The Saints put on a dazzling display of passing that led to a five-goal, two-assist performance from Lael O'Shaughnessy and a 12-6 victory over No. 15 Liberty in the championship game of yesterday's tournament.

Since this game was in a holiday tournament and would not count toward the state regional playoff seedings, Liberty kept its regular-season victory streak of 44 games intact.

St. Stephen's/St. Agnes, from Alexandria, Va., created numerous scoring opportunities with its slick passing.

The Saints got offensive help from several places, including Brooke Jenkins (two goals, two assists), Kristen Seith (two, one) and Amy Zimmer (two, one).

One play symbolized the entire game for the Saints. With St. Stephen's/St. Agnes holding on to a 5-4 lead, goalie Shana Crabtree raced about 30 yards upfield and lofted a perfect 30-yard toss to Lee Yarbourgh on the right side.

Yarbourgh then connected with O'Shaughnessy racing down the middle of the field. O'Shaughnessy went in alone and beat goalie Heather Carter with 20 seconds remaining in the half.

The Lions repeatedly tried to slow the pace to neutralize the Saints' speed and passing. Liberty often got the ball to Trisha Shaw (three goals) or Kari Evans (two goals) and cleared out areas so they could go to the goal.

But the Saints made some defensive adjustments as the game progressed, stopping this and other moves. The Lions had taken leads of 2-0 and 4-2 in the first seven minutes, but the Saints held Liberty to only two goals in the final 43: 07. Liberty still stayed close. After Zimmer's early second-half goal gave the Saints an 8-4 lead, the Lions began to rally.

Shaw made a nice move, going from back to front to score and ending a nearly 29-minute scoring drought for Liberty with 13: 53 left. Evans then sliced the lead to 8-6 when she scored on a free-position shot with 6: 24 left.

But St. Stephen's/St. Agnes used its speed, passing and fast-break ability to slam the door.

Both teams played well in their first-round games.

The Saints rolled over No. 14 Centennial, 15-2, while Liberty beat Catonsville, 14-6.

Pub Date: 4/07/96

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