Severn's torrid 2nd-half attack tops St. Paul's No. 9-ranked Admirals shut down No. 4 Gators

Girls lacrosse

April 16, 1997|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

St. Paul's spent most of yesterday's first half teaching host Severn the importance of having the ball. The Admirals then spent the second half showing they learned the lesson well.

Jessie Popham scored four times in the second half to help No. 9-ranked Severn rally from a pair of four-goal deficits in the first half and defeat No. 4 St. Paul's, 12-10, in an Association of Independent Schools A Division Sinclair League game.

St. Paul's (7-3, 0-1) started quickly, winning most of the draws and taking leads of 5-1 and later 8-4 behind the strong play of Lanie Pappas (three goals, one assist) and Mills Hook (three goals).

The Gators had possession for much of the first half. They dictated the tempo and ran their offense -- a point Severn coach Renie Sotiropoulos drove home to her team at halftime when it trailed, 8-5.

"I told them that at all costs you have to get possession," she said. "If you get possession you can score, and the other team can't."

The Admirals (9-2, 3-0) quickly proved their coach right after the break. They began winning draws, checking more effectively, and beating St. Paul's to loose balls, which gave them the ball for long stretches.

This gave the Admirals a chance to set up and run their offense. And once they started connecting on their passes, the goals started coming.

Jen Hartman (three goals, one assist) scored off a pass from Carol Prickett (three goals, one assist) just two minutes into the half. Popham (four goals) took a Reilly West feed and scored at 4: 56 to make it 8-7.

Momentum then shifted to the Admirals. Amy Galebach tied it on bounce shot after she scooped up a St. Paul's overthrow with 13: 15 left. Popham then gave Severn the lead for good with 11: 24 left after a great feed from Bess Freedlander (three assists).

Popham made it 10-8 on a good move in front with 8: 42 left. St. Paul's finally scored for the first time in the half on a Kate Ahearn goal 47 seconds later, but Becky Sawyer then scored for the Admirals, and Popham stretched it to 12-9 with 3: 01 left.

"Once we started coming back in the second half, we gained our confidence," said Popham.

Severn wound up scoring the first five goals of the second half and getting eight of the game's final 10. The Admirals' midfield played strongly and helped keep possession a large part of the time.

In addition, keeping the ball kept St. Paul's offensive threats from doing any damage.

"They came back and they pressured the ball well," said St. Paul's coach Traci Magness. "When they had the ball, they NTC scored. We had the ball some of the time and didn't score."

Pub Date: 4/16/97

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