Maryvale refuses to let this one go

Lions put '01 loss to rest by fending off Bryn Mawr in the IAAM `A' final, 9-6

Girls lacrosse

May 12, 2002|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

The celebration came a year later than expected, but that just made it all the sweeter for Maryvale's girls lacrosse team.

After getting knocked out in the semifinals last season, the No. 2 Lions finally completed their title run with a 9-6 victory over No. 8 Bryn Mawr in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference final last night at Johns Hopkins' Homewood Field.

"The feeling is almost indescribable," said Lions goalie Megan Huether. "It doesn't seem real yet. It's a whole rush of emotions. This makes up big time for last year. "

The Lions, who have lost only one regular-season IAAM game in two years, were 15-0 going into the semifinals a year ago, before Notre Dame Prep tripped them and went on to claim the title.

"This is something each of us has been working for for a year, and we finally got what we came for," said midfielder Katie Chrest. "We carried a lot of the emotion that we had from last year's loss into this year."

Huether and Chrest - the All-Metro duo headed for Duke next season - turned in extraordinary performances in leading the Lions (13-1-1) to their first private schools championship since 1988.

Huether made six saves and Chrest had a hand in almost every point, finishing with four goals and three assists.

Midway through the first half, Huether made three key saves that enabled the Lions to make their break. She stopped a couple of shots from Megan Burker, who finished with five goals, and made a terrific one-on-one deflection against Olachi Oparah in transition - all within a four-minute period.

Right after that stand, the Lions took off on a 4-0 run, building their lead to 5-1 on Kelly Mulford's goal with 6:10 left before halftime.

But it was Chrest who started things rolling for the Lions' high-powered attack.

Seeing minute openings and anticipating exactly where her teammate would be, Chrest made two exceptional passes in the first half that Laura Nolan deftly finished off for goals. The second one, with 49 seconds left in the first half, stopped a two-goal Bryn Mawr spurt and gave the Lions a 6-3 lead going into the break.

"Katie has some kind of super-human power," said Burker, with a laugh. "She just knows what's going to happen next. She's always aggressive but always under control."

Each time the Lions seemed ready to break the game open, the Stanford-bound Burker kept the Mawrtians (12-4-3) within striking distance.

Her tough-angle bouncer brought them within 5-3 late in the first half. After Maryvale ran its lead to 7-3, she nailed a nifty sidearm shot and then slipped two defenders to plant the ball in a low corner, pulling the Mawrtians within 7-5 with 11:39 left.

But Chrest wasn't about to be stopped. She grabbed the momentum back with a free-position goal.

With Chrest, Mulford, Nolan and Casey Hazel drawing most of the Mawrtians' defensive attention, Jessica Lovelady slipped loose for an unassisted goal with 6:07 left to push the Lions lead to 9-5.

The Lions didn't miss many shots, hitting nine of 14, six of seven in the first half.

For the Mawrtians, who took 18 shots, some missed opportunities early loomed large. In the first seven minutes, they missed four shots - two wide and two that bounced on the turf in the crease but jumped over the goal - and turned the ball over twice as Huether and Chrest each snagged a ground ball.

"If there was some way we could have come out with a little more intensity in the first half. We were just slow getting going. We needed some kind of offensive push, and we got it too late," said Burker, who posed for pictures after the game with two of her best friends - Huether and Chrest.

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