Mays-driven Annapolis routs Paint Branch, 19-5

Junior's 5 goals, 4 assists pave way to state final vs. 9-time champ Hebron

Class 3A-2A girls lacrosse

May 19, 2002|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

A diminutive, freckle-faced junior with a pleasant smile, Annapolis' Kelsey Mays looks the harmless sort. But a lacrosse stick in hand, coupled with her speed and athleticism, transforms the 5-foot, 115-pounder into the opposition's worst nightmare.

Mays needed only seven shots to match the number of goals scored by visiting Paint Branch in yesterday's 19-5, Class 3A-2A state semifinal victory. She finished with five goals and four assists, doing most of her damage in the first half.

"She's a strong scorer and moves her stick beautifully under pressure," said Panthers coach Dave Gehrdes. "Given the chance, she'll get a great shot off."

Mays got help from Michelle DeChant (four goals, three assists), Shelly Boyle (three goals, two assists) and Cara Cerone (three goals, one assist) as Annapolis (14-4) advanced to Wednesday's state title game against nine-time champion Mount Hebron (18-0). The game will be at 6 p.m. at UMBC.

The No. 15 Panthers are making their fourth state title game appearance, having won in all three of their previous trips. In 1991, Annapolis beat Mount Hebron, 11-10, in triple overtime.

"That was a long time ago," said Gehrdes, later adding, "If we don't play well, they could beat us by 15 goals."

But Mays might have something to say about that. The most athletic of her four siblings, she grew up a "tomboy" in her neighborhood of Epping Forest. Her childhood buddy was Brian Vetter, a starting attackman on the Annapolis boys' team.

"There weren't any girls my age in my neighborhood, so Brian and I always hung out together," Mays said. "I guess I'm the most athletic person in my family, but I don't know where it comes from."

Paint Branch (11-5), in its first state semifinal, fell behind 13-1 at halftime as Mays assisted on her team's second, fourth and sixth goals, and scored its seventh, eighth, ninth, 11th and 12th.

"I love the game so much, and I just get so excited when I get out there," said Mays. "Once I picked up a lacrosse stick, I've just developed a love for the game."

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