Key's single-handed effort propels St. Mary's

Senior scores all the goals in 6-3 win over St. Paul's

High Schools

Girls lacrosse

April 16, 2003|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

As a senior leading the metro area in scoring, Mary Key wanted to do all she could yesterday to get her St. Mary's team back on the winning track after the Saints suffered their first Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference loss on Monday.

All Key did was score every one of the goals by the No. 9 Saints as they built an early lead and held off No. 11 St. Paul's, 6-3, in Brooklandville.

On Monday, the Saints squandered a 6-4 halftime lead and lost at No. 8 Notre Dame Prep, 10-7. Yesterday, they led 4-0 at the half and held on despite giving up two Gators goals to start the second half.

"This was humongous, considering they beat NDP," said Key. "We thought maybe they would underestimate us, but we needed to come out and have this win to keep us near the top of the rankings in our league."

Key, who is headed to Johns Hopkins in the fall, has scored 57 goals and 18 assists in 11 games - an average of 5.2 goals a game. Yesterday, she beat that average by a nose as the Saints improved to 9-2 overall and 8-1 in the A Conference.

"She's really quick," said Gators sophomore defender Charlotte Ahearn, who drew the tough assignment. "She does the same thing every time, but she has that one quick step to get ahead of you."

Before the Key show began, the Gators had their chances to strike first, maintaining possession for the first five minutes and getting off a pair of shots. One hit the pipe and Saints goalie Allie Buote snared the other - the first of 10 saves she would make in a terrific performance.

The Gators (6-4-1, 4-2-1 conference) slowed the pace of the game and worked the ball for several long stretches, but they could not convert against a defense anchored by Mindy Jones, Lauren Dyer, Kelsey Wogelmuth and Kristin Nassar.

"They were very patient with their attack. Our defense did a great job staying calm and not going crazy and trying to get the ball back. They kept positioning and everyone was sliding very well and talking," said Buote, a junior who came into the game with a .593 save percentage.

Annie Wagner, who leads the Gators with 29 goals and four assists, helped rally her team in the second half, despite playing with a stress fracture in her left foot.

Freshman Caity Whiteley scored the first goal of the second half and Wagner added the second off a broken play to pull within 4-2 with 16:10 to go. But Key wiped out one of those with a free-position goal with 14:59 left.

Wagner scored her second goal to get within 5-3 with 10:12 left, but her free-position attempt to cut the lead to one was snuffed by Buote a few minutes later.

"They were doing to us what we normally do," said Gators coach Jim Stromberg, who expected more of a transition game from the Saints rather than a heavy dose of set offense. "They did it well and their goalie really played well."

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