5-goal burst earns St. Paul's a win

Gators surprise St. Mary's, taking fifth victory, 11-9

Girls lacrosse

High Schools

April 08, 2004|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

There is a tendency for teams to let down the next time they play after a "big" win. But not coach Jim Stromberg's St. Paul's girls lacrosse team.

The No. 12 Gators, who upset top-ranked Notre Dame Prep on Monday, visited No. 8 St. Mary's at Weems Whelan Field yesterday and left Annapolis with an 11-9 victory.

Trailing 5-4, the Gators (5-1-1, all in league) scored the last two goals of the first half of the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference game and started the second half with three more for a 9-5 lead over the Saints (4-3, 4-2).

"If anything, [upsetting NDP] brought us a lot of momentum into the game," said Megan Del Monte, who had two goals and two assists for the Gators. "Up until now, we really haven't played the best game we can."

Senior attack Annie Wagner, who scored three goals and had two assists for the winners, said the Gators stress "trying to be better than the day before, and every day is a new day."

Seniors Jenna Hubbard and Kimmi Pastrana each scored two of their team-best three goals in the first half for St. Mary's. Sophomore Samantha Schrum gave St. Mary's a 5-4 lead with just over six minutes left in the first half.

But then, the Saints seemed to lose focus.

Three minutes before halftime, St. Paul's Sarah Seats tied the score at 5 off a cross from Del Monte. With 1:25 remaining, Cait Whiteley gave the Gators the lead for good at 6-5.

"We needed to play the whole game with the type of intensity we played with the last two [goals]," said Hubbard. "You can't let up on anybody in this league."

Seats, Del Monte, Whiteley and Catherine Onnen, who scored the first goal of the second half, had two goals each.

"We played a little scared in the second half, backing up on them instead of challenging," said Saints coach Sue Chittim. "Annie Wagner is the real deal, and St. Paul's is the best team we have played. This league is incredibly competitive and is moving and shaking at the top."

After St. Paul's built a 9-5 lead, its defense, led by Charlotte Ahearn, Blake Hargest, Jackie Blucher and Leslie Koch, did not let the Saints get closer than two goals.

"We got our sticks up better in the second half, and when your goalie makes some saves, you're going to be pretty good," said Stromberg of his Gators.

St. Paul's goalie Lidia Sanza, who made eight saves, had stellar back-to-back blocks with 8:00 left and 6:50 left to maintain her team's 10-7 lead.

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