St. Paul's puts down No. 1 Severn by 10-6

With 21 saves from Sanza, No. 6 Gators clinch victory over 2nd top-ranked team

Girls lacrosse

High Schools

April 17, 2004|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

When St. Paul's Lydia Sanza stopped a free-position shot by Jess Adam, Severn's All-Metro midfielder, 50 seconds into yesterday's game, the sophomore goalie knew it would be a good day.

She just didn't know how good.

About an hour and 21 saves later, Sanza's teammates smothered her in gratitude as the sixth-ranked Gators upset a second No. 1 team, outlasting the Admirals, 10-6, in Brooklandville. Two weeks ago, the Gators beat then-No. 1 Notre Dame Prep, 7-6.

Sanza, whose 21 saves were a career high, allowed only one free-position goal against five attempts by the Admirals, who lost their first game in seven league starts. At least four times, she snuffed one shot and recovered for a point-blank save off the rebound.

"Every game at some point, she's come up huge for us when we've been out of position or fouled," said Gators coach Jim Stromberg. "She has confidence, and our kids have confidence in her, that she's going to step up and make a big save when she has to."

In the clash of two of the hottest teams in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference, Sanza made three saves in the first 10 minutes, sparking a 5-0 Gators run. Sanza, who got lots of help from defenders Jackie Blucher, Leslie Koch, Jill Whitty and Charlotte Ahearn, said that early save against Adam set the tone.

"I really felt good when I saved the first shot, because I usually don't save the first shot," Sanza said with a laugh.

Adam managed to slip only one free-position shot past Sanza, but her sister Anastasia Adam led the Admirals with three goals. Jess Adam gave Sanza much of the credit for the Gators winning their fifth straight.

"Unbelievable saves," Jess Adam said. "It was like the ball in my stick was a magnet to her feet. She ... was one of the forces that kept us out of the game."

Although the Gators (7-1-1 overall, 6-1-1 league) were out-shot 29-19, they were efficient in the first half, taking a 7-2 lead. Early in the second half, however, the Gators struggled to hold onto the ball in transition and on attack. Sanza saved them six times in the first nine minutes.

Sarah Seats converted a pass from Blake Hargest for an 8-2 lead before the Admirals (6-1, 6-1) rallied with three straight goals. They pulled within 8-5 with 11:19 to go when Bri Ned found Anastasia Adam open on the crease.

The Gators then doused the momentum, with Megan Del Monte and Annie Wagner hitting back-to-back goals for a 10-5 lead with 1:30 to go.

Del Monte led the Gators with four goals and three assists, and Wagner scored three times.

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