Second-ranked St. Paul's cracks NDP's defense, 8-7

Gators' late draw control helps overcome 6-3 deficit

Girls lacrosse

High Schools

April 06, 2005|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

For the first 15 minutes of yesterday's girls lacrosse game at No. 8 Notre Dame Prep, it seemed No. 2 St. Paul's might never solve the puzzle of the Blazers' stifling defense.

Quick slides among the field defenders and five terrific saves from goalie Caitlin Formby had the Gators wondering how to break through. Then Blake Hargest delivered the code - be patient and shoot high.

Hargest scored three goals, including the game-winner with 2:39 to go, to lead the Gators over Notre Dame Prep, 8-7, in an Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A1 Conference victory.

"We pretty much figured out the key was to shoot high," said Hargest. "[Formby] was a very good goalie and we had to shoot for those corners, because otherwise she'd save them."

At 5 feet 11, Hargest had the range to hit those high corners, and she got the Gators started with 10:08 left in the first half on a high shot in traffic that sent her tumbling. She slipped her other two goals in the high right-hand corner to beat Formby, who finished with nine saves.

"That's a tough shot for anybody to stop - that kind of height and that kind of leverage. She used her stick well," said Blazers coach Mary Bartel.

Formby's early performance and a strong effort from Blazers line defenders Kelly Hansen, Maggie Stout, Alex Radebaugh and Natalie Reid helped the Blazers take a 2-1 lead, build it to 6-3 and hold an advantage until the Gators tied the game at 6 on Sarah Seats' goal with 10:07 left in the game.

It didn't help that the Blazers (3-3, 1-1) turned the ball over 14 times, and possession became especially critical late in the game as the Gators (4-0, 1-0) used draw control to fuel their rally.

For much of the game, Megan Del Monte battled NDP's Caitlyn McFadden on the draw, but Del Monte won back-to-back draws that the Gators converted into the final two goals of a three-goal run to pull even at 6. The Gators also won the next draw and Caity Whiteley hit another high spot in the net to give St. Paul's its first lead of the game, 7-6, with 4:58 to go.

After Whiteley's goal, Charlene Morin scored her third goal of the game to pull the Blazers even at 7, a little over a minute before Hargest scored the deciding goal.

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