`D' boosts No. 1 Mt. Hebron

No. 2 St. Mary's shut down

No. 4 McDonogh upsets No. 3 Dulaney

Girls lacrosse

April 18, 2006|By KATHERINE DUNN | KATHERINE DUNN,SUN REPORTER

After scoring 108 goals in its first five games, Mount Hebron's offense would appear to be the driving force behind the No. 1 team, but yesterday, defense made the difference against the Vikings' toughest competition yet, No. 2 St. Mary's.

The Vikings held the Saints to just four first-half shots and shut them out for 26 minutes while building a 6-0 halftime lead in a 14-8 victory at the 10th Maryland High School Lacrosse Showdown at Johns Hopkins' Homewood Field.

In the first game, No. 4 McDonogh delivered its second straight upset, following last week's win over St. Mary's with an 11-8 victory over No. 3 Dulaney.

For the Vikings, who have won nine straight state championships, yesterday's victory extended their winning streak to 85 games dating to 2001.

"They're an excellent team," said St. Mary's coach Sue Chittim, whose Saints won the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A1 Conference last season. "They've been taking a lot of heat on LaxPower and all over the place about not being good enough, about not being great this year, and I never thought that for a second."

St. Mary's struggled early against the Vikings' high-pressure, double-teaming defense led by Jackie Doherty, Bria Eulitt, Ashley German and Jessica Glazer.

"They jumped us fast," St. Mary's attacker Caroline Cochran said. "We practiced it, but it was hard to get through. They're very quick."

The Vikings forced most of the Saints' 22 turnovers and scored three second-half goals off turnovers. The Saints never got closer than within four goals.

Doherty, a junior, said the Vikings were excited to play tough competition and that helped fuel the stingy defensive start.

"We were ready for them," she said. "We just read their plays, we knew what was coming. ... We've been doing our defense for so long and we just bring intensity to it, which makes it hard to play against."

The Saints (10-2) pulled within 9-5 on back-to-back free-position goals from Erin O'Donovan and Sam Schrum, but Megan Bosica answered those with consecutive goals to boost the Vikings' lead to 11-5 with 13:25 to go. St. Mary's never got closer.

Bosica, last season's All-Metro Player of the Year, had four goals and two assists, and Jacqueline Giles and Katie Rekart each had three goals. Schrum led the Saints with three goals and an assist.

In the early game, McDonogh broke out of an 8-8 tie to score three goals in the final 7:35 and finish off Dulaney in a game that featured five ties.

After Kim Dubansky gave the Eagles (12-0) a 9-8 lead with a free-position goal, the Lions won the next draw and spread the offense. They worked the ball around the perimeter for nearly three minutes before Casey Kelly found an opening in the middle and scored off a feed from Jenna Block.

"We wanted to stall," Dubansky said. "We had the lead. There was no reason to take it to the center and risk losing the ball. If we had an opening we would take it, but otherwise we were just trying to stall."

That strategy worked, because the Eagles won most of the late draws and took exceptional care of the ball, playing the last 14 minutes without a turnover. In the final 8:07, the Eagles had the ball for all but about 15 seconds.

After Kelly scored her fourth goal, the Lions won the next draw but turned it over on an offside penalty before they could take a shot. The Eagles scored on the break as Dubansky fed Kelly. Caroline Spearman won the final draw and the Eagles stalled away the last 3:38.

The Eagles outshot Dulaney 25-18, but the Lions (5-2) managed an early 3-1 lead thanks to goalie McKenzie Worthington, who made four saves in the first 20 minutes, including two at point-blank range.

But after Meghan Frederick's pass missed its mark and landed in the net to put the Lions up 3-1, the Eagles started finding low corners against Worthington and scored the next four goals.

The Lions played catch-up most of the rest of the game, due in part to 26 turnovers, five of which led directly to McDonogh goals.

"I think we kept up great intensity," Worthington said. "We didn't put our heads down. We wanted it until the end."

katherine.dunn@baltsun.com

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