Gators earn IAAM A's No. 2 seed

St. Paul's 9 St. Mary's 8

Girls Lacrosse

May 02, 2006|By KATHERINE DUNN | KATHERINE DUNN,SUN REPORTER

With a little over a minute left in yesterday's girls lacrosse game vs. No. 3 St. Mary's and the second seed in next week's A Conference tournament on the line, St. Paul's goalie Lidia Sanza had a feeling her next move might make the difference.

The No. 7 Gators had a 9-8 lead when St. Mary's All-Metro attacker Allison Perkins set up for an 8-meter free-position shot.

"I just knew I had to stop it," said Sanza, a senior. "She faked high and then she dipped low, so I just put my feet together and put my stick there and it bounced off [the stick]. I thought it might come down to that shot."

It did. After Sanza deflected Perkins' shot for her eighth save, her sister, Iliana Sanza, won the ricochet at the sideline and ran the ball to the far end. The Gators maintained possession for the final minute.

In a game that was tied five times in the second half, Caity Whiteley's free-position goal with 2:12 left held up as the game-winner.

For the Gators, who have won three one-goal games in a row, the victory clinched the No. 2 seed for next week's Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference tournament behind unbeaten McDonogh, which has only today's makeup game remaining at Notre Dame Prep. The defending champion Saints (13-4 overall, 12-2) dropped to third.

With the second seed pot comes home-field advantage through the semifinal round, something the Gators (14-2, 12-2) wanted badly.

"We always start really slow on the road," Lidia Sanza said. "We get the bus ride out of us and then we're fine."

The Gators needed most of the first half to recover from the long ride to Weems Whalen Field in Annapolis as St. Mary's ran up a 3-0 lead in the first 10 minutes.

After Ellen Cook put the Gators on the board, the Saints kept the pressure on. Lidia Sanza made two saves before Samantha Schrum scored on a feed from Perkins to boost the Saints lead to 4-1. That would be their biggest lead of the game.katherine.dunn@baltsun.com

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