Poly girls still tops in lacrosse

Seniors help Engineers win the close games to sweep four rivals for their fifth straight city title, clinching with 18-16 victory over City



Winning a Baltimore City championship is getting to be a habit for Poly's girls lacrosse team.

The Engineers' 18-16 win over City last week clinched their fifth straight city crown and their third outright. In 2003, they tied with Western.

Although the Engineers (9-2) lost a couple of games out of the league and were scheduled to play Western Tech yesterday, they swept their four city opponents to finish 8-0.

Poly coach Josh Headley said this year's title was particularly satisfying, because several games were so close. The City game on May 2 was tied at 16 with 1:44 left, and the Engineers nipped Western, 15-14, in their second meeting.

"The City game was down to the wire, and with Western, it's always a grudge match the second time around. They always come back stronger. That second game was a tight, tight game," Headley said.

He credits three seniors with providing leadership for the team - Elise Victoria, Caitlin Mathers and Brandy Garrison.

Victoria, who will play at Long Island next season, used her speed and endurance to record 22 goals and four assists.

Mathers can easily switch from the finishing role to the supporting role, contributing 33 goals and three assists.

Garrison, whom Headley called "the workhorse" in the middle, does all the little things. She has seven goals and 10 assists and scored the game-winner in the last Western game.

The Engineers also rely on center Kiara James (42 goals, 12 assists), a basketball player with terrific game sense; line defender Sandra Syntax, who has recreation experience; Krista Lessner, a quick study on line defense in her first season; and first-year goalie Alyssa Apolonio, who volunteered to fill the void after playing defense last season.

Poly's 6th title in row

Poly's baseball team (14-4) recently clinched its sixth straight Baltimore City League crown, a run that included the Engineers avenging their only losses with victories over Digital Harbor and Mervo by a combined score of 19-2.

The Engineers' record over the six-year run is 81-10 overall (81-3 against the city), with senior pitcher Chris Jacob having posted a 22-3 record in four seasons that includes 120 strikeouts in 147 innings.

In two seasons, junior pitchers Brian White and Brian Ellis have records of 13-1 and, 9-3, respectively.

"Of the six years we've won titles, four of them [we] have been undefeated in the league," coach Corey Goodwin said.

Among the Engineers' batting leaders are Salisbury University-bound catcher Robert LaRhue (.479), who has four doubles, four home runs and 18 RBIs, and Florida Tech-bound center fielder Matt Katona (.305), who has five doubles and two home runs.

Shortstop Troy King hits .426, followed by third baseman Rob Watkins (.415), White (.403) and Jacob (.392), the latter of whom also has 14 RBIs. White plays also plays shortstop and Jacob chips in a first base.

Tipping off a classic

When basketball season rolls around next winter, some of the best local girls match-ups will be at the first Breezy Bishop Classic at Western High School.

The event is named for the Doves' long-time coach, who compiled a 424-40 record before leaving in 1997.

Teams scheduled to participate along with Western include St. Frances, Seton Keough, Mercy, Southside, Riverdale Baptist, Elizabeth Seton and Oakland Catholic of Pittsburgh.

Long time coming

In the spring of 1972, the last time Cardinals Gibbons won a boys lacrosse title, present Crusaders coach Jamie Carver was a few months from being born.

But at 13-0 entering Friday night's Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association C Conference semifinal, Carver's Crusaders could be on the verge of another championship.

"I've told the kids that if you win a title, it will be among the fondest memories of your life," said Carver, 33, who was born on Sept. 29, 1972. "We've beaten every team in the conference twice, so we know it's possible."

Carver and assistant Ralph Quillen played for Dick Edell at the University of Maryland before graduating in 1997 and 1995, respectively. In defeating rival Towson Catholic, 10-9, in overtime on May 2, their Crusaders had to overcome a third-quarter, six-goal deficit.

Cardinal Gibbons, which is trying to reach its first title game since being runner-up to Chaplegate in 2002, starts only four seniors: midfielders Matt Srour and Steven Feltner and defenders Ray Lindsay and David Maggio. All four players have been designated as co-captains.

Wildcats on a roll

Northwestern's boys lacrosse team had a four-game winning streak through Friday's victory over Baltimore City rival Douglass. The Wildcats, who improved to 8-3 on the season, are led by attackman Lance Carter (51 goals, 21 assists), whose father, Lloyd, coaches the team.

In a 14-13 overtime victory over previously unbeaten Walbrook last Wednesday, Northwestern goalie Timothy Thompkins made 13 saves, and attackman Shelton Purnell had two goals and made his third assist on the game-winner by Carter.



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