Undefeated Pate, White get their crowns

Poly girls lacrosse wins sixth straight city title


May 16, 2007|By Lem Satterfield and Katherine Dunn | Lem Satterfield and Katherine Dunn,Sun reporters

As freshmen a year ago, Poly's Joseph Pate and Towson's Hayden White each fell short of their goals of winning tennis titles in their respective jurisdictions at No. 1 singles.

Pate was unbeaten in 15 matches last season before finishing second in the Baltimore City championships behind Marcus Addison of City.

White, meanwhile, had lost once heading into last year's Baltimore County tournament. But after reaching the semifinals, academic priorities took precedence.

"I had two math tests the next day," White said. "And I had to miss the semifinals in order to study."

On May 8 and 9, Pate and White each completed unbeaten seasons against familiar opponents.

Pate came through first by turning the tables on Addison, and White ground out a three-set victory over Pikesville's previously unbeaten Paul Burgin, a sophomore who often serves as White's practice partner.

Pate defeated Addison in convincing fashion, as his 6-4, 6-1 victory increased his record to 14-0.

Only a fourth-year tennis player, Pate attended middle school at Gilman of the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association until transferring to Poly in the fall of his freshman year.

"Last year was a good season, but after it was over, I was looking forward to improving my game, trying to get better and to improve my results over the previous season," said Pate, who turns 16 on May 29.

"My main goal was to try and win the city championships, which I knew wasn't going to be easy," Pate said. "It was a great match. I had to play hard and to fight hard and, fortunately, I was able to win it. Now I just want to continue to raise the level of my game so that hopefully I can win it all again next year."

White earned a 5-7, 6-2, 6-1 tournament win over Burgin, improving to 13-0. White, who turned 16 on April 30, has been playing tennis since age 11, when he swapped his basketball - a game he had played since age 5 - in favor of the tennis racket.

"Compared to guys like Paul, who started at a much earlier age, I was kind of behind on the learning curve," said White, who is ranked No. 14 in the Mid-Atlantic region by the United States Tennis Association.

"When I was 11, I was ranked No. 11 in Baltimore and Paul was No. 1 in our age group," White said. "Paul didn't actually start practicing with me until about two years ago because I wasn't in his league until then. When he beats me, I try even harder. We both push each other to the next level."

Taking the sixth

Poly's girls lacrosse team finished a perfect run through the Baltimore City league to take its sixth straight city championship last week.

The Engineers (9-3 overall) went 7-0 in the city with a 13-5 victory over City.

"We just have a really good, strong bunch of seniors and a good group of juniors," coach Josh Headley said.

"If anything this year, it's just been the level of teamwork they've exhibited on their own. The whole team is working really well together. It's a really great team dynamic."

The Engineers' top scorer, center Kiara James, scored four goals in the win over City. She finished the season with 40 goals and 13 assists.

Karly Epp added 19 goals and nine assists while her sister, Rachael, had 13 goals and 11 assists.

Sandra Syntax (15 goals, five assists) and Brittany Ehatt led the defense, along with goalies Alyssa Apolonio and Tiffany Triplett.

lem.satterfield@baltsun.com katherine.dunn@baltsun.com

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