Lacrosse Success Hangs In Balance


More Girls Teams Fighting For Spots In Rankings

April 23, 2009|By From Sun staff reports

This girls lacrosse season has turned into one of the more topsy-turvy springs in recent memory, with upsets a near-daily occurrence and more teams than ever before vying for spots in The Baltimore Sun's Top 15.

McDonogh has a firm hold on the No. 1 spot with Saturday's 10-9 win over The Washington Post's No. 1 team, St. Stephens/St. Agnes, and Wednesday's 10-6 victory over No. 2 Notre Dame Prep.

After the Eagles and Blazers, the rest of the poll has turned into a jigsaw puzzle.

Severna Park, two-time defending Class 4A-3A champion and a solid No. 2 until Saturday, dropped back-to-back games to No. 8 Broadneck and unranked Severn. Unranked St. Paul's and Maryvale scored wins over then-No. 10 Archbishop Spalding and then-No. 6 John Carroll, respectively, to jump into the No. 14 and No. 15 spots.

And that's just the beginning. Several teams beat ranked teams but lost to unranked teams in the same week.

How to explain all this? Broadneck coach Karen Tengwall said the playing field is becoming more and more even all the time.

"Girls in the offseason are working harder now than I've ever seen them working, and maybe it's coming to fruition. All the teams are sort of leveling out.

"There's always those teams that are going to [get] better because it kind of comes in waves, and some teams aren't as good because it comes in waves. That's just how it is," said Tengwall, whose Bruins made the most significant leap in this week's Top 15 poll, going from No. 8 to No. 4 after beating Severna Park, 18-9, and Spalding, 12-11.

Look for lots more flattening of the local girls lacrosse world in the next few weeks as teams wind down their seasons. By the time we get to the playoffs, there probably won't be enough room in the Top 15 for all the teams that deserve to be there.

Katherine Dunn

Just warming up

Ask No. 3 Severna Park baseball coach Jim McCandless if he anticipated a season like the one his undefeated Falcons are having and his candor will make you laugh.

"Yes, I did," he said.

But McCandless adds that while the 9-0 record isn't a surprise, the way his team has achieved it is.

"I thought it would be our offense that would propel us," said the coach, whose team finished last season with a 14-6 record and a No. 9 ranking. "But our pitching has been outstanding. Going into this season, we had Dylan Taylor with varsity experience and after him we had a question."

Taylor, a senior, has been tremendous. He's 3-0, with a 1.47 ERA. In 19 innings, he has allowed 10 hits and four earned runs and struck out 26. Opponents are batting .128 against him. But junior Sean Willey, up from the junior varsity, is also 3-0 and is leading the staff with an 0.43 ERA, having allowed one earned run in 16 1/3 innings. And senior Greg Monahan, who threw just three innings last season, is 2-0 with a 2.19 ERA.

As for the offense, the team is hitting .341. First baseman Mike Boushell is leading the team with seven doubles and 13 RBIs, but McCandless said there is more to come.

"We still feel we haven't gotten it going offensively yet," he said.

Sandra McKee

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