Nike/US Lacrosse Mid-Atlantic Region Report
by Mike Loveday | LaxMagazine.com
Top PerformersZoe Stukenberg, Marriotts Ridge (Md.)
Stukenberg scored six goals and added three assists in a 13-12 win over then, nationally ranked Mount Hebron on April 27. Stukenberg's unassisted goal with 1 minute, 13 seconds left in the fourth overtime helped give the Mustangs a lock on their second straight Howard County championship. She followed that up with a four goals and two assist game in a 19-6 win over Glenelg. She added three more goals in a loss to national No. 1 McDonogh.
Natalie Carti, Indian Hills (N.J.)
Junior Natalie Carti was named the Newark Star-Ledger's Player of the Week last week after she recorded her 300th career point on April 25. Carti had three goals and four assists as Indian Hills defeated Bergen Tech 18-7 in the first round of the Bergen County tournament. Carti has 306 career points (174 goals, 132 assists) and will attend Michigan.
Besser Dyson, St. Stephen's & St. Agnes (Va.)
The senior has been stellar this season and proved invaluable as the Saints took on a group of Top 25 teams over the last two weeks. Dyson most recently dished out six assists and scored two goals in a 16-9 win over nationally ranked Good Counsel (Md.). That performance came on the heels of a six assist, five goal stretch in which St. Stephen's took on a pair of nationally ranked New York programs, defeating Manhasset (N.Y.) and falling to St. Anthony's (N.Y.). Dyson has 111 assists and 41 goals this season.
Games to Watch
IAAM Championship Game – May 12
Of course, McDonogh is expected to reach the conference championship and is once again the favorite to win it all after going 11-0 in the conference during the regular season. Who they will play is anyone's guess at this point and St. Paul's (Md.) and Bryn Mawr (Md.) both went 9-2 in conference and Maryvale Prep (Md.) went 7-4, but reached the conference championship last year after posting a very similar regular season record. Each of the past two conference championships have been a real test for the Eagles. In 2011 Roland Park fought back only to eventually fall 18-7, which was the closest game for McDonogh all season. In 2012, it looked as though the Eagles would lose, trailing Maryvale Prep late, until Taylor Cummings' heroics saved the game, championship and winning streak. If the Eagles win again, they will once again lock up the National Championship.
ISL Final – May 15
A Top 5 meeting of St. Stephen's & St. Agnes (Va.) and Georgetown Visitation (D.C.) is expected, barring major upsets of either team. Last year Visitation got the better of St. Stephen's in the regular season, but the roles were reversed in the championship. This year, the Saints took the regular season meeting so the Tigers are looking to avenge their only loss of the year. It could be an important game and with a win Visitation could move into contention for a Top 3 or even a No. 1 rankings (assuming McDonogh has not sealed it up by then). St. Stephen's would have trouble moving ahead of St. Anthony's (N.Y.) due to the head-to-head loss, but Visitation with a win would avenge its loss and give voters something to consider if St. Anthony's or Garden City (N.Y.) stumbles on its way to conference and state championships.
1. McDonogh (Md.), 20-0
The Eagles have now won 89-straight games after finishing the regular season undefeated 19-0 and beating Archbishop Spalding in the IAAM quarterfinals. The Eagles stepped out of conference for its final two games of the season to take on two of Maryland's premier public school teams, Century (Md.) and Marriotts Ridge (Md.). Megan Whittle continued her torrid season, scoring eight goals in the final two games of the season.
2. St. Stephen's & St. Agnes (Va.), 21-1
The Saints dropped their first game of the year, 9-8, to nationally ranked St. Anthony's, but remain the No. 2 team in the Mid-Atlantic for now. Besser Dyson tallied four points (two goals, two assists) in the loss to the Friars. St. Stephen's did come out of New York with a win over nationally ranked Manhasset (N.Y.), 16-14. The Saints finish up the regular season on May 7 with a game against Flint Hill.
3. Georgetown Visitation (D.C.), 16-1
Visitation wraps up the regular season on May 7 against Holton-Arms and assuming expectations play out will finish on a seven game winning streak. An inevitable meeting with St. Stephen's & St. Agnes in the conference championship awaits. Tess McEvoy leads the team with 59 goals while Riley Christopher leads with 38 assists.
4. Moorestown (N.J.), 15-0
Marie McCool has been fantastic this season and in wins over Clearview (N.J.), Ridgewood (N.J.) and New Egypt (N.J.) showed why she's one of the nation's top recruits. The junior tallied 11 goals in three wins, including four against Ridgewood.
5. Bryn Mawr (Md.), 10-4
Thankfully, the IAAM playoffs have begun and the order of teams will be settled on the field, but for now Bryn Mawr and its five-game winning streak get the nod after St. Paul's stumbled against North Harford in its final regular season game. The Mawrtians are the No. 3 seed and beat Notre Dame Prep 11-9 on Monday in the quarterfinals.
6. St. Paul's School for Girls (Md.), 12-4
St. Paul's received a first round bye in the IAAM A Conference playoffs and beat John Carroll 17-7 in the quarterfinals.
7. C.M. Wright (Md.), 13-1
C.M. Wright finished the regular season May 2 with a win over Perry Hall (Md.). The Mustangs Have won five-straight games and won the Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference (UCBAC) with a 12-10 victory over North Harford (Md.). Brooke Williams scored three goals and an assist in the win.
8. Century (Md.), 12-2
It's difficult to penalize a team for a three-goal loss to the No. 1 team in the nation and there is little reason to move the Knights. Century came closer than anyone other than Milton (Ga.) to downing McDonogh this season -- losing by just three goals, 10-7.
9. Harriton (Pa.), 15-1
The Rams have defeated almost everyone of importance in the Philadelphia area this year – downing Radnor (Pa.) 10-9 and Conestoga (Pa.) 13-10. Only an 11-8 loss to Springfield-Delco (Pa.) on April 2 blemishes their schedule. A May 7 meeting with Strath Haven (Pa.) will be another test as the Rams are riding an 11 game winning streak.
10. North Harford (Md.), 9-2
The Hawks enter the Mid-Atlantic rankings this week after defeating St. Paul's (Md.) 12-11. It's the second-straight year North Harford has downed a team that was nationally ranked at the time, defeating Good Counsel 18-9 last season. Narrow losses to Maryvale Prep (Md.) and C.M. Wright (Md.) keep them at the No. 10 spot for this week, but they are sure to see C.M. Wright again once the playoffs start next week.
News and Notes
McDonogh (Md.) has been the most consistent team in the nation this year. The Eagles have scored at least 10 goals in every game and allowed more than seven just three times this season. The closest any team has come to defeating them is by three goals (Milton from Georgia and Century from Maryland). Their average margin of victory is 9.947 goals per game.
The numbers coach Chris Robinson's team has posted are staggering. The Eagles have not lost to a Maryland program since May 10, 2008 when they lost to John Carroll 11-6 in the IAAM championship game. Since then they have rolled off five-straight conference championships. Their last loss was April 11, 2009 against Canandaigua Academy 12-10.
"Last year we had so many big name personalities with big game experience. This year's team we had a lot of talent, good young talent, but the question mark was how we'd handle the pressure and where we'd get the leadership," Robinson said. "It took us a little while to figure it out to figure out what kind of team we were."
Megan Whittles and Samantha Burgess are the high-profile scorers this season, but Robinson uses 18 to 20 players every game.
"The way we're winning games is wearing down opponents," Robinson said. "We're bringing in second midfielders and backup defenders. When you play us you're going to have to play the full game up and down the field."
For those two [Whittles and Burgess], when we were trying to figure out what we doing offensively everyone was keying on them," Robinson added. "They were the total focus of the other teams defense. Where they have been able to come to life is the way we have gone into transition. we've done so much with our riding and pressing, they've been able to get their goals off turnovers."
The Eagles get started on the road to their fifth-straight conference title with an earned bye in the first round of the IAAM A Conference playoffs. They kicked off the quarterfinals on May 6 by hosting an Archbishop Spalding team they defeated 18-7 on March 26. Should the seeds win, a second round meeting with last year's runner-up, Maryvale Prep (Md.) awaits.
"We've had some battles already this year. The 2012 team dominated from start to finish and didn't have that epic one-goal type of game [until the conference championship]," Robinson said. "But we've had some games this year where we were down by three or even four goals and battled back. This team is battle tested and that's a real plus for us."
Around the Mid-Atlantic
Freshman Daniella McMahon of Saddle River Day (N.J.) leads New Jersey with 105 points and 97 goals this season. The attacker has five games with at least 10 goals, including a 12-goal game against Clarkstown North on April 19 ... Westfield (Va.) clinched the Concorde District's top spot with a 17-13 win over Centreville (Va.) on May 1. Junior Molly O'Sullivan scored seven goals in the win ... Another freshman is having a stellar year, this time goalie Emma Ryan of Park View (Va.). The goalie leads the Washington D.C./Northern Va. area with 231 saves this season, which includes two games of at least 30 saves. She had a season high 32 saves in a 19-4 loss to Loudoun County ... Staying in Northern Virginia, a pair of St. Stephen's & St. Agnes athletes lead the area in goals and assists. Carly Reed has 95 goals this season while teammate Besser Dyson leads the area with 105 assists ... Morgantown (W.Va.) is the only undefeated team in the state and should finish 7-0 with a win over University (W.Va.), which is 0-4 this season ... Cape Henlopen (Del.) continues its statewide dominance, starting the season 10-0 and posting wins over Ursuline Academy (Del.) in addition to out-of-state teams Holy Cross (Md.) and Worcester Prep (Md.).
Note: The Nike/US Lacrosse Regional rankings will not necessarily reflect the same order as the Nike/US Lacrosse National Top 25 poll, which is voted on by US Lacrosse area representatives and Lacrosse Magazine contributors. LM contributors compile the regional rankings.
Check back to LaxMagazine.com every other Tuesday throughout the high school season for updates to the Nike/US Lacrosse Regional Girls' Top 10 rankings and the Nike/US Lacrosse National Girls' Top 25.