August 19, 2013

Team STX Caps First Season With Ocean City Title

by Sean Burns | LaxMagazine.com | Twitter

Gallery: Team STX Takes OC Women's Elite Title

Team STX captured its second major tournament of the summer by topping Salty Balti in the Ocean City Lacrosse Classic elite women's final on Sunday.
©John Strohsacker/LaxPhotos.com

Stellar goalkeeping by Dana Cahill helped lead Team STX to the title in the women's elite bracket at the Ocean City Lacrosse Classic, sealing the hardware with a 12-8 victory over Salty Balty in the finals on a rainy Sunday on Maryland's shore.

The win ends a hugely successful summer for Team STX, which took first place in both Ocean City and the Vail Shootout in July. The team finished fifth at the Lake Placid Summit Classic, but suffered just one loss, to eventual champion Team HLA/X10 in pool play.

"Our focus [Sunday] was really above and beyond what it had been at other tournaments," said Carrie Gamper, who manages the team and works for STX. "The girls really showed a lot of hard work and after a full summer together, I really think they are the elite post-collegiate team. Hopefully this can be the beginning of a new revolution in women's lacrosse."

The team dominated in pool play to earn the top overall seed in the playoffs for the women's elite bracket, then took wins on Sunday morning over the Turtle Hounds (by a 6-5 score) and CyberCore (10-5) before the final showdown with Salty Balty.

With soggy conditions on the field and a steady rain falling as they took the field, Team STX couldn't rely on its usual offensive strategy of Maggie Tamasitis feeding from the crease area and setting up teammates, leading them to take more of a 1-on-1 dodging strategy for the playoffs. Lauren Schmidt, Julie Gardner and Brittany Brigandi led the way on Sunday, keeping the STX squad a step ahead of their opponents on the way to victory.

Cahill was strong throughout the tournament, stopping shots left and right and throwing in a big scoreless half effort in one of the playoff games. She let in fewer than three goals in each of her outings over the weekend, according to Gamper.

With a season under its belt, Team STX hopes that it can serve as a model for other similar squads to form for the next club circuit.

"We just hope that another group can step up to the plate and have a team like this – there's so much opportunity out there for players and for companies, we just want to provide opportunities for girls to continue playing lacrosse," Gamper says.

"We've had a huge reaction from our followers on social media and getting great response from the 12, 13, 14-year-olds out there. They want to be a part of this team some day, and our girls are doing such great grassroots work, talking to girls at camp every day and working with them and showing them how to be the best they can be. They're such good role models and they just want to help grow the game."


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