No. 3 Blazers pull away from Spalding, remain undefeated in IAAM A lax; Mardiney has four goals (VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS HERE!!)
Having already beaten rival girls' lacrosse teams from Virginia, Pennsylvania and New York, Notre Dame Prep will venture a trip back to the Old Dominion State when it challenges unbeaten St. Stephen's & St. Agnes School on Friday in a game that should prepare the third-ranked Blazers for next Thursday’s showdown against No. 1 McDonogh School.
Still, NDP was wise to avoid looking ahead to those opponents while an encounter with an athletic and ambitious Archbishop Spalding squad was staged in an Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference contest Thursday afternoon at Yeardley Love Field in Towson.
While never in real danger, the Blazers needed a four-goal outburst in the second half by junior attacker Hannah Mardiney and a key ground ball by veteran midfielder Grace Haus to record a 13-10 victory over the No. 8 Cavaliers.
Spalding was on a 3-0 tear on goals by senior attacker Lilly Stump, junior Jenna Garden and senior Mary-Macintyre Poulton with just under four minutes remaining in regulation when sophomore Olivia Malamphy brought the ball into the attack area to search for another goal.
With momentum leaning heavily toward the Cavaliers, one of the main seniors NDP coach Mac Ford relies on, Haus, came up with a key ground ball to nip the comeback bid in the bud.
“It started with the defense,” Haus, a University of Florida commit, said about the critical caused turnover. “We really pressure out on our defense. Toward the end of the second half we even tried to pressure out with our defense even more. It was our defense that did that.”
Once Haus secured the ball, the Blazers (12-1 overall, 8-0 IAAM A) were able to play keep-away the rest of the way to wrap up the win. It was only the fourth time this season an opponent has been able to put up as many as 10 goals on NDP’s stingy defense.
“I think it was a little bit of an off-day for us,” Haus added. “Luckily, we still pulled it out, but our defense played great at the end of the game. I think we just needed to stay with it a little bit more.”
Mossman, junior midfielder Jordan Sabourin and Mardiney then rattled off three straight goals to give NDP an 8-3 advantage until freshman Lacey Eden cut the lead to 8-4 with 18 minutes left in the second half. Mardiney converted a feed from Mossman before Stump and sophomore Alexandra Schepers answered for the Cavaliers (10-3, 6-3 IAAM A) to make it 9-6 six minutes later.
Mardiney and senior midfielder Katie Railey then took turns assisting one another prior to Mardiney’s free-position goal that made it 12-6 with just over 10 minutes to go. After Spalding junior Olivia Piccirilli and Mossman traded goals, the Cavaliers made their final push until Haus stepped in to thwart the rally.
“We went man-to-man in the second half because we were trying some things,” said NDP coach Mac Ford, noting his team typically plays a ‘backer’ defensive alignment in front of senior goalie Lucy Lowe. “Our kids just stopped moving their feet and they (Spalding) played much better in the second half. The good news is we have a game tomorrow to see if we can do better.”
Spalding coach Tara Restly said that she was pleased with the effort, but not satisfied with the loss.
One Cavalier who has made a full adjustment to the competitive environment is Stump, who led all scorers with five goals and an assist.
“She knows the pace of the game at this level,” Restly said. “She’s very comfortable playing in the league.”
NDP will take on St. Stephens/St. Agnes, ranked No. 3 in the nation by US Lacrosse, Friday afternoon in Alexandria, Va. The Blazers are ranked 9th by US Lacrosse.
No. 3 Notre Dame Prep 13, No. 8 Archbishop Spalding 10
Goals: Archbishop Spalding - Lilly Stump 5, Jenna Garden, Alexandra Schepers, Lacey Eden, Olivia Piccirelli, Mary-Macintyre Poulton; Notre Dame Prep - Hannah Mardiney 4, Caitlin Mossman 3, Jordan Sabourin, Katie Railey, Liza Regan, Sydney Rosa Gil Eby, Grace Haus
Assists: Archbishop Spalding - Lilly Stump 2, Olivia Piccirelli, Jenna Garden, Emily Kane; Notre Dame Prep - Hannah Mardiney, Katie Railey, Liza Regan, Caitlin Mossman
Saves: Archbishop Spalding - Allison Mervine 7, Paige Gunning 2; Notre Dame Prep - Lucy Lowe 4
Last Updated (Friday, 21 April 2017 08:40)