Nike/US Lacrosse South Girls' Region Report
by Laurel Pfahler | LaxMagazine.com
Player of the Week
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Chloe Duke, Hutchison (Tenn.)
The senior attacker came up big for Hutchison during a three-game road trip in Texas, especially helping the Sting gain control of the ball off draws. Though her eight goals in three games has become standard, Duke also finished with 19 draw controls (four vs. St. John's, six against Lamar and nine vs. Episcopal Houston). Coach Sam Ziegler said, "In big games, controlling the draw is probably most important, so that was huge for us." Duke is committed to play at Johns Hopkins next year.
Also of note: Erin McBride (Walton, Ga.), Winnie Brandfield-Harvey (St. John's, Texas), Hannah Davis (Milton, Ga.), Kylie Borislow (Benjamin, Fla.)
GAME OF THE WEEK
Milton (Ga.) vs. Vero Beach (Fla.), March 15, 10:30 a.m. at the University of North Carolina
This game should settle any disputes over who the No. 1 team is in the South. Milton beat Vero Beach last year for the first time in six attempts, winning 14-13 on the road, and both teams remain solid. The Fighting Indians, winners of eight-straight Florida state finals, graduated just three starters and added some depth in the offseason. The eight-time Georgia state champion Eagles lost seven players to Division I college programs but still have eight DI commits on the roster and reloaded with the help of a strong feeder system. Vero Beach agreed to meet Milton in North Carolina to obtain a rematch, something the players have been anxiously awaiting since last year's loss. The Eagles will play Archbishop Spalding (Md.) at 1 p.m. Friday, and the game against Vero Beach will be followed by a college game between UNC and Georgetown.
South Region Top 10
Vero Beach (Fla.), 6-0: With a 16-1 win over Lake Highland Prep on March 4, the Fighting Indians now have outscored opponents 98-20 this season. A game against unbeaten Winter Springs was postponed because of bad weather.
2. Milton (Ga.), 3-0: The Eagles held Roswell scoreless through the first half and rolled to a 19-4 win at home Friday with 12 players scoring on 70 percent shooting. Brooke Winsness led the team with three goals, two assists.
3. Hutchison (Tenn.), 5-0: The Sting went 3-0 during a trip to Texas last week, highlighted by a 10-7 win over previous No. 3 St. John's. Hutchison, which also beat Episcopal Houston 23-8 and ranked Lamar 16-8, has now won 25 straight games.
4. St. John's (Texas), 3-1: The Mavericks picked up a 12-7 win over The Woodlands but dropped a competitive game against Hutchison on Friday. St. John's created opportunities on turnovers but couldn't finish them.
5. Lassiter (Ga.), 3-0: The Trojans added a 23-4 win over Woodstock (Ga.) and were set to play Wheeler (Ga.) on Monday before a 10-day break from action. They resume play with a seven-game stretch of out-of-state opponents.
6. Benjamin (Fla.), 4-1: Sophomore Kylie Borislow scored five goals and added five draw controls to help lift the Buccaneers to a 13-8 win over Pope John Paul II (Fla.) on March 4. Their lone loss came at the hands of Vero Beach.
7. Walton (Ga.), 3-0-1: The Raiders took a double-digit lead against Wheeler (Ga.) less than eight minutes into their March 4 game and won 23-3. Erin McBride and Riley Ewing each scored five goals and tallied two assists.
8. Bartram Trail (Fla.), 6-1: The 2013 state runner-up Bears are off to another strong start with notable wins over Orlando-Bishop Moore and Oviedo. Bartram Trail's lone loss to Vero Beach (16-9) was the closest any Florida team has played the Fighting Indians.
9. Lamar (Texas), 2-1-1: The Redskins were up against Hutchison (Tenn.) at halftime but couldn't hold the lead and lost 16-8 on Saturday. With a senior-laden roster, Lamar still looks to contend in just its second year playing Division I.
10. Westminster (Ga.), 4-0: The Wildcats have yet to be challenged, while outscoring opponents 83-8, but this weekend's Dogwood Classic should provide some good competition. The 2013 Class 5A-A champions open against defending Alabama state champion Mountain Brook.
Westminster School (Ga.) hosts its 14th Annual Dogwood Classic on Friday and Saturday, featuring some of the top teams in the South. The field includes eight teams from Georgia, Texas, Virginia, Alabama and Tennessee, including Lamar (Texas) and traditional Virginia power St. Anne's-Belfield. Also playing will be Georgia 6A quarterfinalist Alpharetta, two-time state champion Lovett (Ga.), Centennial (Ga.), and multi-year Tennessee state finalist Harpeth Hall, as well as defending Alabama state champion Mountain Brook, who plays Westminster in the first round at 7 p.m. Friday. Admission to all games is free, and the finals are set for 3 p.m. Saturday.
Hutchison (Tenn.) went 3-0 on its big trip out of state for the first time in coach Samantha Ziegler's three years, something she said is a nice confidence boost for her team. "It's our first time winning all three games," Ziegler said. "Especially getting the win over St. John's (Texas) kind of gets us over the hump. It helps prove ourselves against great competition and shows we are up there in the rankings for a reason and we did what we were supposed to do." The Sting went 1-2 last year in Georgia and 2-1 during a trip to the D.C. area in 2012. The 10-7 win over St. John's was the first time Hutchison had been tested this season, but the Sting was sparked by goalkeeper Jenny Davis (10 saves) and attacker Chloe Duke (four draw controls), as defense and success on draws proved to be a difference maker, according to Ziegler. "It was a collective effort that started with defense making a stop and leading to someone connecting on a shot," Ziegler said. As for what Hutchison learned from the experience, Ziegler said "just being patient. We faced a tougher defense than we had been. They took the ball away and we weren't as focused as we should be. We learned more about understanding game management too – when we were up learning to stall a bit and learning to get goals when we needed them." Eighth-grader Elizabeth Farnsworth led the team with 19 points in three games and has 28 total points this season.
St. John's sophomore midfielder Lindsey McKone led the Mavericks last week with five goals and one assist in a win over The Woodlands (Texas) and three goals and an assist against Hutchison. Sophomore goalie Winnie Brandfield-Harvey had 22 saves over the two games.
Walton had several contributors in its latest win against Wheeler. In addition to the five-goal efforts by McBride and Ewing, Hunter Corvin added two goals and eight assists, while Lindsey Epstein chipped in five assists. Laura Jordan, Meghan Butler and Kylie Holthaus each scored two goals, and every player had at least two ground balls – including 10 by Lizzie Misel. Emily James finished with seven games.
Ponte Vedra (Fla.) earned a notable 16-15 win over Barron Collier (Fla.), which finished 2013 as the second-ranked team in Florida. The Sharks (4-1) were set to play unbeaten Winter Springs (Fla.) on Monday – a game that could launch either of those teams into the rankings.
2014 South Region Report Archive
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