Nike/US Lacrosse South Girls' Region Report
by Laurel Pfahler | LaxMagazine.com
Player of the Week
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Katy Pridemore, Vero Beach (Fla.)
Despite constant pressure, the senior scored six goals, including two eight-meter direct shots, to lead the Fighting Indians to victory against Milton (Ga.) – a matchup of the nation's No. 6 and 10 teams at the time. Pridemore has 38 goals this season (4.8 goals per game) and is on pace to surpass last year's 92-goal total (3.8 goals per game). Once committed to the University of Florida, Pridemore instead elected to attend a Christian school and signed with Liberty University in November.
Also notable: Cabell Zakas (Westminster, Ga.), McKinley Wade (Lamar, Texas), Emma Dotsikas (Ponte Vedra, Fla.), Mackenzie Lech (Milton, Ga.)
GAME OF THE WEEK
Lassiter (Ga.) vs. Winter Springs (Fla.), March 21, 4 p.m. in St. Petersburg, Fla.
This AmLax Challenge game pits together two unbeaten, South region-ranked teams for their third meeting all time. Winter Springs won both of the previous two games against Lassiter, winning 17-5 in 2012 and 17-9 in 2011. After the most recent matchup, the Bears went on to finish their season 20-2, while the Trojans ended at 14-5. For Lassiter, this is one of seven straight games against non-Georgia opponents, while Winter Springs is playing three consecutive out-of-state opponents.
South Region Top 10
1. Vero Beach (Fla.), 8-0
The Fighting Indians secured their place at the top with a 15-11 win over Milton (Ga.), avenging last year's one-goal loss with the help of nine goals from the Pridemore sisters, Katy and Hannah.
2. Milton (Ga.), 4-1
The Eagles' loss to Vero Beach on Saturday came on the heels of a hard-fought 16-15 win over Archbishop Spaulding (Md.) the day before. Milton came back from a seven-goal deficit for the win.
3. Hutchison (Tenn.), 5-0
The Sting was idle last week, but now looks for its 51st consecutive in-state win as it hosts White Station (Tenn.) on Tuesday. Hutchison has not allowed more than eight goals in any game.
4. St. John's (Texas), 5-1
The Mavericks opened a four-game stretch in the Golden State 2-0 – outscoring Trabuco Hills (Calif.) and Redondo Union (Calif.) 30-3 – and was set to face California state champion Los Alamitos on Monday.
5. Ponte Vedra (Fla.), 7-1
The Sharks' lone loss came against Vero Beach, 13-3, on March 3, and they've since added wins against previously ranked Barron Collier (Fla.), which is now 8-1, and 2013 state runner-up Bartram Trail (Fla.).
6. Lassiter (Ga.), 4-0
The Trojans added a 25-2 win over Wheeler (Ga.) and heads into a seven-game stretch of out-of-state competition now having outscored opponents 91-16. Cydney Tutchton (11 goals, 2 assists) and Alex Fusco (11 goals, 4 assists) lead the team.
7. Walton (Ga.), 4-0-1
The Raiders cruised past Woodstock (Ga.), 25-5, on March 14 and is on a roll heading into Tuesday's game against Milton (Ga.). Erin McBride and Riley Ewing each scored three goals in the win.
8. Winter Springs (Fla.), 6-0
The Bears are off to a strong start, including a triple overtime win over Oviedo last month, but had their two biggest games -- against Vero Beach and Ponte Vedra – postponed until later in the season.
9. Lamar (Texas), 6-2-1
The Redskins handed Kincaid (Texas) its first loss last week and then went 2-1 at the Dogwood Classic in Atlanta, including double-digit wins over Lovett (Ga.) and Harpeth Hall (Tenn.). Their loss was to tournament champ St. Anne's-Belfield (Va.), 12-7.
10. Charlotte Catholic (N.C.), 4-0
The 2013 state runner-up Cougars have outscored opponents 56-9, including victories over Marvin's Ridge, Charlotte Day and Porter Ridge last week.
The Vero Beach (Fla.) girls lacrosse team traveled 11 hours by bus to play one game against Milton (Ga.) on Saturday, but it proved well worth the trip for the Fighting Indians.
Out for revenge following a one-goal loss to the Eagles last year, Vero Beach opened the scoring and never trailed en route to the 15-11 win. It secured the Indians place at the top of the region's rankings and is the first big game in a brutal portion of their schedule. Vero Beach has lost to Milton just once in seven meetings.
"It's a friendly rivalry but they took it from us last year, and that hurt," Vero Beach coach Shannon Dean said. "It burned a little fire in our girls, and the key word was redemption -- that's why the school, players and parents were willing to travel that far for one game."
In addition to Katy Pridemore's six goals, Hannah Pridemore had three goals, Megan Gorman added two assists and six draw controls, and Allison McDonough made nine saves in goal.
Vero Beach won 16 of 28 draws and overcame 17 turnovers to earn the win. Dean said cutting down turnovers has been a focus since last year, but especially will be necessary this week, as the Indians face four national Top 25 teams in five days.
"Being able to overcome those mistakes shows what a very talented and experienced team we have," Dean said. "When you play elite teams, you're not always going to get those opportunities, so we have to cut down on turnovers if we want to succeed this week. That's a credit to Milton – they had a lot of great plays, and that's a solid program that reloads every year."
Vero Beach plays host to No. 12 Georgetown Visitation (D.C.) at 5 p.m. Tuesday and No. 1 McDonogh (Md.) at 7 p.m. Wednesday. The Indians head to the ESPN Wide World of Sports in Orlando to play No. 17 St. Paul's (Md.) at 7 p.m. Thursday, and are back home at 5 p.m. Saturday against No. 4 Harriton (Pa.).
"People say we are either crazy or genius to play all these teams, but it's great to play this kind of competition," Dean said. "We're ready. We're healthy. It will be very difficult to win on a schedule like this, but we remain optimistic. Anything can happen."
Milton (Ga.) rallied from an 8-1 deficit to beat Archbishop Spalding (Md.) on Friday before losing to Vero Beach. The Eagles closed the gap to a three-goal deficit by halftime and opened the second half with four unanswered goals for an 11-10 advantage. They scored the game winning goal with 2:12 left.
Seven players scored for Milton, including Mackenzie Lech (four goals, one assist, five draw controls), Jessi Masinko (three goals, two assists, two interceptions) and Emily Velez (four goals).
Ponte Vedra (Fla.) earned a pair of wins over Georgia teams over the weekend, beating Chattahoochee 20-9 and Mill Creek 16-11. Emma Dotsikas scored four goals and had two assists against Chattahoochee, following a three-goal effort against Bartram Trail (Fla.) the previous game.
Westminster (Ga.) finished second in its 14th Annual Dogwood Classic on Friday and Saturday in Atlanta.
The Wildcats lost 18-4 to St. Anne's-Belfield (Va.) in the championship. Lamar (Texas) finished third, beating Harpeth Hall (Tenn.) 15-4 in the consolation finals behind Hannah Gannt's four goals and McKinley Wade's three goals and give assists. Centennial (Ga.), Alpharetta (Ga.) and Lovett (Ga.) took fifth, sixth and seventh, respectively.
South region players named to the All-Tournament Team include: Alpharetta senior goalie Elaine Bradley, Centennial senior midfielder Becca Davis, Lamar senior midfielder Lyndsey Lafitte, Westminster junior midfielder Chandler McCarney, and Westminster sophomore attacker Cabell Zakas, who was named Co-MVP.
Zakas set a school record with seven assists in a semifinal win over Harpeth Hall. For the tournament, which marked her first competition of the year, she had two goals and 11 assists. Zakas set the school's freshmen scoring record last year with 60 goals.
One-loss Barron Collier (Fla.) played four games in eight days and was led by Olivia Ferrucci's 20 goals and 10 assists. She has 42 goals, 25 assists, 43 draw controls and 36 ground balls this season.
2014 South Region Report Archive
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