Nike/US Lacrosse South Girls' Report
by Laurel Pfahler | LaxMagazine.com
Player of the Week
Emma Jette, Charlotte Catholic (N.C.)
The senior midfielder led Charlotte Catholic with three goals and one assist, including scoring what ended up being the game-winner in a 10-9 decision over Apex (N.C.) in the NCHSAA championship. Her final goal made it 10-8 with 3:50 to play and was the insurance the West Region Cougars needed. Jette, a fourth-year player and captain, finished with 46 goals, 27 assists and 30 ground balls this season. She had three ground balls in the state championship game.
Also Notable: Mia Castagnero, Apex (N.C.); Sydney Flynn, Sacred Heart (Ky.); Natalie Marek, Kentucky Country Day
Game of the Week
Apex (N.C.) at Cardinal Gibbons (N.C.), May 20
This is an NCHSAA state semifinal matchup between two of the top four power-rated teams in North Carolina, according to LaxPower.com. No. 2 Gibbons (16-2) handed No. 4 Apex (17-1) its only loss, 18-14 on March 14 and also won a first-round playoff matchup 21-11 last year before falling to eventual champion East Chapel Hill (N.C.) in the quarterfinals. The Crusaders' losses this season both came in March against Charlotte Catholic (N.C.), which plays Marvin Ridge (N.C.) in the other semifinal, and NCISAA champion Charlotte Country Day (N.C.).
South Region Top 10
1. Vero Beach (Fla.), 21-3
The Fighting Indians won their ninth consecutive state final, beating Ponte Vedra (Fla.) in the championship for their 128th consecutive in-state win. They finished 17-0 against Florida opponents and posted a winning record (4-3) against out-of-state competition, despite playing seven teams that are or have been ranked in the national Top 25. Vero Beach was led by Katy Pridemore (76 goals, 40 assists, 33 draw controls), Abby Shields (51 goals, 13 assists, 40 draw controls and 29 ground balls) and Allison McDonough (54 percent save rate).
2. Milton (Ga.), 19-3
The Eagles claimed their fifth straight state title and ninth in the past 10 years by beating Walton (Ga.) in the GHSA Class 6A final for their 66 straight in-state victory. The Eagles went 7-3 against non-Georgia opponents this season, including three overtime games (two wins) and five come-from-behind victories. Milton's losses were to national No. 3 Vero Beach, St. Stephen's & St. Agnes (Va.) and Strath Haven (Pa.). Its notable wins included beating nationally ranked Bishop Ireton (Va.) and Good Counsel (D.C.) along with Radnor (Pa.) and Loyola Academy (Ill.).
3. Hutchison (Tenn.), 22-0
The Sting finished off their first perfect season since 2011 with the program's fourth consecutive state championship, bringing their in-state win streak to 64 games. They outscored their opponents 393-111 this season, including victories against St. John's (Texas), Lassiter (Ga.) and Lamar (Texas) and three other out-of-state schools. Four players finished with 50 goals or more – Elizabeth Farnsworth (68 goals, 41 assists), Griffin Gearhardt (67 goals, 64 assists), Loring Gearhardt (6 goals, 41 assists) and Chloe Duke (54 goals, 21 assists).
4. Walton (Ga.), 14-7-1
The Raiders advanced to their first ever state final by beating Lassiter (Ga.) in the state semifinals May 14 but came up short in the final against Milton (Ga.). The 16-13 loss showed Walton's improvement from earlier this season when it fell 18-8 to the Eagles on March 18. Walton had lost to Lassiter by one in the regular-season finale. The Raiders' six other losses were the result of a beefed up schedule and included St. Stephen's & St. Agnes (Va.), Episcopal Academy (Pa.), Strath Haven (Pa.) and Radnor (Pa.). Walton was 4-4-1 against out-of-state competition with especially notable wins over Loyola Academy (Ill.) and Ponte Vedra (Fla.) and a tie against Lamar (Texas).
5. St. John's (Texas), 20-4
The Mavericks successfully defended their 2013 state title, avenging their only two in-state losses during the Final Four. They beat Hockaday (Texas) in the semifinals and Lamar (Texas) in the championship. Both opponents had beaten St. John's in the final two weeks of the regular season. The Mavericks finished 4-2 against out-of-state competition with three-goal losses to both Hutchison (Tenn.) and Los Alamitos (Calif.), which won the Southern California title. St. John's was led by Lindsey McKone (62 goals, 35 assists, 73 draw controls), Eden Epner (55 goals, 18 assists, 65 draw controls), Kara Wollmers (62 goals, 17 assists) and Winnie Brandfield-Harvey (7.3 saves per game).
6. Lassiter (Ga.), 17-4
The Trojans fell short of a return trip to the state final, losing to Walton in overtime in the semifinals. Lassiter had just one other in-state loss, falling 14-10 to champion Milton in the regular-season finale and its other losses were to Episcopal Academy (Pa.) and Hutchison (Tenn.), by one. The Trojans were 6-2 against non-Georgia opponents overall, including wins over Winter Springs (Fla.), Charlotte Latin (N.C.) and Ensworth (Tenn.) and two schools in more traditional lacrosse states.
7. Ponte Vedra (Fla.), 19-4
The Sharks finished as state runners up in their first trip to the Final Four, falling to Vero Beach for the second time this season in the final. They did not lose to any other Florida opponents, as Milton (Ga.) and Walton (Ga.) accounted for their only other losses. Emma Dotsikas finished with a team-high 61 goals, 26 assists, while Abby Walker added 42 goals and 49 assists. Ponte Vedra averaged 14.9 goals per game and allowed 6.3 goals per game.
8. Lamar (Texas), 13-4-1
The Redskins finished as the Division I state runners up to St. John's, after beating the Mavericks in the Houston city tournament final two weeks prior. They were 1-2 against St. John's this season, and their two other losses were to St. Anne's-Belfield (Va.) and Hutchison (Tenn.). They tied Walton in the first week of the season. Lamar was led by Tobey Folk (51 goals, eight assists, 35 ground balls, 55 draw controls), McKinley Wade (49 goals, 58 assists, 34 draw controls), Hannah Gantt (40 goals, eight assists, 31 ground balls, 29 draw controls), Lyndsay Lafitte (31 goals, 54 assists, 39 draw controls) and Macy Mosely (41 goals, 19 assists).
9. Barron Collier (Fla.), 18-6
The Cougars advanced to their first Final Four but ended their season in the semifinals with a six-goal loss to Vero Beach, which matched the Fighting Indians' closest in-state margin of victory this season. Barron Collier's only other in-state losses were to Lake Brantley (Fla.) and runner-up Ponte Vedra (by one), and the Cougars finished 3-4 against out-of-state competition. Junior Olivia Ferrucci, who is committed to the University of North Carolina, amassed 108 goals, 68 assists, 81 draw controls, 83 ground balls and 75 caused turnovers for the season.
10. Sacred Heart (Ky.), 21-3
The Valkyrie successfully defended their 2013 title by beating Kentucky Country Day (Ky.) 11-8 in the KSLL final on May 22. Hannah Hardy had three goals and one assist, Rachel Schmetzer added three goals and Syndey Flynn finished with five ground balls and four takeaways. Sacred Heart had beaten Manual (Ky.) 21-7 in the semifinals to advance, and it closed the season with 14 straight wins, following three consecutive losses to teams from Virginia.
News and Notes
With Charlotte Catholic's state final win over Apex, it averted a third straight loss in the NCHSAA championship.
It took a second-half string of three straight goals midway through to build a lead the Cougars would not lose. Emma Jette's third goal of the game made it 10-8 with 3:50 left, and although Apex's Mia Castagnero netted her fifth goal 21 seconds later, the Catholic defense was able to fend off a late charge and hold on for the win.
"We knew we had to pick it up or we were going to get second place again," Jette told the Charlotte Observer. "We knew that feeling and we didn't want it again. We dug down deep."
Castagnero, who also tallied a pair of assists in the game, had two more shots, one that hit the post with 2:40 remaining and the second of which goalie Michele Holmes saved in the final minute – her fourth save of the day. Holmes and first-half keeper Annie Brannon combined for nine saves.
Jette and Powell both finished with three goals for Catholic.
"I'm so proud of the team – we pulled it out in the end," Catholic coach Dee Bier told the Observer.
The Cougars finished 23-1 with their lone loss coming against Georgia's small-school division champion, Kell (Ga.).
Four years ago, Sacred Heart (Ky.) won its first state title in program history. This season, the Valkyrie claimed their third championship, doing it in back-to-back years for the first time.
The Valkyrie beat Kentucky Country Day (25-3) 11-8 last week in the final to complete a perfect record against in-state competition. They had beaten Kentucky Country Day 8-6 in the 2013 championship.
Seven of Sacred Heart's 11 goals were assisted and five different players scored, including three with hat tricks – Hannah Hardy, Rachel Schmetzer and Bridget Odom. Mary Alyce Furlong finished with seven saves, facing 26 shots for the game.
Check back to LaxMagazine.com every 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. This is the final South Region Report for the 2014 season.
2014 South Region Report Archive
- February 25 - Preseason Top 10/Player of the Year Watch List
- March 4
- March 11
- March 18
- March 25
- April 1
- April 8
- April 15
- April 22
- April 29
- May 6
- May 13
- May 20
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