High School Girls

March 2, 2016
Claire Smith (Northwestern) leads a Milton (Ga.) defense that has shut out its first two opponents of the season. (John Strohsacker)
Claire Smith (Northwestern) leads a Milton (Ga.) defense that has shut out its first two opponents of the season. (John Strohsacker)

Nike/LM South Region Report: Eagles Soaring at the Start

by Laurel Pfahler | LaxMagazine.com | Twitter

The Nike/Lacrosse Magazine National High School Top 25, Regional Top 10 and Players to Watch were released in the March edition. With several South Region teams already in competition, this is the first in-season installment of weekly reports.


1. Milton (Ga.), 2-0: The 10-time GHSA Class 6A champion Eagles have outscored their two opponents 38-0, including a 20-0 win against Cherokee in the opener Feb. 19 when 19 players scored on 11 assists. The schedule gets much more challenging starting next week with games against regionally ranked Walton (Ga.) and Vero Beach (Fla.) and national No. 1 McDonogh (Md.). Preseason Ranking: 1

2. Vero Beach (Fla.), 6-1: The Fighting Indians' 145-game in-state win streak came to a crash in the first week of the season, at the hands of Bishop Moore, but in five games since, no one has come within 10 goals of the 10-time defending state champs. The 14-6 loss (to a team that is now 3-3) couldn't have been a fluke, but it surely was a wakeup call. Preseason Ranking: 2

3. Lake Highland Prep (Fla.), 5-1: The Highlanders suffered a 15-13 loss to Olympia in Week 1, but they also picked up an impressive 13-12 overtime win over South-ranked Walton (Ga.). Preseason Ranking: 7

4. St. John's (Texas), 1-0: Coming off their best season in program history, the Mavericks had no trouble turning aside St. Agnes (Texas). They won 13-1 with a cast of seven returning starters leading the way. Preseason Ranking: 4

5. Walton (Ga.), 4-1: The Raiders, coming off back-to-back state runner-up finishes, opened the season in gritty fashion, going 2-1 in Florida with all three games being decided by one goal. More recently, Walton picked up a 20-10 win over defending GHSA Class 5A champion Kell. Preseason Ranking: 3

6. Ponte Vedra (Fla.), 7-1: The Sharks fell short against Walton, 17-16, on Feb. 20, but they have wins over Lassiter, which was Georgia's No. 3-ranked team before starting 0-2, as well as in-state victories over Olympia and Bishop Moore. Preseason Ranking: 5

7. Hutchison (Tenn.), 2-0: The five-time defending state champion Sting gave David Gearhardt an easy win in his debut as head coach, beating Lausanne (Tenn.) 20-2 on Monday and following that up with a 20-0 win over White Station on Tuesday. Preseason Ranking: 6

8. Lake Norman (N.C.), 1-0: Last year's NCHSAA state champions began their title defense with a 19-5 win over R.J. Reynolds (N.C.). The Wildcats will learn a lot more about themselves Saturday in a rematch of the 2015 final against Cardinal Gibbons. Preseason Ranking: 9

9. Westminster (Ga.), 5-0: The Wildcats have dominated so far, outscoring opponents 80-2. With eight returning starters from last year's Class 5A runner-up squad, Westminster clearly is ready for a bigger challenge. Preseason Ranking: 10

10. Olympia (Fla.), 8-1: The Titans' only blip came in the second game of the season, against Ponte Vedra, and no other team has held them to fewer than 15 goals. Preseason Ranking: NR


Megan Gorman, Vero Beach (Fla.)

A week after recording a pair of double-doubles to lead the Fighting Indians girls' basketball team to a state title, Gorman was back to dominating in lacrosse. The senior midfielder had five goals, one assist and a school-record 13 draw controls Friday as Vero Beach handed Pine Crest its first loss, 16-6.

Also notable: Karli Vockell, Bartram Trail (Fla.), Brailey Faris, Lake Highland Prep (Fla.)


Madison Cunningham, St. Thomas Aquinas (Fla.), Sr., goalie (Penn State)
Riley Harrison, Charlotte Country Day (N.C.), Sr., attack (UNC)
Erin McBride, Walton (Ga.), Sr., attack, (Notre Dame)
Lindsey McKone, St. John's (Texas), Sr., midfield (Northwestern)
Claire Smith, Milton (Ga.), Sr., midfield (Northwestern)

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