Nike/US Lacrosse South Girls' Report
by Laurel Pfahler | LaxMagazine.com
Player of the Week
Erin McBride, Walton (Ga.)
The sophomore attacker/midfielder came up big in several ways to lift her team to a 14-13 win over national No. 12 Loyola (Ill.) last week. She scored seven goals but also added one assist, six ground balls, five draw controls and three caused turnovers. The Notre Dame commit has been reliable all season, as the team's top scorer and one of the most well-rounded players in the state. She also led the Raiders in a 10-9 loss to Lassiter (Ga.), scoring two goals in the first two minutes and finishing with three for the game.
Also Notable: Cara Anderson, Lassiter (Ga.); Loring Gearhardt, Hutchison (Tenn.); McKinley Wade, Lamar (Texas); Emma Dotsikas, Ponte Vedra (Fla.); Cabell Zakas, Westminster (Ga.); Ruthann Payne, J.L. Mann (S.C.)
Game of the Week
Lassiter (Ga.) at Milton (Ga.), May 2
The top two teams in the Peach State meet in the regular-season finale and a rematch of last year's state final, which Milton won 10-7 after a more dominant result earlier in the season. Milton has not been tested by a Georgia opponent yet this year, playing its closest game against Walton in an 18-8 win, and the Eagles have won 60 straight games against in-state opponent, a streak dating back to the 2009 state championship. Lassiter was the only team to even come close to Milton last year and looks for a strong performance to finish off an impressive showing this season. The Trojans' only losses were against Episcopal (Pa.) and Hutchison (Tenn.).
South Region Top 10
1. Vero Beach (Fla.), 18-3
The Fighting Indians extended their in-state win streak to 125 games with first- and second-round state play-in victories over Jensen Beach (Fla.) and Satellite (Fla.) last week. Their 20-0 win over Satellite in the second round Friday marked their first shutout of the season, though the defense has limited opponents to six goals or less in 14 games. Sixteen players scored for Vero Beach, including two each from Makala Peirce, Katy Pridemore and Hannah Pridemore.
2. Milton (Ga.), 13-3
The Eagles won all three of their Legacy Cup games over the weekend to wrap up a brutal eight-game stretch against out-of-state teams. Milton beat national No. 16 Bishop Ireton (Va.) 12-10 on Friday before picking up overtime wins against No. 12 Loyola (Ill.) and 2013 California sectional champion Carondelet (Calif.). Brooke Wisness led the team with nine goals over the three games.
3. Hutchison (Tenn.), 18-0
The Sting capped a perfect regular season with a 14-7 win over Centennial (Ga.), extending their win streak to 38 games overall. Freshman Griffin Gearhardt finished the game with four goals and now has a team-high 102 points on the season (52 goals and 50 assists). Hutchison also had wins over Pope John Paul II (Tenn.) and Ravenwood (Tenn.) last week with Loring Gearhardt scoring eight goals against Ravenwood.
4. Lassiter (Ga.), 14-2
The Trojans rolled to a 21-2 win over Charlotte Latin (N.C.) and earned a notable 10-9 victory over Walton (Ga.) in the "Game of the Week" on Saturday. Lassiter rallied from a three-goal deficit in the first half to tie the game at 5-5 before intermission. Goalie Cara Anderson finished with eight saves, including one on a 1-on-1 situation in the final minute.
5. St. John's (Tx.), 15-2
The Mavericks beat Episcopal Houston (Texas) 18-7 in the Houston city tournament semifinals on Thursday and were set to face Lamar (11-3) in the championship Monday night. Both teams advance to state to represent the South district. St. John's, which edged Lamar in overtime March 28, has won eight straight games going into the second matchup.
6. Walton (Ga.), 11-6-1
The Raiders split games last week, including a one-goal loss to Lassiter (Ga.), but move up with the help of a 14-13 win over national No. 12 Loyola on Thursday. Notre Dame commit Erin McBride led Walton with seven goals and one assist. Against Lassiter, Walton scored with four seconds left and had a 1-on-1 chance saved in the final minute.
7. Ponte Vedra (Fla.), 17-3
The Sharks edged Lake Brantley (Fla.) 15-14 in the second round of state tournament play-in games Friday. Emma Dotsikas led the team with five goals, and Katie Mauro added three. Earlier in the week, they ended St. Augustine's season at 16-3, beating the Yellow Jackets for a second time, 17-2, behind Abby Walker's four goals.
8. Lamar (Texas), 11-3-1
The Redskins beat Woodlands 11-8 in a Houston city tournament semifinal on Thursday with assists on every goal. McKinley Wade had three goals and four assists, Tobey Folk finished with four goals and Lyndsey Lafitte had one goal and two assists. It was Woodlands' third loss of the season.
9. Benjamin (Fla.), 12-3
The Buccaneers are one game away from a return to the Final Four after edging Pope John Paul (Fla.) 9-8 in the second round of state play-in games, but they would have to pull off a major upset to get back. Benjamin, which beat Oxbridge (Fla.) 17-3 in the first round last week, plays eight-time defending state champion Vero Beach on Tuesday.
10. Sacred Heart Academy (Ky.), 16-3
The defending Kentucky state champion Valkyrie have won nine straight since suffering three straight wins against Virginia opponents the first week in April. They picked up two wins against Indiana's Carmel and Fisher's-HSE on Saturday.
Milton (Ga.) tested itself against a schedule of 10 out-of-state opponents this season and came out of it 7-3. Three of those went into overtime (two were wins, one was a loss), and the Eagles won two games by one goal and one by two goals, and in all five of those close wins were come-from-behind victories while down late in the second half. Milton played teams from Florida, Maryland, California, Illinois, Virginia and Pennsylvania.
"Hopefully this tough schedule will have us prepared for another run at the state championship," Milton coach Tim Godby said. "By playing teams from different regions, we had to learn how to make adjustments to our offense and defense and adapt to the different styles of play from each team. We have shown that we can win and compete with teams from anywhere in the country."
Last week, Milton finished its out-of-state schedule by winning all three of its games in the Legacy Cup. The Eagles beat Bishop Ireton (Va.), 12-10, despite winning just four draws, they edged Carondelet (Calif.) 9-8 in overtime despite playing 75 percent of the game on defense, and outlasted Loyola (Ill.) in a back-and-forth battle that ended in overtime.
Against Carondelet, Milton got a strong performance from an unexpected contributor. Third-string goalie Alex Bunn came in to relieve Shahpar Mirza, who had the flu, despite the fact Bunn had not played in the previous seven games. She finished with four saves and forced a turnover, holding Carondelet scoreless while she was in the game.
Westminster (Ga.) sophomore Cabell Zakas had an impressive showing last week. She finished with four goals and four assists in an overtime win over Pope (Ga.), and she followed that up with a six-goal, eight-assist performance in a 18-3 win over River Ridge (Ga.). The eight assists were a school record for most in one game, breaking her old record of seven achieved earlier this season. Pope entered the game with a 12-2 overall record and River Ridge was 10-3. Zakas now has 37 goals and 45 assists on the season.
Hutchison (Tenn.) outscored opponents 316-95 during its 18-0 regular season. Freshman Griffin Gearhardt (102) and eighth grader Elizabeth Farnsworth (80) pace the team in total points, averaging more than six per game. Loring Geahardt has 77 total points and leads the team in forced turnovers. Chloe Duke and Sandy Smith also average more than three points per game.
J.L. Mann (S.C.) successfully defended its 2013 state title last week, beating Wando (S.C.) 13-11 to win its fourth championship in program history. J.L. Mann (17-3) was led by Ruthann Payne's five goals and one assist, and Luci Ellison had a team-high eight ground balls. Wando (13-2) got six goals from Jessie Bunting.
Vero Beach (Fla.) and Benjamin (Fla.) are the only two teams from last year's Final Four still alive in the playoffs, but the two teams meet in a third-round play-in game Tuesday, meaning three new teams will get a chance this year. Benjamin lost to Vero Beach in the state semifinals last year, 14-5. Barron Collier fell to Vero Beach in the third round last year and plays St. Thomas Aquinas on Tuesday, looking for another chance at the Indians in what would be the Cougars first trip to state. The Final Four takes place this weekend in Bradenton.
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
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