If St. Anne’s-Belfield’s girls lacrosse team wants to keep playing right now, the Saints appear to be in a win-or-go-home situation.
With their backs against the wall Monday in the League of Independent Schools first round clash, STAB went to work, cruising 16-5 over the Gators to give the Saints a shot at No. 2-seeded Collegiate in the LIS semifinals Tuesday. The Cougars are currently ranked No. 8 in VISAA’s Division I, two spots ahead of the Saints.
Despite taking a 3-0 lead out of the gate, STAB had to work through some short early struggles to take control against Saint Gertrude.
“I thought we came out with a lot of energy but I felt like we were turning the ball over a lot,” said STAB coach Mary Blake. “But then we settled in, took care of the ball and distributed.”
Catherine Carden’s five goals and one assist combined with Claire Schotta’s four goals and two assists to handle the bulk of the offensive load for the Saints. It also helped STAB erase some of those early turnovers, and with Isabel Franks and Tilly Matheson each scoring twice, the Saints were in excellent position. Katie Define chipped in a goal and three assists and Ella Reidenhour and Gardiner Horridge each notched a goal.
“I felt like we distributed the ball well and kept the ball moving,” Blake said. “One thing I tell them is that the ball moves faster than people, lets get the ball moving.”
The Saints’ defense was solid, with keeper Molly Morris stuffing 11 shots by the Gators to lead the way. The Saints’ senior-heavy defensive unit in front of Morris also held up, forcing turnovers and transitioning the ball nicely throughout.
“Our defense is playing well and we were shuffling a lot of people in to try and save legs (for tomorrow’s game) so we were putting different people in,” Blake said. “It’s a puzzle, once you take one piece out it takes a couple of minutes to adjust, and Molly in the cage is always a nice thing.”
The Saints will face Collegiate at 5 p.m. Tuesday in the LIS semifinals.