The St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes girls’ lacrosse team waited an agonizingly long month for another shot at top-ranked Georgetown Visitation after a rare regular season defeat. So when the Saints took the field for Wednesday’s Independent School League AA title game at St. Andrew’s Episcopal, they wasted no time in their effort to make amends.
The No. 2 Saints won the opening draw, and used their potent quick-strike offense to score three times before the Cubs could gain possession. And unlike their first meeting, this time the Saints never slowed down as they stormed to an 18-6 victory and another ISL title.
“We knew we had to come out here and prove ourselves,” Saints junior Carly Reed said. “And I think we showed that we’re the better team.”
After watching Cubs goalie Genevieve Giblin stop her first two eight-meter shots, Saints senior Michele Phillips fired home the game’s first goal just more than three minutes into the contest. Junior Layne Voorhees struck just 15 seconds later and Reed’s tally gave the Saints (24-3) a 3-0 lead in a 40-second span. The offensive onslaught was just beginning.
“When we slow it down, we lose our momentum, and that happened last time,” said Saints assistant coach Jessica Murray, filling in for Coach Kathy Jenkins, who was in Boston for the birth of her first grandchild. “Our girls are really good at attacking fast and attacking hard. Today they went hard to the cage every time.”
Kelly Myers stemmed the tide with back-to-back goals for the Cubs, but St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes answered with a 8-2 run to end the first half, led by three more Reed goals. The Saints led 11-4 at the break and with Visitation’s top scorer, Tess McEvoy, out with a yellow card, Vorhees pushed the lead to 12-4 early in the second half.
Just as they did in their regular season win, the Cubs (20-2) picked up their play considerably after the intermission. Six-foot sophomore Ana Hagerup — who scored the overtime game-winner in the previous meeting — had a pair of looks at the goal from just outside the crease, but sophomore goalkeeper Gussie Johns stood strong in net for St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes, stoning Hagerup on both attempts and collecting five second-half saves.
Hagerup got on the board minutes later and Riley Christopher trimmed the lead to 12-6, but the Saints closed out the win with six unanswered goals.
Reed led the way with six goals, Phillips had four and Voorhees tallied four times and was a force on groundballs as St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes avenged its lone league loss since 1995.
“It’s a great feeling,” Johns said. “And it’s great to see our team come together like this at the end of the season.”