Virginia Lacrosse

Kelly Austin, Kelsey Horton Break St. Stephen's/St. Agnes Records as Saints Win Third Straight VISAA Lacrosse Title

By Jeff Nelson
Special to The Washington Post
Sunday, May 17, 2009

Before Kelly Austin finished a record-setting career with yet another championship, the St. Stephen's/St. Agnes senior did something yesterday she had never done: She signed an autograph, obliging the request of two young girls who wanted a memento from the most prolific goal scorer in Saints' girls' lacrosse history.

"I was shocked," Austin said. "I was like, 'My signature is horrible. I'm sorry.' And they were like, 'No, we love it.' "

Austin proceeded to show why she's admired, as she scored five goals and dished out four assists in St. Stephen's/St. Agnes's 18-6 victory over Potomac School in the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association championship game at Episcopal.

The Virginia-bound attacker finished her three-year varsity career with 232 goals and 120 this season, breaking the previous records of 226 and 92, respectively.

Junior attacker Kelsey Horton also completed a history-making season by notching one goal and six assists, giving her 146 total points and 99 assists this year, both Saints records. The old marks were 126 and 80, respectively.

The most important number for both girls, however, was three -- as in, three consecutive VISAA titles for No. 1 St. Stephen's/St. Agnes.

"We all work really hard and we have a lot to play up to because of all the past years and champions," said Horton, who has committed to Maryland, "so we're just keeping up the tradition and working hard for our coaches. They expect a high level of play, so we try to match that."

The Saints (25-2) were expected to beat Potomac School (12-7), especially after winning the regular season matchup, 19-7. But St. Stephen's/St. Agnes Coach Kathy Jenkins said her team never treats any game as a formality.

"You need to respect every team you play. You never know when they're going to have their A-plus game and you're going to have your B game. So you need to come in wanting to have your best day ever," Jenkins said. "I feel like we came to play today."

The Saints jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first six minutes and an 8-1 lead midway through the first half. By the break, their advantage was 12-3, and the clock ran for most of the second half with the lead in double digits.

In the end, the Saints got to walk off the field like so many of their predecessors -- as champions, admired by all of the younger girls in the crowd.

"Coach Jenkins basically breeds lacrosse players," said Austin, who has attended St. Stephen's/St. Agnes since kindergarten, "so you always look up to them and you always want to live up to that legacy and carry on the tradition of St. Stephen's lacrosse. That's why we always step it up for the league and state championships."

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