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Archive for July 8, 2017

July 8, 2017 — Games of the Year, 2017

The 2017 girls’ high school lacrosse season was different from all previous because of the change in overtime rules. Many states have now gone to golden-goal overtime instead of playing two three-minute halves of extra time.

What this has done is put storylines ahead of gameplay in terms of the criteria for selecting our Top 10 Games of the Year for scholastic lacrosse in the U.S. Here are the best ones we were able to find:

10. Owings Mills McDonogh (Md.) 12, Glenelg (Md.) Country Day School 7, May 11, 2017, IAAM Class A Semifinal: The closest thing you could have to an IAAM Tournament of Champions, the 2016 Class B champions gave McDonogh all it could handle, and the Dragons showed they belonged in the nation’s toughest girls’ lacrosse conference.

9. Moorestown (N.J.) 11, Garden City (N.Y.) 8, April 22, 2017, Gains for Brains Invitational: One year ago, the Quakers went up to Long Island and fell by a goal to Garden City. This year, it was a completely different story as the Quakers took a significant second-half lead and held on.

8. Davis (Calif.) 10, Novato (Calif.) 9, April 8, 2017, regular-season game: Yep, The Alarm Game. A fire alarm punctuated the entire campus of Davis High School for about a half-hour, but the players didn’t seem to notice, and the Bay Area rivals played a taut and intense match that didn’t resolve until Novato’s final chance hit the post in the dying seconds.

7. West Lawn Wilson (Pa.) 10, Manheim (Pa.) Township 9, 2 OT, May 24, 2017, PIAA District 3-AAA final: Manheim has pretty much owned District 3, having won the title eight out of the last nine years, and was undefeated every time it made the final. But Wilson was a different team in 2017, using a zone defense and winning draws to take a one-goal lead at the interval. Manheim had a chance in the first period of overtime, but an apparent goal was whistled for a Wilson shooting-space violation. Instead, it was Wilson junior Julia Strobel who scored 1:47 into the second OT.

6. Glenelg (Md.) 9, Towson Notre Dame Prep (Md.) 7, April 15, 2017, Glenelg Spring Break Tourament: If there were two teams who had the toughest schedules in all of scholastic lacrosse, Notre Dame Prep was indeed one of them. The Blazers met state 3A-4A champion Glenelg, and immediately fell victim to the Gladiators’ backer zone. Glenelg went out to a 4-0 lead, but NDP’s comeback bid was hobbled by three yellow cards, two of which led to goals for the hosts.

5. Pittsford (N.Y.) 10, Newfield Middle Country (N.Y.) 9, 2 OT, NYSPHSAA Class A final: Middle Country, a co-op team featuring Newfield (N.Y.) and Centereach (N.Y.), had never made a state final despite having tremendous athletes including the Ortega sisters. Jamie Ortega, the fine senior, was amongst the nation’s all-time leaders in goals and combined goals and assists. But Pittsford, the same Rochester suburb that gave us soccer icon Abby Wambach, wasn’t about to let its chance at state title glory go away. Ellie Mooney’s free-position goal in the second overtime was the difference.

4. Ridgewood (N.J.) 7, Rosemont Agnes Irwin (Pa.) 6, OT, April 15, 2017, regular-season game: The defending NJSIAA Tournament of Champions winner went up against Agnes Irwin, who may have had the most difficult schedule in the country. And the Owls almost pulled off the upset, but it took Hannah Cermack’s goal 16 seconds into overtime to win the game.

3. Bridgewater-Raritan (N.J.) 7, Summit Oak Knoll (N.J.), 6, June 11, 2017, NJSIAA Tournament of Champions final: Seven weeks before this contest, Oak Knoll — the 2015 NJSIAA Tournament of Champions winner — had dominated B-R 13-7. But the Panthers remained on the front foot, holding off the Royals before scoring in the 49th minute to win the contest. It was the first Tournament of Champions trophy for Bridgewater-Raritan after so many years of effort placed into the girls’ program.

2. Radnor Archbishop Carroll (Pa.) 13, Glen Mills Garnet Valley (Pa.) 11, June 6, 2017, PIAA Class AAA semifinals: These two teams had met five weeks earlier in the Katie Samson Laxfest, but the stakes were much, much higher for this game. And the Garnet Valley defense once again had problems stopping Sam Swart (seven goals) and Katie Detweiler (five), as Carroll won its way into the final, which it would win over Springfield (Pa.).

1. Alexandria Bishop Ireton (Va.) 9, Alexandria St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes (Va.) 8, OT, May 21, 2017, VISAA Division I final: These two schools are located only about a mile apart, straight as the crow flies, but may as well be in two completely different worlds. Bishop Ireton plays in the Washington Capital Athletic Conference, SSSAS plays in the Independent School League. The teams have had a bit of history between them: indeed, when Rick Sofield became coach of Ireton in 2011, the second opponent he faced was St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes. After that 18-5 loss, one of the team’s unspoken goals was to match the Saints in talent, execution, and winning tradition. Ireton, after winning the VISAA Division I final in 2014 and 2015, lost in last year’s tournament to the Saints, only to come back and win the 2017 title in overtime.