Girls' Lacrosse: Weekend Preview, March 25-27

Variety is the theme of the weekend as inter-state and in-state rivalries highlight the schedule in girls' lacrosse. As two defending New York state champions go head-to-head on the East Coast, a traditional Pennsylvania power looks to stage an upset against a seemingly unbeatable Vero Beach team in Florida.

Pennsylvania girls' lacrosse power Archbishop Carroll starts its season under sunny skies in balmy Florida this weekend. However, the squad runs into two of the state's top-ranked teams hoping to make their trip to the Sunshine State mostly cloudy.

On Friday, the Patriots open things up against Lake Brantley (7-0), the Florida runner-up in 10. Then for an encore, the squad battles national juggernaut Vero Beach (10-0). In the last year's meeting, the Indians handily defeated the Patriots, 18-8, part of a winning streak that dates all the way back to March 6, 2009. So far in 11, the Indians have won all ten of their games by at least 15 goals, showing no signs of slowing down.

However, the Patriots may give the Indians their toughest game to date. The Patriots have won 10-straight Catholic League titles and feature a number of Division I recruits, most notably midfielders Hannah Schmitt (Loyola) and Alyssa DiBona (Brown). Schmitt posted 51 goals last season and has tremendous speed, while DiBona added 14 goals and 70 draw controls in '10 and is a two-way threat. Both players will look to neutralize an elite Vero Beach attack that has been dominant all season long. Meanwhile, the key match-up of the day will see Courtney Swan going up against Schmitt.

Moving to New York action, it's a battle of defending New York state champs as Garden City takes on Farmingdale on Friday. Garden City, which captured its fifth-straight Class B state title in '10 with a 20-10 win over Fox Lane, features one of the deepest rosters in the country in '11 and will be heavy favorites to repeat. Mikaela Rix (Boston College) and Caroline Tarzian (Georgetown) lead a superb offense that is likely to give Farmingdale fits all day.

But Farmingdale certainly isn't any pushover. The squad counters with one of the few attacks that could even rival Garden City's. Kryslin Engelke and Jamie Leone lead the way for the Dalers, who captured the New York Class A title last year with a 6-5 win over Lakeland-Panas. Last season's match-up between these two squads resulted in an 18-15 win by Garden City, so expect another thriller this time around with both teams returning lineups loaded with Division I talent.

Staying on the East Coast, two Mid-Atlantic powers face off on Saturday as St. Mary's (MD) battles Good Counsel (DC). St. Mary's finished '10 with a 13-6 mark while featuring one of Maryland's toughest schedules. Seeing that five of the team's six losses came by three goals or less, it should be no surprise to expect a close contest against Good Counsel this weekend. The Falcons have soared to a 3-0 record in the early going and already look like favorites to win the WCAC title, which would be the team's eighth consecutive.

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