High School Girls' Lacrosse Preview: April 8-11

The Washington, DC region will be a major focal point this weekend, when a number of the nation's top teams square off. From a showdown between Loyola Academy (IL) and Milton (GA) to a battle between perennial powers Good Counsel and St. Stephen's & St. Agnes, all eyes will be on the nation's capital. Meanwhile, there is a highly anticipated match-up on Saturday between two of New Jersey's most formidable programs, a rematch from a thriller last season.

Starting in the District of Columbia, two regional powers go head-to-head on Saturday when Good Counsel visits St. Stephen's & St. Agnes. Behind the electric duo of Brigid Smith and Kelly Lechner, Good Counsel (8-0) has dominated its competition in the early going this season, putting up 21 goals or more in six of its eight total games. Caileigh Sindall has also been a force in the midfield on draw controls and ground balls and will likely play a key role in Saturday's outcome.

However, the seven-time defending WCAC champions will be hard-pressed to score 20-plus goals again this weekend against St. Stephen's & St. Agnes, a team that's held opponents to nine goals or less in 11 of 12 games this season. The Saints went 6-0 against tough competition on a recent trip to Texas in late March, easily dispatching top squads Cy-Fair, St. John's and Episcopal Dallas. The offensive trio of Katie Austin, Besser Dyson and Michele Phillips has been unstoppable through 12 games and will likely give the Good Counsel defense it's toughest test to date.

Illinois defending champion Loyola Academy and Georgia champ Milton head to Washington, DC this weekend to face some tough competition that includes the likes of Georgetown Visitation and Rumson-Fair Haven. However, all eyes will be on Friday's match-up when the two heralded teams square off.

Aside from a loss to Vero Beach back on March 11, the Eagles have averaged 17 goals per game in nine wins to date. On the other side, Loyola has won its first five games of the season but hasn't played since March 26. Division I recruits Molly Hulseman and Nicole Gleason will try to take command of the midfield for Loyola, something the duo has been accustomed to in the early going. However, the Eagles will look to attack early in hopes of catching the Ramblers a bit rusty. Along with captains Amanda Lockwood and Heather Harman, standouts Lydia Cassada and Annie Ruland make up an experienced unit that features great speed and a high lacrosse IQ.

Also on the East Coast, the Garden State will be home to one of the weekend's most anticipated games when Moorestown visits Ridgewood on Saturday. In last season's match-up between the teams, Moorestown handed Ridgewood its only loss of the season in a 10-9 final on April 6. Although the Maroons went on to win Bergen County, State Group 4 and State Tournament of Champions titles, the squad is looking to exact revenge on the Quakers this time around. The Maroons -- once again very capable of reaching the Tournament of Champions finals -- will look for consistent offensive production on Saturday via attackers Sammy Giordano (Georgetown) and Lindsay Weiner (Boston University).

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2011-04-08



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