Cy-Fair Top Seed in Texas Girls' Championships

The Texas Girls' High School Lacrosse League (TGHSLL) State Championships are set for this weekend with 12 teams competing for Division 1 and Division 2 titles. Favorite Cy-Fair enters tournament play as the top seed in Division 1 after sporting an unblemished record this season against in-state opponents. However, fellow contenders St. John's and Hockaday come into the championships on fire and are banking on strong early-round performances to propel them to the title. Hosted by Lamar girls' lacrosse in Houston, quarterfinal and semifinal action is set for Saturday before Sunday's title match-ups.

Girls' Division 1 Championships Preview

The first Division 1 quarterfinal contest on Saturday pits St. Andrew's against Ursuline Academy at 9 AM. Before a North District 1 championship game loss to Hockaday on April 27, Ursuline (9-3 overall) had won six games in a row, including impressive wins over Highland Park, Episcopal Dallas and Hockaday. The Bears are playing well at the right time, which could spell trouble for St. Andrew's.

However, St. Andrew's is certainly no pushover. The Crusaders won the 2011 Central District title over Bowie thanks to a 17-16 victory back on April 20. The win marked the team's ninth district title in 10 years. Behind standouts Alessandra Quaroni, senior attack Margaret Heck, midfielder Katherine Stegmann, and teammate Kimberly Krebs, the St. Andrew's offense is considered one of the state's best. The team has notched double-digit goals in each of its 12 wins this season. Heck, who scored the game-winner vs. Bowie last month, has also been clutch during key points this season.

The winner of the opening match-up will move on to face top seed Cy-Fair later on Saturday in the semifinals. After falling in last season's title game following 16 straight wins, Cy-Fair is primed to take the title in '11 behind standout midfielders Emily Newstrom (Stanford) and Delaney Fisher (Towson). The Iron Maidens are 14-0 this season against Texas competition, with two close games against defending champ St. John's. With an experienced lineup, Cy-Fair will look for its veterans to set the tone and keep the team composed during high-pressure moments.

Meanwhile, on the other half of the bracket, No. 3 St. John's takes on six-seed Bowie (11-3) in Saturday's quarterfinal contest. Bowie is the runner-up from the Central District this year and had a solid season overall highlighted by big wins over St. Andrew's and St. Stephen's. However, the Bulldogs have yet to play any upper-echelon teams in '11, which could prove to be a key difference come Saturday against an experienced St. John's team.

After a grueling first half of the season that saw the team post a 6-7 record at one point, St. John's is now back on track and playing its best lacrosse of the season.

The Mavericks -- who are coming off their seventh Southwest Preparatory Conference title in the last 10 years -- have won nine of their last ten games and hope a tough early season schedule pays dividends in the playoffs. This season, St. John's has faced perennial powers Vero Beach (FL), Milton (GA), Agnes Irwin (PA) and St Stephen's & St. Agnes (DC), in addition to top in-state rivals Hockaday, Episcopal Dallas, Cy-Fair and Episcopal Houston. The Mavericks (15-8) will rely on their talented core early and often this weekend, particularly senior attacker Jessica Carroll (Northwestern), and teammates Caroline Gibson and Amanda Leavell.

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2011-05-05



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