North Point girls lax shoots past Great Mills
Zadeh scores 11 goals as Eagles advance to 4A-3A section semifinals
Those who love to see offense and high-octane scoring witnessed a backand-forth, high-scoring affair in Wednesday’s Class 4A-3A East Region Section II girls lacrosse quarterfinal matchup between third-seeded North Point and sixth-seeded Great Mills.
In a game that featured 37 goals combined, 10 ties and 10 lead changes, both offenses were in high gear throughout. But midway in the second half, the North Point defense got key stops and the Eagles came away with a 21-16 victory over the Hornets.
North Point (8-5 overall) advances to Friday’s section semifinals to face second-seeded South River of Anne Arundel County scheduled for 5 p.m. South River defeated seventh-seeded Annapolis 16-4 in Wednesday’s other quarterfinal game.
North Point’s one-two punch of Ali Zadeh and Lia Willis were simply too much Great Mills to contain, as the two combined for 16 goals, including a game-high 11 for Zadeh.
“We knew this wasn’t going to be easy, so we had to pull together as a team and make smart decisions,” said Zadeh, who will be playing at NCAA Division I Virginia Commonwealth University. “It was a lot of back and forth, we just wanted to control possession from the draw and keep the ball away from [Great Mills].”
After Great Mills threw the first punch, going up 2-0 early on goals from Bryce Harden and Kirsten
Hamilton, Zadeh and Willis put their impact on the game, scoring nine of the team’s 10 first-half goals as North Point took a 10-9 lead at the half.
“It was definitely a little worrisome when Great Mills scored those two early goals,” said North Point head coach Paige Attonito, whose team’s 21 goals were the highest scoring mark of the season. “But Lia and Ali started to trade goals and we are lucky to have two incredible athletes, but we are a well-rounded team and a lot of people don’t seem to realize that. We can get the ball to other players like Amre Keyes, who can also score.”
North Point pushed the lead to 11-9 to start the second half, but each team traded goals several times. With the game tied at 13 with 16 minutes 54 seconds left, the Eagles scored four unanswered goals as Zadeh scored back-to back goals during that span.
“We knew this was going to be a battle because it was very close when we played them in the regular season, so we had a little pressure,” said Willis, referring to a 13-11 North Point win on March 22. Willis will be playing at Arizona State University. “We have been focusing on teamwork and we were able to distribute the ball around and take advantage of our opportunities.”
In the final eight minutes of the game, Great Mills (4-9) cut the Eagles’ lead to three goals twice, but would not come any closer.
Keyes finished with three goals for North Point, while Hailey Stern and Teagan Rohrbaugh each scored a goal.
Great Mills’ Caley Neville finished with a team-high six goals. Kirsten Hamilton scored four goals, while Harden and Anna Stevenson added three goals each.
“I thought we ran out of steam at the end. North Point had a couple stops and we had some turnovers late,” Great Mills head coach Mark McLeod said. “North Point did a good job of keeping possession towards the end and we couldn’t get the ball away from them.”
North Point’s Ali Zadeh goes around a defender in Wednesday’s Class 4A-3A East Region Section II quarterfinal versus visiting Great Mills. Zadeh led all scorers with 11 goals as the Eagles won 21-16 to advance to Friday’s section semifinals.