North Point girls lax shoots past Great Mills

Zadeh scores 11 goals as Ea­gles ad­vance to 4A-3A sec­tion semi­fi­nals

Maryland Independent - - Sports - By AJ MA­SON aj­ma­son@somd­news.com

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.”

STAFF PHOTO BY AJ MA­SON

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.

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