Sabres control the field, beat Herons
Huge divides in draws, grounders pave way in SSPP’s rout of Gunston
EEASTON — The Sabres’ ability to control the ball eventually led to them controlling the scoreboard.
The Saints Peter and Paul High girls’ lacrosse team defeated Gunston during Wednesday’s Eastern Shore Independent Athletic Conference contest, using a 7-0 first-half run to set up a 16-7 victory.
Huge divides in ground balls (25-13) and draw controls (20-5) all but assured the Sabres would come out on top. The sides played with a running clock for portions of the second half, as Sts. Peter & Paul improved to 5-3 overall, 3-1 in the ESIAC, while the Herons dropped to 6-4, 1-2.
“I thought we were a little lackadaisical beginning of the game, but made this game easier by winning the draw controls,” Sabres head coach Mike Morse said. “We have people who can put the ball in the net; scoring is not going to be a problem for us.
“We’re getting better on the defensive end, and it gave me a chance to play a lot of different people at a lot of different positions,” Morse added. “We’re teaching a few things because we have big games coming up with Worcester Prep and also the Bull Roast game (against Easton).”
Sophomore midfielder Megan Hickey was at the forefront of the Sabres’ prolific ball-control offense, registering a hat trick, dishing an assist while accumulating game-highs of seven ground balls and nine draw controls. Sts. Peter & Paul also received strong outings from senior Taylor Quade (gamebest four goals and three as- sists), sophomore Caroline Murphy (hat trick, assist, four grounders) and junior Madi Marciniak (two goals, three ground balls).
Their lead shaved to 5-3 following a goal by Gunston’s Heidi Barcus (hat trick, two assists, two draws), the Sabres reeled off a 7-0 run spanning 11 minutes, settling for a 12-4 lead heading into the break.
“Not sure what the draw controls were during that point, but I’m sure that played a big role in it,” Morse said.
Added Gunston head coach Jeff Smith: “I think being so close in proximity between the two schools, the girls being so close to each other, it takes a little while for our girls to forget the pecking order and just play. Once they get into it a little bit, it becomes them against the ball, and not so much them against the other team.”
Kate Sovero hit Quade on a pair of wide-open goals during the flourish to bump the score to 7-3 and 10-3, respectively, and two other Sts. Peter & Paul goals in the first half also arrived unmarked by a Heron defender, Gunston’s defense looking stout at times and lost at others.
“We have a young team, and our biggest challenge nowadays is confidence,”
Smith said. “Sometimes it takes them a while to get there, but once they do, we can compete. We’ve got the players, but that’s the challenge right now.
“One of the things we have to do in order to compete with teams at this level is pressure,” Smith said, referring to Sts. Peter & Paul’s open goals. “When you pressure the ball and double a lot, and you have a good team that will recognize it, they will have a lot of open goals.
“It makes you look pretty bad when you’re aggressive,” Smith continued. “But, that’s part of it.”
With plenty of reserves in action in the second half, the Sabres triggered the running clock at 14-4, 15-5 and 16-6 to facilitate the insertion of the second unit, Sts. Peter & Paul’s bench erupting when Clare Kelly went nearly wire-to-wire for an unassisted score at the 3-minute, 26-second mark of the second half.
The additions of Julie Morse — Coach Morse’s daughter and three-time All-Mid-Shore and ESIAC Player of the Year while a varsity standout for the Sabres — and Megan Wilbert — a three-sport high school athlete who played lacrosse at Towson University and made several coaching stops before landing on the Eastern Shore — have bolstered Sts. Peter & Paul’s staff.
Julie Morse also played for Loyola University, and both assistants were active in tutoring the team’s young players during the rout, a scenario Mike Morse, now in his second go-around with the program, hinted would be the norm moving forward.
“Our talent is progressing, and they’re getting better,” Mike Morse said. “It’s an advantage having Megan and Julie on the sidelines, because the girls are going to learn a lot from their experiences. I’m just really trying to keep them organized.
“The girls know that Megan and Julie have their knowledge from experience, since I’ve never played the game,” Mike Morse added. “Julie and Megan are doing most of the coaching and teaching, and the girls are listening, because they’re really good coaches.”
Notes: Sts. Peter & Paul finished with a 26-11 edge on shots. ... Gunston goalie Abigail Barcus finished with five saves. ... Cat Christian and Sarah Rust also scored for the Sabres, while Sarah Bradley dished three assists. ... Brennan Paddy scored a goal, assisted another and corralled four ground balls for Gunston, while Joey Smith and Korren Campbell (assist, three grounders) each netted a goal apiece. Kent Island 14, J.M. Bennett 4 SALISBURY — Kelly Shields scored four goals and dished two assists, as the Buccaneers improved to 7-1.
Payton Beach added two goals and an assist, while A.J. Wilder, Melissa Judge and Grace Boyer struck for a pair of scores apiece. Single tallies from Maddie Gonzalez and Cassidy Creighton rounded off the scoring for Kent Island. BOYS’ LACROSSE
Easton 20, Kent County 10 WORTON — Sam Phillips scored six goals and set up one, and Clay Schmidt added five scores and an assist as the Warriors extended their win streak to four.
Chris Gibbs finished with a hat trick and one assist for defending Class 2A-1A state champion Easton (6-1), which hosts defending 3A-2A state champ Kent Island today at 5:30 p.m.
JoJo Marasco scored twice for the Warriors, who got a goal apiece from Connor Butler (assist), Corey Hall, Noah Reem and Carson Jones. Mitch Reeley had a pair of assists, and Michael Kaminskas, Clark Higgins and Colin Snyder added an assist each. Nick Robbins made four saves and Wesley Lovelady made two stops in the second half. Queen Anne’s 11, Stephen Decatur 8 CENTREVILLE — Goalie Noah Lode made 19 saves and Jonathan Clark and Brandon Hickman each recorded hat tricks to lead the Lions.
Jake Ascione scored twice for Queen Anne’s County (43) and Jacob Musterman, J.P. Quirion and William Colburn each added a goal. Seamus McCartin had four assists.
SSPP 11, Annapolis Area 5 EASTON — Nate Shafer had four goals and an assist, and Cole Lacaze came through with a hat trick and one assist to pace the Sabres in a Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference game.
Luke Harrington had three assists for Saints Peter & Paul (4-5, 1-2), and Will Lipscomb, Nick DeLuca (assist), Matt Dunworth (assist) and Aaron Helmley each scored a goal. Adam Alderfer had an assist. Jack Lee made 14 saves before Nate Biddle came on in the fourth quarter to log three saves.
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Saints Peter and Paul’s Sarah Rust (25) loses the ball as she is defended by Gunston’s Alea Murray (14) during Wednesday’s game in Easton.