As­cione scores seven goals, Folker adds five as Lions im­prove to 7-4 head­ing to stretch run

Record Observer - - Sports - By WIL­LIAM HAUFE bhaufe@star­dem.com

Queen Anne’s 20 — Eas­ton 7

EAS­TON — Four losses in 18 days, each car­ry­ing a cer­tain de­gree of st­ing.

But the one that hurt the most, that per­haps gnaws at Queen Anne’s County High’s girls’ lacrosse team more than any other, was a 9-8, mid-April set­back to Sev­ern, then ranked 10th by The (Bal­ti­more) Sun.

“We were win­ning I think by five goals against Sev­ern, who is a topranked team,” Lions head coach Pene­lope San­tos Bates said. “And we played scared. We played with the lead try­ing not to lose, in­stead of now, we’re play­ing to win.”

Paced by Madi­son As­cione’s seven goals and one as­sist, Queen Anne’s las­soed its fifth win in six games Fri­day night at War­rior Sta­dium with a con­vinc­ing 20-7 vic­tory over Eas­ton.

“We’re start­ing to come to­gether as a team re­ally well,” said As­cione, who saw a wealth of tal­ent grad­u­ate from a team that last year won a sev­enth straight Class 2A-1A East Re­gion ti­tle and reached the state cham­pi­onship. “At first we were all fig­ur­ing out our po­si­tions since a lot of se­niors left. But now ev­ery­body’s fill­ing in po­si­tions that we lost, and re­ally mesh­ing well.”

The big­ger chal­lenge for what is pos­si­bly the youngest team San­tos Bates has ever fielded at Queen Anne’s, was fig­ur­ing out how to over­come nar­row losses, which in­cluded an 8-6 loss to Delaware power Cape Hen­lopen, and a 7-6 set­back against peren­nial Bay­side Con­fer­ence heavy­weight Stephen De­catur.

“We lost a cou­ple of games by one and it was dev­as­tat­ing to them,” San­tos Bates said. “At the be­gin­ning of the year we were play­ing not to lose. (Against Sev­ern) we were up by five, and we would run a stall, and we were play­ing to lose. Now, they are go­ing to the cage, they’re play­ing to win, and ev­ery kid is fill­ing a role, which is great.”

That was ap­par­ent against the War­riors (5-5 over­all, 0-3 North Bay­side), who held an early 2-1 lead on an Emma Skoglund goal, then forged a 3-3 tie on Skoglund’s se­cond score 11 min­utes into the first half.

A lit­tle over a minute later, McKenna Blick net­ted the first of her four goals to spark a 6-1 run that gave Queen Anne’s (7-4, 3-0) a 9-4 half­time lead.

“Each girl is find­ing their role,” San­tos Bates said. “And we’re giv­ing them jobs as a team to per­form on the field. Have this many as­sists. Have this many goals. Do this on the draw con­trol. Run these plays, this is for you. And they’re fill­ing these roles and it’s all just com­ing to­gether.”

The Lions con­tin­ued putting it to­gether in the se­cond half.

After trad­ing goals in the first seven min­utes — Taylor Shep­pard scor­ing for Queen Anne’s, Lexie McDaniel for Eas­ton — the Lions went on a 5-0 run over a 7-minute stretch with goals from Abby Folker (five goals), Shep­pard, Blick, As­cione and Mal­lory Plet­zer (two goals) for a 15-5 cush­ion.

“I think that they were just able to get a lot of cut­ters,” Eas­ton head coach Al­lie Gam­ble said of Queen Anne’s. “We teach our girls to stay ob­vi­ously in front of your cut­ters. But they were able to get their sticks free, and be able to get that pass right on top of the crease in­side the eight. Draw and dumps.

“In the first half in was back and forth,” Gam­ble added. “But I think here in the draw and tran­si­tion, Queen Anne’s was able to just kind of take over there in the se­cond half. Queen Anne’s was able to get their sticks free and that was the main thing.”

With a 10-goal bulge and a run­ning clock, San­tos Bates re­placed start­ing goalie Emily Kar­baum (six saves) with Grace St­ef­fens (one save) with 10:35 re­main­ing.

El­lie Roser (three goals) and McDaniel scored 30 sec­onds apart, draw­ing Eas­ton within 15-7. But Queen Anne’s punc­tu­ated its third straight win with an­other 5-0 burst, As­cione reel­ing off three straight scores be­tween goals from Folker and Blick.

“They have this drive and will to win,” San­tos Bates said. “It’s re­ally fun this year to coach. Not that it hasn’t (been) ev­ery other year. It’s a dif­fer­ent team and they want to learn and they want to suc­ceed. And they’re get­ting bet­ter each day. We haven’t peaked yet, and it’s amaz­ing and fun to watch.”

Notes: Queen Anne’s is sched­uled to host Kent Is­land (10-1, 3-0) on Wed­nes­day at 5:30 p.m. in a game to de­ter­mine the North Bay­side cham­pion, the win­ner play­ing Stephen De­catur for the Bay­side ti­tle . ... Queen Anne’s out­shot Eas­ton 30-21. ... War­rior goalie Toni Palmer made nine saves . ... Blick and Kai­ley Boomer had an as­sist each for the Lions . ... Stephanie Miller had an as­sist for Eas­ton. Kent Is­land 22, Cam­bridge-SD 3 STEVENSVILLE — Pay­ton Beach had five goals, and A.J. Wilder (three as­sists) and Ally Heath added four apiece as the Buc­ca­neers won their eighth straight.

Nina Ci­fo­lilli recorded a hat trick and one as­sist for Kent Is­land (10-1, 3-0), and Kelly Shields set up seven goals and scored twice. Mad­die Gon­za­lez had two goals and two as­sists, and Cas­sidy Creighton (as­sist) and Natalie Schilling each scored once. Fol­low me on Twit­ter @Bil­l_Haufe. Email me at bhaufe@star­dem.com

PHOTO BY WIL­LIAM HAUFE

Queen Anne’s County’s Abby Folker, left, and Eas­ton’s Emma Skoglund keep their eyes on the ball dur­ing a draw con­trol last Fri­day.

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