Saints Have Ball In Vic­tory

The Washington Post Sunday - - High Schools - By Jeff Nelson

By the start of the St. Stephen’s/ St. Agnes girls’ lacrosse game yes­ter­day, a unan­i­mous sen­ti­ment had spread among the Saints: If they lost to Moorestown (N.J.), they wouldn’t at­tend the prom at night. In the­ory, the big­gest game of their sea­son meant that much.

Whether the girls ac­tu­ally would have skipped their prom never will be known, be­cause af­ter only eight min­utes of play, it be­came ap­par­ent that the Saints — and their dates — had noth­ing to worry about.

St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes, ranked No. 2 lo­cally by The Post and No. 2 na­tion­ally by Lax­Power.com, scored five goals be­fore Moorestown at­tempted its first shot. The Saints never let up, win­ning 13-5 over a Quak­ers team that is ranked fifth in the coun­try.

The Saints’ early per­for­mance matched their coach’s pregame mes­sage: “You have to come out strong,” Kathy Jenk­ins told her play­ers. “You can’t let them have the ball and score the first few goals.

“And I re­ally felt like [a good start] was in us,” she added af­ter the game. “We’re that tal­ented.”

The Saints (13-1) so thor­oughly dom­i­nated the Quak­ers (7-1) that Moorestown Coach Deanna Knobloch needed only two sen­tences to sum up the con­test: “Ev­ery­thing they did was per­fect. Ev­ery­thing we did was how not to play lacrosse.”

The mar­gin of vic­tory pro­vided a sig­nif­i­cant de­par­ture from the teams’ last two meet­ings, both one-goal wins by Moorestown in 2004 and 2006.

Two Saints — Liz Downs and Kather­ine Denkler — played in both of those games, mak­ing their con­tri­bu­tions to yes­ter­day’s win all the more sat­is­fy­ing.

Denkler, an at­tacker, had three goals and one as­sist, and Downs, a mid­fielder, notched her lone goal on a de­ter­mined run through de­fend­ers to cap the scor­ing with 90 sec­onds left.

“I wanted a goal for the game,” Downs said. “I wanted one. But thank God Mia [Hur­rin] and Kather­ine and Molly [Mil­lard] were amaz­ing. No­body re­ally made any mis­takes all day. Ev­ery­one was calm. I don’t know what was in the air to­day.”

Mil­lard, a se­nior, led all scor­ers with three goals and three as­sists, two of them on high­light-wor­thy plays to Hur­rin, an­other se­nior who fin­ished with four goals.

“We didn’t want to lose this game and then go to prom,” Hur­rin said. “So it felt good [to win], and it should be fun tonight.”

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