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Baltimore repeats as @UALacrosse Underclassmen girls’ champion with another 1-goal win over Long Island

Tuesday, 15th July 2014

Categories Girl's/Women's, High school  

By Nelson Coffin, Posted 7/14/14

TOWSON, Md. – Although Long Island coach Carol Rose warned her undefeated team to “remember the feeling” of what it was like to to be a heavy favorite entering the final of the Under Armour Underclassmen Games and then lose, the New York team fell to fierce rival Baltimore again in the heat and humidity at Towson University on Sunday afternoon.

Baltimore wins Under Armour Underclass girls' title

Baltimore wins Under Armour Underclass girls’ title

Last year, it was in the waning seconds of regulation that Long Island lost on a goal by Megan Whittle. This year, it was with 68 seconds remaining in the first overtime when the Baltimoreans delivered another dagger on a give-and-go, back-door cut by rising senior Jen Giles from rising junior Savannah Buchanan (McDonogh) to prevail, 10-9.

“Our plan was to just go in and take care of the ball, but to take any opportunity that was presented to you.” Giles (Mt. Hebron) said, noting that Long Island goalie Samantha Giacolone (Eastport-South Manor) had an outstanding tournament. “Savannah passed it to me. I tried to fake (Giacolone) high and I was able to take the shot (toward the bottom right corner).”

In addition to her game-winner, Giles ripped in a free-position shot with about two minutes left in regulation to tie the score, 9-9.

Moreover, Giles played tight defense down the stretch on Long Island spark plug Sydney Pirreca (Mt. Sinai), whose three second-half goals helped the New Yorkers go on a 5-0 run to take a 9-8 advantage with three minutes to go.

At the urging of Rose to step up the pace, Long Island started its second-half assault with a goal by Pirreca followed by one from fellow rising junior Claire Quinn (St. Anthony’s) to shave the Baltimore advantage to 8-6. Two rapid runs down the alley later by Pirreca, and the game was deadlocked.

“We just couldn’t stop her,” Baltimore coach Jen Randisi said. “We tried to face guard her a little bit after that (with Giles and Buchanan).”

That set up Nikki Ortega’s heroics, and the Middle Country High standout gave her team a lead with three minutes left that did not last long once Giles toed the 8-meter arc a minute later to nail the equalizer.

Even so, the New Yorkers scooped up the ensuing draw, called a time out and were instructed by Rose to play for the last shot.

Unfortunately for Long Island, it ran out of time against a Baltimore defense that held Rose’s club well under its 16.8-goals-per-game average in its previous five contests. Randisi said that rising junior Caroline Sdanowich (John Carroll) should be credited for covering the elusive Ortega during that set.

In overtime, after Giacolone made brilliant kick save, rising junior Madi Hall (Century) gobbled up a crucial ground ball near the sideline to save possession for Baltimore.

The rest, as they say, is history, although not a chapter to be savored by Long Island but one to be long celebrated in Baltimore.

Baltimore’s Miranda Ibello was named tournament MVP for her overall prowess. The Maryvale Prep rising senior scored twice against Long Island and matched that output plus an assist in a 15-7 rout of Philadelphia in a semifinal.

“We were much more of a team this year,” she said. “And it’s our hometown, and we wanted to win the championship in our hometown.”

Olivia Jenner (McDonogh) was the only Baltimore player on the All-Tournament team other than Ibello.

MVP Miranda Ibello

MVP Miranda Ibello

Pirreca, Ortega and Cara Trombetta (Sachem East) were selected from Long Island while Upstate New York’s Taylor Gebhardt (Baker), Philadelphia’s Sarah Platt (Agnes Irwin) and Julia Hondros (Episcopal Academy), Natalee Palmer (Charlotte Country Day, N.C.) of the South and New Jersey’s Mallory Weisse (Westfield) were also All-Tournament selections.

Although Philly was stopped in the semifinals by Baltimore, 15-7, coach Jenny Duckenfield was hardly depressed by the outcome.

“We went 3-1 in pool play, and that’s the first time in six years we’ve won that many games,” the Agnes Irwin School coach said. “We had a good weekend here, and the girls played very well.”


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