By Nelson Coffin
baltimoreLacrosseNews.com, Posted 3/21/15
BROOKLANDVILLE, Md. – In no way should the offensive heroics by several Garden City (NY) players, including Kerry Defliese, Katie Muldoon, Brooke McDaid, Margot McTiernan or Michelle Bruno, go overlooked in the Trojans’ 14-11 triumph over St. Paul’s School for Girls at the Springfest Tournament this morning.
In fact, that group was the reason the Long Island school was able to bolt to an 8-2 advantage midway through the first half while leaving St. Paul’s defenders flat-footed.
“We weren’t doing a great job of seeing ball and girl,” said St. Paul’s (0-2) coach Ali Jacobs, a former standout midfielder on three NCAA D-I championship squads at Northwestern. “That takes some discipline, and we did a better job of it in the second half. And they (Trojans) had great stick skills. If you give them too much slack, they’re going to score.”
Meanwhile, low defenders Morgayne Rix, Kristen Adams, Katherine Galenzano and Christine Kenny were also having their way with the Gators at the other end.
However, when St. Paul’s defense began clamping down on the Trojans, and the hosts’ offense drew to within 13-10 on sophomore Ashlyn McGovern’s cut-through the arc to beat Garden City junior goalie Juliana Kubler with 5:33 remaining, the Gators were in full rally mode.
Moreover, when St. Paul’s attacker senior Kerri Clayton made a quick inside roll dodge, she found herself face-to-face with Kubler, who made a spectacular save to cut the knees from under the comeback bid.
The play may very well have been the difference between a solid victory and a missed opportunity for the 13th-ranked team in the STEPS Lacrosse Rankings, who were making their opener
“I knew they were on a roll,” Kubler said about her 11th and final save of the game. “I just had to react to the ball.”
The Springfest’s six-game event was organized by the St. Paul’s Schools to raise funds for the One Love Foundation, which honors the memory of slain former University of Virginia player Yeardley Love by educating people about relationship abuse.
Love was fatally beaten by her boyfriend, George Huguely while both were lacrosse players at Virginia in 2010.
Garden City coach Diane Chapman is well aware of the fact that not all saves are alike.
“It was a great time for the save,” she said. “Juliana stepped up, big-time.”
As for her offense that was cutting the Gators to ribbons in the early going, Chapman was happy with how the unit worked together to get the job done.
“We were really patient,” the coach explained. “And we had a lot of assisted goals. We were very unselfish during that stretch.
St. Paul’s began its long journey back on goals by freshman Darby Welsh and her sophomore midfield mate Maggie Root before Muldoon answered for Garden City with a minute left in the first half to make it, 9-4, Garden City at the intermission.
After senior attacker Sarah Moeller scored off the opening draw of the second half for the Gators, Kelly Gordon’s only goal of the game restored the Trojans’ five-goal cushion.
Garden City seemed to blow the game open when Bruno scored for a 13-6 lead with 10 minutes left until St. Paul’s went on a 3-0 run on goals by junior midfielder Liza Liotta, Moeller and McGovern.
At that point, catching Garden City did not seem to be out of the realm of possibility for the suddenly hot Gators until Kubler slammed the door.
“We needed to shoot the ball sooner, and not wait for the defense,” Jacobs said. “Let if fly (if you have the shot).”
Michelle Bruno 2g, 2a; Margot McTiernan 3g, Kerry Defliese 3g, 2a; Katie Muldoon 4g, 1a; Kelly Gordon 1g, Brooke McDaid 1g, 4A
St. Paul’s School for Girls
Paige Aldave 1g; Maggie Root 1g; Sara Moeller 3g; Ashlyn McGovern 3g, 2a; Darby Welsh 1g; Liza Liotta 1g; Kerri Clayton 1g
GC: Juliana Kubler 11
SP: Klia Trintis 8