The comfortable lead was evaporating before halftime, and senior Delaney McMenamin knew the Sherwood girls’ lacrosse team needed a boost. When she controlled the ensuing draw, her initial thought was to pass to a teammate. When nobody was open, she quickly realized brute force would have to do.
After causing four different penalties and dodging halfway down the field through a wave of defenders in a matter of moments, McMenamin set up for a free-position shot in front of the goal with two seconds left on the clock. When the ball hit the back of the net, she had a hat trick before halftime and Sherwood had some breathing room it would eventually need to pull off a 9-7 win over Whitman in Sandy Spring on Monday.
“I figured if I just held the ball long enough, I would be able to get a goal before the time ran out,” she said. “I was trying to do that for the team.”
Playing an expanded role with classmate Taylor Andrews still sidelined by a knee injury, McMenamin seemed to pick her spots perfectly whenever Whitman threatened to ruin the Warriors’ night. She finished with four goals and snagged a groundball off a turnover before feeding senior Danielle Rohrman in transition for what became the game-winning tally with less than 16 minutes remaining in regulation.
It was a play reflecting the changes Sherwood (2-1, 1-0 Montgomery 4A/3A South) must implement until Andrews, one of Montgomery County’s leading scorers last year, is back on the field. McMenamin “tended to be the finisher, and [now] she’s had to be the quarterback on a lot of stuff,” Coach Kelly Hughes said.
Several other teammates have subsequently accepted new roles to compensate for McMenamin’s adjustment. Rohrman, for instance, is now starting at midfield after previously being a defender. She and McMenamin also played together for the Warriors girls’ soccer team this past fall and “it definitely helps,” Rohrman said.
“I’m completely comfortable passing the ball to her, so it just works when we’re on the field together,” McMenamin added. “Everybody’s stepping up now to fill the space that [Andrews] left.”
Teams from the Montgomery Central division have won a combined 14 region titles since 2000.
Two-time defending Class 4A/3A state semifinalist Whitman (13-3), is responsible for seven of them and likely remains the “team to beat,” among this stacked group. Though the Vikings graduated two strong midfielders, they return 17 varsity players, including senior attackers Hannah Ginsky and Jenna Hosker. Sophomore attacking midfielder Gaby Svec will also add depth to the offensive effort. Returning midfielder Eden Gray and defender Grace Steinwurtzel will also help fill the void left behind by four graduated starters from those areas.
Whitman coach Katie Bitonti kept 25 girls and said she expects to rely on her team’s depth to keep fresh legs on the field at all times. While the Vikings have historically been this division’s most successful team, it hasn’t come easy and Bitonti said Whitman does not take any team for granted. But it does help, she added, that the Vikings know what it feels like to win the region; it serves as great motivation to get back to states.
Wootton (8-8), a 2008 state semifinalist, graduated only three starters from a team that lost to Whitman in the region final for the second consecutive season a year ago. Though the Patriots return a large core, they’re still young, coach Shannon Holiday said, with only five seniors. Among those leaders, are Bucknell recruit Marisa Morakis on defense and Monmouth recruit Olivia Mangum in goal. Mangum’s younger sister, freshman Carli, should make an immediate impact in the midfield. The Patriots might not have one particular standout to key in on, offensively, but will instead rely on a strong passing game and ball movement.
Three-time regional champion Churchill will again be a major contender this season. The Bulldogs should benefit from a good balance of leadership and experience and young talent. Freshman Lizzie Hsu (19 Black) joins an attack led by four-year varsity players Annabelle Humiston, Annie Moshyedi, Hannah Hansen and Bethany Bubik. Coach Jamie Frank said it’s been fun to watch the speed with which her team is able to move the ball; the Bulldogs thrive most when being unselfish.
Walter Johnson (5-7) has some holes to fill after graduating nine starters. But with its second consecutive strong freshman class, the team will look to fill the void with young talent, including freshmen Adrienne Bruch and Mia Goodstein and sophomores Izzy McMullen and Ashley Smith. Senior midfielder Sarah Caggiano and junior attacker Jordan Bryon provide experience on offense and returning senior defender Ashleigh Wagar will anchor the backfield. Walter Johnson should remain competitive among the county’s top teams again this season, but coach Gary Reburn said he also can’t help but be excited about the future, as well.
First-year B-CC coach Rosana Pagan said she’s enthused by the potential of this year’s powerful and athletic squad. Though the Barons lost four-year varsity player Grace Rosen to a torn anterior cruciate ligament, Lexi Hopkins, Audrey Zantzinger and Lindsay Archer provide strength in the middle. Transfer Camille Walsh has quickly stepped in to direct the backline, Pagan said. Katie Cowie and Cate Patterson lead the attack.
Senior Sarah Morgan and junior Kerri Corcoran lead a Richard Montgomery squad looking to build on last year’s 6-7 campaign. That will be difficult while playing in such a strong division, but first-year coach Rodney Mullinix said he aims to try to build a program at the Rockville school.
Independent School League/Washington Catholic Athletic Conference
While Virginia’s St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes (No. 4 in Nike/Lacrosse Magazine Preseason High School Girls Top 25) and Georgetown Visitation (D.C., No. 25) remain the favorites in the ISL “AA” (Upper) Division, Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart(10-5) and Holton-Arms look to continue testing the league’s top teams.
The Stone Ridge Gators have 10 girls returning to varsity, including Notre Dame recruit Maddie Carr, a midfielder who coach Maddie Keegan said has a nose for the goal, sophomore midfielder Janie Bell and sophomore defender Maggie Ballaschi (Stanford recruit). Stone Ridge will aim to use its good overall team speed to push the ball and keep opposing defenses under constant pressure while playing aggressive defense of its own.
Consistency will be the name of the game for Holton as it aims to finish in the upper third of the league this spring. Junior midfielder Annelise Kotz, senior defender Catie Mulligan, sophomore goalie Kaitlyn Pham, sophomore midfielder Taylor Lawrence (Stanford) and freshman Stephanie Hong (Harvard) lead a young team that makes up for its youth with athleticism and drive, coach Janet McCormick said. While the Panthers remain strong on defense, this year’s team looks more offensive-minded than Holton teams of the past.
After winning the ISL’s “A” division in 2015, Bullis (14-8) has its sights set on competing with and maintaining its place among the league’s upper echelon of teams. Allison Bass and Madi Ugaz lead a very strong midfield that can also include Avery Prince, who’s spent the early season on defense. The Bulldogs’ versatility could be the team’s biggest strength.
St. Andrews, led by senior Cat Wagner (attack/midfield) and returning leading scorer Lindy Hill, and Holy Child, led by Virginia Tech recruit MC McCarthy and Stetson recruit Peyton Holifield, both look to improve on sub-.500 campaigns.
With crosstown rival Good Counsel ranked No. 3 nationally, it’s easy for defending WCAC championship runner-up Holy Cross to fly under the radar. But the Tartans (16-4), who lost to Good Counsel by just one goal in the championship game, are just fine playing the underdog, coach Kristen Coleman said.
Holy Cross returns nine seniors, including Boston College recruit Kate Taylor, in the midfield. She and Mercer University recruit Michaela Lucas should make for quite a scoring tandem; senior defender Caroline Menn and Delaware University recruit Kelsea Konz will anchor a strong backline. The Tartans will look to lean on nonstop motion, Coleman said, remaining active and engaged for the duration of every contest.
“Last year was an awesome year,” Coleman said. “It was incredible. But it’s just one year. To [not be considered an underdog], it needs to become a pattern.”
The National Tournament, held annually in May, returns to Stony Brook (N.Y.) University on Long Island in 2012, with two divisions for high school players: the Schoolgirls Division and the Seniors Only Division. The Schoolgirls Division is the largest segment of the NT, which dates back to the 1930s. Nearly 50 teams compete annually in this division and the event has been become one of the marquee college recruiting events in the country. Players must try out for regional teams in order to participate and the majority of players in this division are rising seniors or younger.
In the DC Metro region over 250 girls tried out and we are proud to announce the following Rebels players will be participating in the National Tournament:
Erin Bauman - Rebels 2014 Black
Shea Cassidy - Rebels 2013 Black
Madison Doan - Rebels 2013 Black
Leigh Gatons - Rebels 2014 Black
Natalie Gosnell - Rebels 2014 Black
Paige Graham - Rebels 2014 Black
Meagh Graham - Rebels 2013 Black
Caleigh Gunn - Rebels 2014 Black
Madison Hoover - Rebels 2014 Black
Camaryn Kerns - Rebels 2014 Black
Caitlin McMahon - Rebels 2014 Black
Kate Sollee - Rebels 2014 Black
In the Baltimore Region we are proud to announce the following Rebels players will be participating in the National Tournament:
Brooke Hunley - Rebels 2013 Black
Damascus: The county’s next best team may reside down a classification in 3A/2A. Damascus, anchored by a strong junior class that plays club lacrosse together, returns most of its key contributors. Juniors Colby Muller, Holly Lawrence and Cassidy Schollenberger are expected to be the Swarmin’ Hornets’ top offensive threats with classmates Morgan Parker and Annie Thornton anchoring the defense along with goalie Stephanie West.
“I expect a lot and it’s time for us to take it a few steps further,” said veteran coach Jodi Hathaway, whose team plays host to Churchill on Monday. “Churchill is probably the best team in the county so everyone is measuring themselves against them.”
Sherwood: The Warriors (12-3), last year’s 4A/3A West Region runner-up, welcome first-year coach Kelly Hughes. Sherwood has to replace All-Gazette goalie K.C. Emerson, but will be paced offensively by sophomore midfielder Emily Kenul.
Thomas S. Wootton: Led by junior center Marisa Cresham, Wootton (9-4) could challenge rival Churchill for county supremacy. Walter Johnson (11-3) should also be in the mix along with perennial competitive programs James H. Blake (8-5) with junior Caroline Wannen and Poolesville (9-3).
Walt Whitman, under first-year coach Julie Frank, could also surprise along with a deep Bethesda-Chevy Chase squad.
Rockville, Paint Branch, Springbrook, Northwest, Montgomery Blair and Quince Orchard are dark horses that could challenge for division titles if they get a few breaks. Gaithersburg, Wheaton, Seneca Valley, John F. Kennedy and Col. Zadok Magruder are in rebuilding mode with young squads.
Players to watch
Mairin Hall, Winston Churchill, Sr., M; Maddy Flax, Winston Churchill, Sr., A; Colby Muller, Damascus, Jr., M; Morgan Parker, Damascus, Jr., D; Emily Kenul, Sherwood, Sr., M; Maddie Doan, Sherwood, Jr., M; Taylor Cheripko, Northwest, Sr., D; Ally Dahlen, Poolesville, Sr., C; Jocelyn Bodmer, Poolesville, Jr., M; Allie Kryjak, Quince Orchard, Sr., A; Francesca Garrard, John F. Kennedy; Sr., M; Juliana Perl, Col. Zadok Magruder, Soph., M; Caroline Wannen, James H. Blake, Jr., M; Rachel Smith, Montgomery Blair, Sr., M; Torey Vayer, Rockville, Jr., D/C; Claire Block, Walt Whitman, Jr., A; Michelle Winters, Gaithersburg, Sr., D; Leanne Klock, Bethesda-Chevy Chase, Soph., G; Linda Gueyong, Wheaton, Sr., M; Marisa Cresham, Thomas S. Wootton, Jr., C; Jenelle Whitman, Springbrook, Sr., C; Bridget Rothert, Seneca Valley, Sr., A; Lisa Schell, Paint Branch, Sr., M, Bryn Molloy, Walter Johnson, Sr., M
In the Thomas S. Wootton High School girls lacrosse team's season opening loss Thursday, junior Marisa Cresham scored seven of the Patriots nine goals.
Despite the stellar individual output, coach Kasey Marchwicki felt her team was not functioning at peak performance. So she moved the 2011 All-Gazette first team midfielder to defense in hopes it would spark the rest of the Patriots' attack.
During Friday's 13-8 loss to private school Bullis, the results with the new lineup were mixed. Sophomore Stephanie Weissenburger recorded a hat trick, senior Marina Bailey scored twice and Andrea Mayo, Cara Traub and Mady Romm each tallied once.
“Coach was trying to get everyone to step up and work together because honestly we aren't a good team right now,” Cresham said. “The chemistry is showing up in practice, but not in games. We need to produce when it counts. It will come.”
Added Marchwicki: “I want them to be more of a team. Marisa is awesome and such a good teammate and captain. But since the majority of them are sophomores we need to work on playing team lacrosse. I don't want them just to stand and watch Marissa. We will get better.”
Bailey scored about 90 seconds into the contest to give the Patriots (0-2) a brief lead before Bullis (5-2) responded with three straight goals, working its way to an 8-5 halftime advantage.
Weissenburger scored with 15 minutes, 18 seconds remaining to cut the deficit to 9-7, but the Bulldogs ended any hope of a comeback with four consecutive goals. Cresham also received her second yellow card of the game and was ejected midway through the half for a dangerous shot.
“I did someone online homework and last year Marisa scored six of their 11 goals against us,” Bullis coach Kathleen Lloyd said. “We had a game plan to slow her down with [top defender] Dazia Hall, but we were surprised. As a coach playing against Marisa, I am glad we didn't have to worry about her on offense as much today because it probably won't be the case in the future.”
For Bullis, its initial four victories came by a combined five goals. The Bulldogs were also coming off a 13-9 loss to Winston Churchill. Senior Molly Morris and freshman Jenny Staines each recorded a hat trick and sophomore Caitlin McMahon scored twice to pace the Bulldogs' attack.
“Wootton's right down the street so it's a nice little rivalry to have with a public school,” Morris said. “I am just glad we could kind of relax at the end and settle the offense rather than having a stressful game that came down to the end.”
Bullis 13, Thomas S. Wootton 8
Wootton 5 3 — 8
Bullis 8 5 — 13
Wootton (0-2): Stephanie Weissenburger 3, Marina Bailey 2, Andrea Mayo 1, Cara Traub 1, Mady Romm 1
Bullis (5-2): Molly Morris 3, Jenny Staines 3, Caitlin McMahon 2, Colette Roa 1, Isabelle King 1, Katie Calder 1, Morgan Cafritz 1, Carley Sturges 1
During Our Lady of Good Counsel High School junior Caroline Peters’ first two years on the Falcons girls lacrosse team, she witnessed several older teammates take the program to unprecedented heights, including top-10 national rankings and eight consecutive Washington Catholic Athletic Conference championships.
This spring, however, the 5-foot-7 midfielder, who has verbally committed to Vanderbilt University, says the team has a different feel.
“It is a little bit different,” she said. “We obviously don’t have [NCAA Division I] players like Brigid [Smith], Kelly [Lechner] and Morgan [Stephens] anymore. That senior class was amazing, but there is a ton of talent here because we’ve developed a pipeline of players. We just don’t have quite the same amount of experience. … It is my job to show them how we do it here.”
Peters, who is one of three members of the Irish National team with American roots and only high schooler, will be joined by classmates Sammi Wilson and Shea Cassidy as key contributors in the Good Counsel midfield along with sophomores Ally Flechsig and Camaryn Kerns. Junior Meagh Graham returns in goal. Low attacker Alyssa Chalk is the lone freshman on the varsity squad, but is expected to make immediate contributions.
“I don’t think we rebuild. We just reload,” said coach Mike Haight. “Our only mission this year is to compete and to get better every day. The talent is here, but it all depends on how we develop chemistry.”
Chasing Good Counsel is the Academy of the Holy Cross, last year’s WCAC runner-up, and third-year coach Jenna Ries is seeing progress.
“The kids know what to expect now and they are all seasoned,” Ries said. “Practices and everything are just at a higher level. … The goal is to get back to the championship and win that game.”
The Tartans return three of their top four scorers from a year ago in Monica Lucas, Shannon Gallagher and Cristina McCarthy, who combined for 175 goals last spring.
Independent School League
Bullis lost key players Nicole Aust and Meredith Swagart to graduation, but coach Kathleen Lloyd said this year’s team could be better in the ISL’s upper AA division.
“We have depth,” Lloyd said. “Hopefully it can all come together.”
The Bulldogs will be led by three seniors that Lloyd expects “big things from” in Molly Morris (midfield), Isabelle King (midfield) and Carley Sturges (attack).
The Connelly School of the Holy Child won the ISL’s lower division last spring and moves up to AA, but will field a young team. Sophomore Mary Claire Byrnes should provide scoring from her midfield spot. Freshman goalie Olivia Edgerton and senior Molly Birostek backstop the defense along with midfielder Cassie Tkac.
Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart will be led by senior defender Taylor Jerome, and coach Kara Thiede said she is excited about the potential of sophomores Natalie Gosnell, Allie Rock and Jennifer Flanagan. The Gators are scheduled to travel to Chicago for several games over spring break.
Holton-Arms, once an area power, moves down to the ISL’s A division and welcomes first-year coach Janet McCormick. The Panthers are led by senior goalie Courtney Rushford, sophomore midfielder Blair Greenwald and defenders Greer Korengold (sophomore) and Anisa LaRochelle (junior).
St. Andrews Episcopal also will compete in the ISL A division.