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April 2, 2009

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Mount lacrosse tops Gwynedd, 8-5, in AACA debut

This shot by Mount sophomore Stevie Wells opened the scoring in last Tuesday’s match against Gwynedd Mercy.

In Mount St. Joseph Academy’s league lacrosse opener last Tuesday, the host Magic earned a 4-3 halftime edge, but slipped back into a 4-4 tie with the Gwynedd-Mercy Monarchs early in the second period.

Taking advantage of several penalties called against the visitors, the Mount funneled in four straight man-up goals, then Gwynedd scored once in the closing minutes for an 8-5 final tally.

One player on each side registered a hat trick in the contest. Junior Nicole Schuster (who has already given a verbal commitment to play NCAA Division I field hockey at Boston College) scored three of the Mount’s last six goals in the game, while Gwynedd got three goals and an assist from Calli Foley, also an 11th grader.

In goal, MSJ sophomore Kat Matchett made eight stops for the win, and Meghan Gilles, a Monarch senior, finished with 11 saves.

The MSJ victory gave each team a record of 1-1 in the young lax season. The Magic had started out with a non-league loss to Penn Charter, while the Monarchs had notched a 13-7 victory over the Nazareth Pandas, a fellow member of the Athletic Association of Catholic Academies.

It took awhile for both teams to find the net last Tuesday. Mount sophomore Stevie Wells opened the scoring in the game with 15 minutes remaining in the first half, and four minutes after that the hosts went up 2-0 as junior Tara Beppel assisted on a goal by fellow Norwood-Fontbonne Academy alum Tori Wischusen.

In a span of two-and-a-half minutes, GMA’s Foley assisted on a strike by senior Brea Mealy, then scored a goal of her own off of a feed from sophomore Jenna Seybert, tying the game. Schuster moved the Mount ahead once more, only to have the Monarchs balance the score at 3-3 as another assist by Seybert resulted in a marker by senior Casey Swiski. With 1:08 to go in the first period, a second Schuster goal (assisted by sophomore Melissa Gavin) allowed the Magic to take a 4-3 advantage into the intermission.

Following their season opener the week before, the Magic moved senior Katie Mischler (who has signed with the Lafayette College lacrosse team) from the midfield back to the line defense, which allows the Mount pick up opposing attackers more effectively and lets Mischler help start the offensive transition deeper in the Magic’s own half of the field.

Mount St. Joe attacked again early in the second stanza but did not score.The Monarchs then mounted a series of rushes that culminated in a goal by Foley (assisted by fellow upperclassman Katie Lamsbach) with 20:16 remaining in the game. With the score now knotted at 4-4, it looked like this contest could come down to the wire, but during a pivotal stretch in the middle of the period, the Magic managed to remain penalty free while Gwynedd picked up a pair of yellow cards.

A head check with 17:49 on the clock left the Monarchs playing 11-on-12 for the next three minutes, and Mount St. Joe did not waste the opportunity, as Schuster successfully drove to goal at 16:52, and Beppel shot the eventual gamewinner with 16:10 on the board.

Gwynedd got back to full strength, but that lasted less than a minute as another Monarch was yellow-carded with 14:02 to go. Just six seconds into the penalty period the Mount got a goal from Gavin, and another 10th-grader, Maggy Gottschalk, boosted the hosts’ lead to 8-4 with the clock showing 12:23 left to play.

Once the teams were all-even again, the Monarchs were able to prevent further damage, but weren’t able to make much of a dent in the Magic’s lead. The last goal of the game featured another Lamsbach-to-Foley connection, but it came with only 1:52 to go, and still left the Monarchs three points short.

 



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