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Prep Lacrosse: Gaels sweep Rebels

March 29, 2012|By MARK KELLER | keller@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN — St. Maria Goretti boys lacrosse coach Keith Reitenbach told his team it was playing for the city championship when it faced South Hagerstown at School Stadium on Thursday.

OK, so it wasn’t technically for a city championship — the Gaels don’t face North Hagerstown this year — but Goretti did beat the Rebels 7-4 in the only game it will play against a city foe this season.

And that was reason enough for Reitenbach to be pleased.

“We’re very excited. The future is very bright for us,” Reitenbach said. “For us to come here and play under the lights was a great experience, and hopefully next year North will see fit to schedule us.”

The boys’ win capped a doubleheader sweep for the Gaels. Jessica Swarner scored seven goals to lead Goretti’s girls to a 16-4 win in the first game of the night.

Freshman Mike Ewing had two goals and two assists to lead Goretti’s boys.

“We try to get guys cutting, moving without the ball in the stick,” Reitenbach said. “That sets up ball movement and makes lacrosse a beautiful game.”

The Gaels (2-3) controlled the game from the start, getting on the board in the first minute with a goal from Jake Kline. Graham Horst scored off an assist from Willie Spinnler at 7:59 for a 2-0 lead.

Isaac O’Brien got one back for South (0-3) at 4:02, but Noah Wright had a golden opportunity to tie the score denied by Goretti keeper Mike Fairley late in the first period.

Horst added a second goal in the second half, and Morgan Kenworthy and Patrick McDermott also scored for the Gaels.

Jordan Foster scored twice and Wright added a goal for the Rebels.

After giving up 40 goals in the first two games of the season, South’s defense showed marked improvement against the Gaels.

“We’re seeing steady improvements. They’re learning to move their feet better, learning to help each other out there,” said South coach Dave Tallant. “They’re learning to keep an eye on the man and the ball and not get caught watching the game.”

* In the girls game, the Rebels took a 1-0 lead just 42 seconds in when Jennifer Harman scored off an assist from Heather Callahan.

It took just nine seconds for the Gaels (3-4) to even the score — and find a hole in the South defense.

Swarner took possession off the faceoff and sprinted down the center of the field and rifled a shot past South keeper Miranda Stein.

“That was our gameplan coming in. This was a team we never faced, so the philosophy was to fast-break until they stop us,” said Goretti coach Renee Brennan. “We wanted to see what they have and score what we could early.”

The philosophy worked as the Rebels (0-3) struggled to stop Goretti’s streaks through the middle of their defense. Nicole Brennan picked up a turnover in South’s end and converted to give the Gaels the lead for good just two minutes in and Swarner added scores at 21:30 and 20:58 on runs up the middle.

But the hits kept coming for Goretti. Courtney Dorsey scored two goals and Jean Hogan tallied one to turn a 1-0 deficit into a 7-1 lead in just seven minutes.

“We knew we had problems defending the fast break,” said South coach Bruce Burhman. “We’ve been trying to work on that so it doesn’t hurt us so badly.”

Callahan scored for South to break the Gaels’ run.

Goretti led 8-3 at halftime, then scored the first five goals of the second half to initiate the running clock.

Dorsey finished with four goals and Brennan had two for Goretti. Callahan had two goals and an assist for South.

“We’re really pleased with where we are,” said Renee Brennan of her first-year varsity squad. “We’re hoping to get to 4-4 next week before we go into the second half of the season.”

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