ST. JAMES — The Saint James girls lacrosse team came up short in its quest for the Independent Parochial School League championship on Saturday, falling 19-9 to St. John’s Catholic Prep.
After Bethann Pierce got the Vikings (10-4) on the board, Madison Fahey and Sarah Treger scored for the Saints (7-6) to give them a 2-1 lead.
However, that lead was short-lived as the trio of Bethann Pierce, Marial Pierce and Brooke Wilson ran roughshod over Saint James’ defense.
“We went into the game knowing that St. John’s would be one of the best teams we’d face all year,” said Saint James coach Katherine Dyson. “Each girl had her responsibilities and adhered to them as best she could.”
Marial Pierce led St. John’s with six goals, while Bethann Pierce and Wilson added five each. The Vikings’ not-so-secret weapon for success was draw controls, winning the majority of them to dominate the possession battle.
“Draw controls are the most important thing to a team, since it gives that team possession,” said St. John’s coach Lucy Pompa. “I tell (my players) to box out and keep their feet moving on the draws. Our success gave us possession for most of the game.”
St. John’s found its mark on offense in the first half, outscoring Saint James 13-6. Ten of those goals came from the Pierce sisters, the other three from Wilson.
Saint James kept fighting, however, as Fahey, Treger and Margaret Bacon each scored twice for the Saints.
“I think the draw controls were a weak point for us, but we capitalized on the ones we got,” Dyson said.
The Vikings continued to score at will in the second half. Wilson, Kathleen Cook and Alexis Truxillo scored consecutive goals to give St. John’s the running clock. Marial Pierce, Meredith Jones and Wilson’s second goal of the half rounded out the scoring for St. John’s.
Bacon, Fahey, and Grace Fulton scored in the second half for the Saints.
“Our offense was playing to the restraining line and our defense played well. I don’t think Saint John’s expected what we brought to the table today,” said Dyson. “We will walk off of this field proud of our play.”
In earlier action, the Mercersburg Academy Blue Storm defeated the first-year varsity St. Maria Goretti Gaels 15-5 to win the league consolation game. The Blue Storm (6-8) was led by Madeline Shearer, who scored a game-high four goals. Jordan Shihadeh was right behind her with three.
The Gaels (4-8) and Blue Storm traded goals early in the first half to forge a 2-2 tie. From there, however, it was all Mercersburg, as Goretti was outscored 9-3 in the first half.
“We came out ready to play our game. We’ve been working on doubling on challenges and settling on defense and defensive recovery. I think we found that rhythm in the first half,” said Mercersburg coach Sarah Mason. “We’re focusing on good possessions and good attack, and playing sharp for the whole 50 minutes. I think we did that.”
Gabby Cuzzola and Hanna Warfield each scored twice for Mercersburg, while Alyson Kinney, Shelley LaMotte, Linh Vu and Delaney Taylor each added a goal.
Goretti’s Nicole Brennan led the Gaels with a hat trick, while Cierra Quantock, Jessica Swarner and Amber DeSantis each scored once.
“I’m very proud of my players,” said Goretti coach Renee Brennan. “We focused on getting the freshmen and new players up to speed. We have a lot of room to grow. Hopefully we’ll get some numbers next year. Still, we really came together today.”