High School Girls

July 8, 2009

Check-Hers Checks Out with Inaugural U-15 Title

by Paul Krome | Lacrosse Magazine Online Staff

Eboni Preston: Carroll County Has Come a Long Way, Baby

BEL AIR, Md. -- The inaugural US Lacrosse Under-15 National Championship featured teams from as far away as California, but the best team in the tournament needed only a modest drive across town to prove it was the best in the land.

Top-seeded Check-Hers 2012, comprised mainly of players from the Carroll County (Md.) Public Schools, jumped out to an 8-3 lead and cruised to a 19-12 win over 11th-seeded Stars Gold (Va.) in the tournament final to claim the national championship trophy at Cedar Lane Sports Park in Bel Air, Md. Madison Cyr, a rising sophomore at Winters Mill (Md.) High, scored six goals and added two assists to help her team finish three days of play unbeaten, and land herself a spot on the Lacrosse Magazine All-Tournament Team (see below).

"It's really exciting," said Cyr, one of three Check-Hers (7-0) players to earn all-tournament honors. "We had some nice feeds and some nice movement around the goal cage. Our defense played well, stopped them and brought the ball back up the field in transition."

Cyr, who scored 10 goals in the semifinals and final, made her presence known immediately, converting a Taylor Gress feed just 35 seconds into the game. While Stars Gold (5-2) countered just 10 seconds later with a Margaret Tucker Fogarty-to-Katie McHugh combo, Cyr promptly put her team ahead to stay with a free-position goal at the 23:26 mark. From there, Cyr and Gress (3g, 3a) stoked the Ch eck-Hers offense, as the Maryland team surged ahead by five late in the first half. Fogarty, an all-tournament honoree, gave Stars Gold some hope at the end of the stanza with back-to-back goals in its last 19 seconds.

"They were a very good team," said Check-Hers assistant coach Gretchin McMunn, who guided the team today with head coach Lacey Hentz attending to graduate school obligations at Johns Hopkins University. "We had to make a couple of important adjustments. They had a couple girls with very good skills that were able to take it to the goal. We had to find a way to stop them. Once we were able to make that adjustment, shifting a couple girls around, then we seemed to do OK."

Fogarty was limited to one second-half goal against the likes of Alice Mercer (all-tournament), Kirstie Connor and Julie Gillie. And while Campbell Collier scored three of her four goals for Stars Gold after the break, Check-Hers all-tournament goalie Hannah Clinton got stronger as the game progressed, finishing with 15 saves.

"Our defense was amazing," said Clinton, a rising sophomore at Manchester Valley (Md.) High. "There were a couple goals where we didn't slide, but we picked it back up and made the slides and got some interceptions to head down the field."

While the teams finished with 15 draw controls apiece, Check-Hers controlled most of the clock in the second half, especially after quickly extending a 9-6 halftime lead. Gress scored at the 23:18 mark, then fed Felice Artuso at 20:42 to put the Marylanders up 13-7. Stars Gold, comprised of mostly rising freshmen at private and public schools in Northern Virginia, closed to within 13-9 when Kathleen Williams scored unassisted at 16:46, but four different Check-Hers players answered within seven minutes to seal the deal.

"It's really exciting. We didn't think we'd get this far. We did our best and did what we needed to," said Cyr, who'll turn her attention to making the varsity squad next spring at Winters Mill, to play alongside older sister McKenzie.

"Madison's got a smart way of being able to see the field and move the ball around. She knows when to turn it on and hit that net," said McMunn.

Cyr hit the net often, and Check-Hers 2012 is bringing the US Lacrosse U-15 National Championship trophy across town, home to Carroll County.

Box Score

Stars Gold 6+6=12
Check-Hers 9+10=19

Stars Gold Scoring: Campbell Collier 4g; Margaret Tucker Fogarty 4g, 1a; Carly Reed 1g, 2a; Katie McHugh 1g; Kathleen Williams 1g; Sarah Wilcox 1g.
Check-Hers 2012 Scoring: Madison Cyr 6g, 2a; Taylor Gress 3g, 3a; Kelly McCormick 2g, 2a; Alice Mercer 2g, 1a; Carleigh Davis 3a; Kirstie Connor 2g; Felice Artuso 2g; Kristen Cannon 1g; Caitlin Collins 1g.

Stars Gold Goalies: Taylor Rivera-Silva 6svs, 9GA; Katie Wiseman 4svs, 10GA.
Check-Hers 2012 Goalie: Hannah Clinton 15svs, 12GA.


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