High School Girls

July 20, 2011

Yellow Jackets Earn No. 1 Seed in US Lacrosse Girls' U15 National Championship

by Paul Krome | Lax Magazine.com | Live Blog | Championship Scoreboard | Lax Swag Blog

Avery Donahoe had a goal and two assists to help Stars Gold (Va.) defeat Nor Cal Elite, 15-5, in pool play Wednesday at the US Lacrosse U15 National Championship, presented by Champion. Stars Gold earned the No. 2 seed for bracket play, which begins Thursday.

© Scott McCall

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Twenty of the nation’s top under-15 girls’ lacrosse teams have ventured to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex – some from clear across the country – to battle for national supremacy in the third annual US Lacrosse U15 National Championship, presented by Champion. After three games of pool play Wednesday in the Orlando heat, defending national champion Long Island (N.Y.) Yellow Jackets and 2010 runner-up Stars Gold (Va.) earned the top two seeds for the start of tournament play Thursday.

Stars Gold locked up the No. 2 seed with an impressive 15-5 win over Nor Cal Elite in a matchup of 2-0 teams. Stars Gold got goals from 12 players and used a sizeable advantage on draw controls to win a much-anticipated rematch of a 2010 quarterfinal, won by Stars Gold in overtime.

“We dominated draw controls using Ana Hagerup as the center,” said Stars Gold coach Rick Sofield. “She’s normally an attacker for us, but she is a good draw girl. Kelly Myers, one of our middies, must’ve had seven snags there on the circle. In a game like this when you’re playing a good team like Nor Cal, if you possess the ball, you have more opportunities to score.”

Two goals apiece from Parker Garret and Lizzie Schwein helped Stars Gold turn a 5-3 lead into a comfortable final margin in the day’s final set of games, as the Northern Virginians’ six goals allowed in three games was bested only by the Yellow Jackets’ four.

“At our practices in D.C., it’s been hot,” Hagerup said. “We’ve done some 100-yard sprints and conditioning workouts. They were very hard, but it got us ready for this.”

“Today would be a ‘Code Red’ day in D.C. [due to the heat],” Sofield said. “You know what they call a ‘Code Red’ day down in Orlando? Wednesday. Every day is ‘Code Red’ down here, so they were getting ready to run in the hot weather.”

Caroline Cummings continued a strong opening day for Nor Cal with two goals in defeat.

“Stars has a lot of good players, and we were just tired,” said Cummings, who noted that several of her teammates had two-hour drives for practices. That’s not uncommon among the squads here, as many teams feature the best players in their states or regions.

Top of the Bay (Md.), Long Island (N.Y.) Top Guns, and US Lacrosse U15 West Regional champion Pacific Falcons White (Calif.) all finished 3-0 and earned seeds 3-5, respectively, based on the goals allowed tiebreaker.

Pacific Falcons White completed an unlikely unbeaten day despite losing goalie Zoe Stephensen to an injury early in the day. Attacker Caroline Ricci played some goal in the first game, as teammate Amanda Marks scored two goals and two assists to help Falcons White survive Washington State, 8-7. The dramatics continued in the second game. Marks and Natalie Yorba went into the cage, and Genesis Lucero scored on a free position goal with under 50 seconds left to deliver a 7-6 win over Stickbenders (Fla.). Ricci moved back up front and brought home the Falcons’ final one-goal win, 11-10 over Georgia, with the game-winner with around 2:30 remaining after the Georgians came back from down several goals to forge a 10-10 tie.

Seedings for bracket play appear below.

1. Yellow Jackets (N.Y.) 3-0, 4 goals allowed
2. Stars Gold (Va.) 3-0, 6 goals allowed
3. Top of the Bay (Md.) 3-0, 11 goals allowed
4. Long Island Top Guns (N.Y.) 3-0, 13 goals allowed
5. Pacific Falcons White (Calif.) 3-0, 23 goals allowwed
6. North Carolina 2-1, 13 goals allowed
7. Pacific Falcons Blue (Calif.) 2-1, 14 goals allowed
8. Connecticut Chargers 2-1, 17 goals allowed
9. Cardinal Lacrosse (Va.) 2-1, 21 goals allowed
10. Southern Ohio 2-1, 23 goals allowed
11. Nor Cal Elite 2-1, 26 goals allowed
12. Lax Maniax 2-1, 30 goals allowed
13. Lakeshore Lacrosse 1-2, 32 goals allowed
14. Greater Houston 0-3, 31 goals allowed
15. Team Georgia 0-3, 37 goals allowed
16. Washington State 0-3, 38 goals allowed (-15 differential)
17. Connecticut Dodgers 0-3, 38 goals allowed (-24 differential)
18. Desert Heat (Ariz.) 0-3, 39 goals allowed (-17 differential), coin flip for #18
19. Stickbenders (Fla.) 0-3, 39 goals allowed (-17 differential)
20. Desert Divas (Ariz.) 0-3, 44 goals allowed

Goal differential is capped at eight goals per game.

Bracket Play for Thursday, July 21

First round
8 a.m. - No. 16 Washington State vs. No. 17 Connecticut Dodgers, Field 18
8 a.m. - No. 13 Lakeshore vs. No. 20 Desert Divas, Field 19
9:30 a.m. - No. 15 Georgia vs. No. 18 Desert Heat (Ariz.), Field 7
9:30 a.m. - No. 14 Greater Houston vs. No. 19 Stickbenders (Fla.), Field 9

Second round
10:30 a.m. - No. 1 Yellow Jackets (N.Y.) vs. No. 16/17 winner, Field 18
10:30 a.m. - No. 8 Connecticut Chargers vs. No. 9 Cardinal Lacrosse (Va.), Field 19
10:30 a.m. - No. 4 Long Island Top Guns vs. No. 13/20 winner, Field 20
10:30 a.m. - No. 5 Pacific Falcons White (Calif.) vs. No. 12 Lax Maniax (Fla.), Field JC 1
12 noon - No. 2 Stars Gold (Va.) vs. No. 15/18 winner, Field 18
12 noon - No. 7 Pacific Falcons Blue (Calif.) vs. No. 10 Southern Ohio, Field 19
12 noon - No. 3 Top of the Bay (Md.) vs. No. 14/19 winner, Field 20
12 noon - No. 6 North Carolina vs. No. 11 Nor Cal Elite, Field JC 1

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