Boston High School: Annee O'Connor

ESPN Boston Girls Lacrosse MIAA All-State Team

June, 29, 2013
6/29/13
11:08
AM ET
STARTING ELEVEN

Isabella O'Connor, Jr. A, Notre Dame (Hingham)
The Plymouth resident racked up both U.S. Lacrosse and Under Armour All-American honors as the Cougars grabbed their first Division 1 state title in program history. O'Connor registered 56 goals, 15 assists, 40 ground balls and 33 forced turnovers on the season. She is verbally committed to the University of Florida.

Maddie Stenberg, Sr. A, Needham
Stenberg was named the Bay State Conference's MVP after leading the Rockets to a 20-3 campaign and D1 South semifinals appearance. She was named a U.S. Lacrosse All-American, and leaves Needham with 439 career points. She will continue her career next year at Penn State.

Amy Arnold, Sr. A, Masconomet
The Cape Ann League's Player of the Year registered 71 goals and 19 assists as the Chieftains reached the semifinals of the D1 North tournament. Arnold was named a U.S. Lacrosse All-American, and will continue her career next year at the University of Florida.

Alex Dalton, Sr. M, Notre Dame (Hingham)
The recipient of this year's prestigious ESPN Boston Miss Lacrosse Award, Dalton led an explosive Cougars attack to their first D1 state title in program history. She registering 76 goals, 15 assists, 79 ground balls, 69 draw controls and 61 forced turnovers, and leaves the program with 303 career goals and 44 career assists. Dalton was named both a U.S. Lacrosse and Under Armour All-American, and will play next year at Notre Dame.

Marina Burke, Sr. M, Westwood
Burke totaled 48 goals and 39 assists for the Wolverines as the long-time Tri-Valley League juggernaut once again reached the D1 South Final. She was named a U.S. Lacrosse All-American, and will continue her career next season at Harvard University.

Megan Hennessy, Sr. M, Winchester
A three-time selection, Hennessy had a career-high 91 goals and 55 assists in leading the Sachems to the Division 2 State Final. She leaves Winchester with 290 goals and 163 assists for her career, and will continue her career next season at Harvard.

Bailey Mongillo, Sr. M, Westford Academy
Mongillo took the competitive Dual County League by storm this spring, recording 108 goals and 33 assists as the Grey Ghosts captured the D1 North title to cap an unprecedented season. She leaves Westford with 420 career points, and will continue her career next year at Villanova University.

Ela Hazar, Jr. M, Westwood
A repeat All-State selection, the dynamic speedster led the Wolverines' potent attack with 90 goals and 40 assists, to garner U.S. Lacrosse All-American honors. Hazar is verbally committed to the University of North Carolina.

Alexa Cambi, Jr. M, Longmeadow
The Lancers dominated the Western Mass. scene once again, and Cambi was at the forefront, leading the way with 57 goals as they reached the D1 State Final. Cambi was named a U.S. Lacrosse All-American for her efforts.

Taylor O’Connell, Sr. D, Algonquin
One of the top one-on-one defenders around, O'Connell led the Tomahawks to a second straight Division 1 Central title as they allowed 8.2 goals per game on the season. Named a U.S. Lacrosse All-American, O'Connell will continue her career next year at Loyola University (Md.).

Aileen Kelly, Jr. G, Framingham
Allowing 10 goals per game, the Flyers defense was solid, and it started in the back with Kelly. She was named a U.S. Lacrosse All-American, as the Flyers reached the semifinals of the D1 North tournament. Kelly is verbally committed to UMass.

BEST OF THE REST

Meghan Collins, Sr. D, Marblehead
Catherine Conley, Jr. M, Needham
Tess Chandler, Sr. M, Hopkinton
Shannon Fitzgerald, Jr. M, Newton North
M.J. Keefe, Sr. A, Andover
Hannah Murphy, Sr. M, Duxbury
Mary O'Connell, Sr. M, Norwell
Annee O'Connor, Jr. G, Needham
Zoe Ochoa, Sr. G, Longmeadow
Abby Quirk, Sr. A, Lincoln-Sudbury
Alison Ryan, Jr. M, Norwood
Kristina Schaefer, Jr. A, Longmeadow
Jillian Scyocurka, Jr. M, Longmeadow
Mariel Teague, Sr. M, Notre Dame (Hingham)
Maddie Ward, Sr. M, Norwell

D1 South Girls Lax: Westwood 12, Needham 9

June, 9, 2012
6/09/12
12:01
AM ET



NEEDHAM, Mass. -- Laura McHoul comfortably worked her position behind the net as she eyed for cutters.

A slight sag in the defense showed and the midfielder whipped a pass inches from the defender's net and into Kate Rich's grasp. As the two senior captains connected for the winning tally it became a sight all too familiar for the Wolverines' opponents.

Running its offense from its two senior stars, No. 3 Westwood (22-2) girls' lacrosse bested top-seeded Needham (22-2) 12-9 at Memorial Park yesterday in a Division 1 South finals rematch.

The win advances the defending state champs to play North champion Lincoln-Sudbury (23-1) at Babson College on Monday.

“We have a good connection on the field, so I trust it when I pass it too her,” said McHoul. “She just gets her stick open and she is tall enough that I can lob it in.”

Added Rich, “(We) don't want to stop playing."

Rich netted four, while McHoul assisted five and scored two. The seniors produced the go-ahead goal at 12:13 in the second half, while adding insurance with a pair of unassisted backdoor cuts.

“We wanted for everyone else to clear through,” said Westwood coach Leslie Frank. “We try to take advantage of the weakest defender and to get those matchups on Kate and Laura. When they happen, they have to go.”

Twice trailing by four to open, the Tri-Valley champs battled back to even by running quick plays off draws. A side net pass from McHoul to Rich evened the score at 5-5 with 4:39 left in the first half, while a two-on-one counter-attack assist from Ela Hazar (three goals, two assists) to fellow sophomore Jamison O'Neil gave the Wolverines' their first lead up 8-7 at 22:01 in second.

The two teams would equalize two more times, before Westwood pulled away.

Forcing the Freebies: The Rockets, who had previously not beaten Westwood since 2002, won their regular season matchup 12-10 at home by forcing 10 goals off set pieces. Creating penalties were big offensively again for Needham
in the rematch, as the Rockets scored all but one tally off a set-piece, including its first four finishes.

A one-timer from sophomore Kira Oberle to teammate freshman Carly Colman out of a penalty gave the Bay State Carey champs their largest lead up 4-1 fifteen minutes into the first.

“We just try to play less physical defense,” said Frank. “However, it is impossible (to avoid) at this level. They are so hungry for it and
they have come so far.”

Annee Time: Goalie Annee O'Connor has been the foundation for Needham's defense all season. The keeper made 10 saves to keep the Rockets alive on Friday, with a majority coming face-to-face with a shooter.

Needham coach Beth O'Brien cited the twenty minutes each practice she spent working with O'Connor as a reason for her success. A period she called "Annee time."

“We do reaction drills where it is rapid fire and a lot of the time we use tennis balls,” said O'Brien. “Low to high, crease work, and just lining up to rapid fire balls. That is something we have not done before.”

Tough Road: L-S will be the third straight opponent ranked in the top five of ESPNBoston's statewide poll that Westwood has faced.

The Wolverines lost a road thriller, 13-12, to the Warriors earlier in the season, but eliminated the the DCL Large champs in the previous year's state semifinals by a 15-7 margin. Westwood was the top seed in the South last year.

“I guess we are the underdogs but we are not done,” said McHoul. “We are ready to fight all the way.”

Recap: No. 4 Needham 13, No. 3 Andover 9

April, 23, 2012
4/23/12
11:43
PM ET
NEEDHAM, Mass. -- Heading into this afternoon's much-anticipated showdown with Andover, Needham head coach Beth O'Brien stressed to her team the importance of getting on the scoreboard first.

But when you play for a coach as fiercely passionate as O'Brien, it turned out, one goal is never enough. Because the Rockets didn't just get on the board first -- they lit up the board in the first half, jetting out to a commanding halftime lead and making it hold up after staving off a late rally from the Golden Warriors, prevailing 13-9 in a matchup between two of the state's top five programs loaded with Division 1-caliber talent.

"That's something we've struggled on, coming out and scoring those first few goals, and then having the ability to maintain that throughout the game," O'Brien said. "That was a big step for us."

The Rockets (7-1) reeled off an 8-1 run in the first half to take a 10-4 lead over Andover (7-2) at the break, with junior Maddie Stenberg and sophomore Catherine Conley combining for seven of those scores. The duo got opportunities for points off free position shots, but also moved the ball around the attacking zone with efficiency, slipping through some of the state's most talented defenders with split-dodges, and using the space behind the net to create net-front presence.

Three straight scores from Conley with less than five minutes to go in the first half gave Needham all the cushion it would need in the end. First, Conley cut down the middle towards the net and put a one-timer from behind the net top shelf, with 4:04 to go. Two and a half minutes later, she scored on a free position shot; that was followed with 52 seconds remaining in the half with a wrap-around, for a 10-3 advantage.

Conley finished with four goals and an assist, while Stenberg led all scorers on the day with five goals and two assists.

"Cat had a great game today," O'Brien said. "She was one of our leading scorers last year as a freshman, and was suffering a little bit of an injury at the beginning of the season, so this is what we like to call a 'Coming Out Day'. She's been having some great games, but this is really the Catherine Conley that we know is there. She's a phenomenal player who is only going to continue to get better."

O'Connor Shines in Net: Sophomore goalie Annee O'Connor came up with eight saves in net, all of them seemingly brilliant with a large degree of difficulty. That included three saves on free position shots as well.

"Let's face it, she's only a sophomore...[But] those saves, she's capable of making those," O'Brien said. "She's been mentally able to get herself to that next level, as far as, 'You know what, two or three are going to go in, but I've got to make that next stop. She's just been working incredibly hard."

Lockdown D: Speaking to O'Connor's performance, O'Brien heaved plenty of praise unto the defense in front of her, calling it their best performance of the year and giving the sophomore goalie plenty of confidence. Considering the Rockets are already allowing just over six goals per game, and boast Division 1-bound midfielders in Shelby Aubin (Georgetown) and Tory Waldstein (Harvard), that praise is especially impressive.

"They were composed, they were aggressive," O'Brien said. "The referees were great. They [Needham] figured out they were being allowed to play the game, so they took some chances. They communicated well, their slides were good, their switches were good, it was just a very well-rounded game for them."

Dink and Dunk: One area the Rockets excelled at in the offensive end was with flashing towards the net, and in turn drawing defenders outward to open up diagonal lanes underneath in front of the net. That created some entry passes that were dumped off at close range from the net.

Between UConn-bound attack Ally Fazio, UMass-bound twins Anne and Kate Farnham, along with a supporting cast of scorers like juniors Jaclyn Torres and Meagan Keefe, Andover is not exactly a team where one can afford to mark a specific player. Asked if there was anything specific the Rockets were looking to exploit, O'Brien noted the Warriors' quick adjustments, pointing to Torres, who scored the team's first four goals.

"We were really more just trying to draw anybody out," O'Brien said. "Because we were just trying to create space for those lanes, to either dodge or free up that open person because they were starting to double us, so we needed to free up that person and find that open person in the middle."

Read and React: Needham won 11 of the game's first 15 draw controls, which yielded a sizeable advantage in time of possession.

"That's something that we've been working on," O'Brien said. "We've been doing reaction drills for the last week and a half, because we knew that was what would cost us as we face this tough schedule ahead. It's something that we've been working intensely on, in regards to just, getting those draw controls, working on just really that reaction time, getting off that line first, because we knew it was going to be won on the circle or on the restraining line."

SPONSORED HEADLINES