Boston High School: Madison Caron

Recap: No. 5 Notre Dame (H) 14, No. 1 L-S 10

April, 24, 2012

HINGHAM, Mass. -- In what looked to be a tightly-contested matchup of Division I state title contenders, host No. 5 Notre Dame of Hingham (10-0) grabbed an early six-goal lead as they cruised to a 14-10 victory over No. 1 Lincoln-Sudbury (9-1) at Margetts Field.

“L-S is a great team (that) I know is going to go far,” said Notre Dame coach Meredith Frank. “It is a belief that we can be successful that we can compete with the top teams in the state. Getting after it, finishing our shots and doing all the little things it takes to win a game.”

The Cougars were led with four tallies from sophomore Isabella O'Connor and three goals by juniors Amelia Brown and Alex Dalton (two assists). Junior Abby Quirk netted five for the Warriors.

A Quick Draw: The first ten draws of the game all led to scores for the victor.

Notre Dame center Madison Caron dominated the first six face-offs to set up a 6-0 lead at 16:34, but L-S's Madison Acton (both seniors) won the next four from the center-line and scored a pair to cut the margin to 6-4 in the next three minutes.

“I told the girls yesterday that it is the draw that is going to be the game,” said L-S coach Deb DeJesus.

“It is focus, it is hard work for five or six seconds, and it is getting the ball out of there,” added Frank.

The two squads tallied 13 draws a piece.

Slicing up the Defense: The Cougars spread the Warriors' defense with their wide offensive passing then used quick individual cuts to find open lanes.

Four of Notre Dame's first six goals developed by motioning the rubber behind the net and up to a cutter. A back of the crease assist from freshman Keeley MacAfee to junior Mariel Teague gave Notre Dame its six tally, while upfront one-on-one efforts into open gaps from Teague and Brown put L-S in its deepest hole of the season with a 14-7 margin at 14:53 in the second.

“We really worked on our fitness to keep up with them,” said O'Connor. “ Get open, make cuts, and set picks for other people. When you make the team better, you make yourself better.”

The Griffin Effect: The Warriors used senior Megan Griffin (four assists) to draw off defenders and open scoring lanes for teammates.

A double-team on Griffin at 15:48 in the first opened the scoring for the Warriors by freeing a middle lane for Quirk and a one-on-one with sophomore keeper Sam Cuomo. Eight minutes later the senior walked defenders away from the post and opened a lane along the crease for senior Rachel Sexton to keep the Warriors within range down 7-5.

“We look to draw the double and dump it off to that person,” said DeJesus. “We have a lot of speed on our team so we look for fast break first.”

Warrior Spirit: The Warriors netted a pair of breakaway goals by Quirk and sophomore Eliza Guild in the final two minutes to cut the margin to four. However, a low set-piece rocket from senior Sarah Ganio ricocheted off Coumo's stick in the final seconds.

“Today they were the better team,” said DeJesus. “That is why you have the regular season so you grow as a team. To take it as a challenge and learn from those areas that beat you in.”

Recap: No. 6 NDA 14, No. 10 Duxbury 13

April, 12, 2012
HINGHAM, Mass. -- The Notre Dame Academy girls lacrosse team knew it would need someone to step up and fill the large shoes of last year’s top scorer, Jess Roach. Junior Alex Dalton took over that role nicely in the Cougars biggest test of the young season.

The junior scored six times -- including three straight to break open a tie game late in the second half -- and Notre Dame was able to hold on for a 14-13 triumph over Duxbury, Thursday afternoon at Margetts Field.

“She’s definitely a leader,” said Notre Dame coach Meredith Frank in praise of Dalton. “She’s a player who wants the ball when the game is on the line and by golly we’re going to give her the ball. She’s very very talented. I think she still has a lot of growth and a lot learning to do but I couldn’t be more proud of her and how she rallied her teammates.”

The Dragons (3-1) had just taken their first lead of the game courtesy of a Hannah Murphy inspired 5-0 run. Murphy won five straight draw controls and scored the first two goals in the spirt, while Tina Balzotti (five goals) added a pair and Kristen Brockwell buried the score that put Duxbury ahead, 12-11.

Madison Caron, who engaged in a terrific battle in the circle with Murphy all day, won three draws in a row of her own, all three of which led to possessions that resulted in Dalton scores.

Dalton put the Cougars (7-0) back in front for good, raising her stick outside the restraining line to signal for a pass. Keeley MacAfee had the ball behind the Duxbury cage and delivered a perfect feed as Dalton flashed in and was able to score.

“I was coming in from behind the restraining line, filling in after my whole team had been in the eight for a while and I noticed there wasn’t any defense looking at me,” Dalton explained. “They were looking at the ball so I just kind of snuck in behind them and my teammate saw me and passed it to me.”

Dalton put away one more off another terrific pass, this time from Amelia Brown (three goals, three assists), to put NDA ahead, 14-12 with just under three minutes go. Murphy (four goals, two assists) got a late score for the Dragons, but NDA was able to hold off any further thoughts of another comeback.

“It definitely took some adjustments but I’m very proud of these girls,” said Dragons coach Kelly Jurgens. “I know its a loss in the book but I consider it a win in in my heart because the girls came back from a six-goal deficit at one point. It shows that I have a bunch of fighters on my team and thats all you can hope for.”

Notre Dame got off to a hot start, building a 6-1 lead, something that Frank was very pleased to see.

“We haven’t started that strong in the first half yet this season so that was a big positive for us and something we need to take to the rest of our season,” she said. “I knew we weren’t going to be able to sustain because Duxbury has tons of great players and girls who can make plays. But I did know it was great for us to start that strong and then be able to fight back. A lot of great lessons were learned in this game.”