Boston High School: Marisa Maccario

No. 1 St. Mary's stays unbeaten

January, 29, 2011

LYNN, Mass. -- Carrying an 80-plus game unbeaten streak, No. 1 St. Mary’s of Lynn girls’ hockey knows they have a target on them at all times. And the Spartans didn’t expect anything less with No. 2 Woburn coming to town for Saturday night’s non-league contest at Connery Rink.

St. Mary’s trailed for most of the game after the Tanners’ Ashley Moran scored with 19 seconds remaining in the first period. While it looked as though Saturday might be the night that the Spartans’ prolific streak finally came to end, Sabrina Iannetti tied it with 3:08 left in the third on a power play goal.

The teams ended in a 1-1 tie and St. Mary’s streak hit 90 games.

One thing’s for certain, No. 90 didn’t come easy.

“We were dealt with some adversity tonight, but we didn’t panic,” St. Mary’s head coach Frank Pagliuca said. “We kept going. That was great test for us in the middle of the year, but all of them are.”

Although the Spartans (10-0-3) were down 1-0 after the first, they out-shot Woburn 9-4. However, Tanners freshman goaltender Courtney Davis once again proved she’s up for the test of a big game. After dispatching No. 3 Lexington in a 4-0 shutout last week, Davis was on task again, turning aside 17 Spartan shots.

“She played great and she’s only a freshman,” Woburn head coach Bob MacCurtain said. “She battled hard and I think she likes playing in these big games.”

The Tanners (10-1-1) got another boost from another freshman in Moran, who paced them to a 1-0 lead. Her tally was the result of some strong net front presence and was assisted by yet another freshman, Emily Lissner.

Perhaps more impressively, Moran’s goal ended a 21-plus period shutout streak pitched by the Spartans and netminder Sarah Foss. The last goal St. Mary’s allowed came in their 2-2 tie against Notre Dame of Hingham on Jan. 6.

“We knew we were going to have our hands full, they’re one of the best teams around,” Pagliuca said. “They have a great coach, they’re disciplined, they’re organized and they have some players.”

Neither team could get on the board in the second, though Lissner had a tremendous chance to put Woburn up 2-0 with a slick move in front of Foss (15 saves). After shedding a defender with a deke to the right, Lissner was in alone on Foss. She pulled another deke to the backhand but simply ran out room and was unable to sneak the puck inside the nearside post.

St. Mary’s attack intensified in the third. The Spartans were able to draw the penalty which led to the game-tying goal with a sustained presence in the Woburn end. Iannetti finally found the back of the net with 3:08 to play on a blast from the point set up by Gina Beth Manganiello and Marisa Maccario.

“Our power play’s been much better the last couple of games,” Pagliuca said. “We made some adjustments and we’re trying to make more opportunities. That was a big goal there.”

No. 1 St. Mary's stymies Fontbonne attack

January, 20, 2011

QUINCY, Mass. -- Last year, Fontbonne Academy sniper Taylor Shepherd stole a rare point from St. Mary’s of Lynn with a last-second goal.

As the fifth-ranked Ducks welcomed back the reigning Division 1 girls’ hockey state champions Thursday at Shea Memorial Rink, there would be no such comeback. The top-ranked Spartans’ cagy defense shut down Shepherd and the Fontbonne attack while sophomore goaltender Sarah Foss made 20 saves to shut out the Ducks, 2-0.

St. Mary’s undefeated streak stretched to 87 games with the win.

“We’re really pride ourselves in the D-zone,” Spartans head coach Frank Pagliuca said. “We’re really taking pride in getting the puck out and making good decisions. Like I said, we didn’t do a good job in the first period, but as the game went on, we were making better decisions as we were breaking up the ice.”

Pagliuca’s squad got off to a slow start and were out-shot (8-4) and out-chanced in the first period.

However, St. Mary’s (8-0-2) had a penchant for closing periods strong, scoring each of their goals in the final minute of the first and second periods, respectively.

Sabrina Iannetti knocked home a backhander on a cross-ice feed from Marisa Maccario on a 2-on-1 chance with 40 seconds remaining in the first. Defenseman Angela Dandreo also picked up an assist on the play.

The Spartans struck for their second goal with nine seconds remaining in the second. Sophomore winger Alison Butler took a feed from Maccario at the top of the left side face-off circle and unleashed a slapper past Fontbonne goalie Samantha Curley (18 saves) stick side.

While St. Mary’s finished periods strong, Pagliuca saw room for improvement.

“We can’t come out flat against teams like that. We were fortunate enough to be up 1-0 [after the first].”

The Spartans’ bench boss did have high praise for his defensive corps, led by Dandreo, a senior captain. St. Mary’s bottled up the Ducks (7-1-2) through the neutral zone, playing a trap system with three skaters back at all times.

“Obviously, Taylor Shepherd is one of the best players in the state, so you have to account for her every time she’s on the ice,” Pagliuca said about game-planning for Fontbonne. “We gave her one opportunity on the breakaway, but I thought overall we did a nice job limiting her shots. We kept her to perimeter for the most part.”

That aforementioned opportunity came in the third period when Shepherd steamed in on Foss on a breakaway. After a sly fake to the forehand, Shepherd went stick side and Foss stopped the shot with a deft blocker save.

“I thought back to last year and I said, ‘I’m not letting this in,’” Foss said. “I stepped out and made sure not to make any moves before she shot the puck.”

While Fontbonne didn’t lack for opportunities, head coach Bob Huxley said it simply came down to a lack of execution.

“If you don’t score any goals, I don’t care whether you’re playing mites, high school, college or pros, zero goals equals zero wins,” Huxley said. “We’re going to need to emphasize shooting and rebounds a little bit more.”