Izzy Mangan's goal gives St. Anthony's girls victory over Suffern

St. Anthony's Izzy Mangan moves the ball into St. Anthony's Izzy Mangan moves the ball into the Suffern zone in a girls lacrosse game on Saturday, April 26, 2014. Photo Credit: George A. Faella

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Once the whistle blew, it was inevitable.

When Izzy Mangan hustled to the loose ball for a turnover and was shoved from behind by an opponent, drawing the foul, all her St. Anthony's teammates knew what that meant.

"It was going to be a goal," goalie Charlotte Campbell said. "Once she got the ball, I wasn't even worried. Izzy is just so athletic and has so much confidence."

Play restarted with Mangan in possession of the ball and, because of Suffern's infraction, the nearest defender was set 5 yards behind her. Essentially, it would be a 35-yard race to the goal, against the girl against whom she had just outrun to the ground ball.

"I knew she wouldn't catch me, especially with the head start," Mangan said. "Not to brag, but I'm pretty fast."

She can brag -- she's pretty good. Mangan scored the winner -- again! -- lifting St. Anthony's to a 7-6 victory over Suffern on Saturday in girls lacrosse.

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Mangan easily beat the pursuit, sidestepped left to deke the goalie, then fired from 4 yards into the upper right corner with 2:36 remaining.

Kerri Puckhaber had tied it at 6 with 7:20 left, scoring on a one-timer from Taylor Mitchell. After St. Anthony's took the lead, Puckhaber secured a ground ball after the draw and the Friars drained the final 2:27.

"We showed again that we can pull out tough games," Mangan said. "We have a chance to go undefeated and it's important to know that we can execute when it's close."

They also know that Mangan will execute in the clutch. Since last season, the attack has had four winning goals against nationally-ranked opponents. Last month, Mangan scored with a second left to beat Georgetown Visitation, which was No. 4 at the time. Suffern entered ranked 27th.

"Izzy always seems to be the hero," Mitchell said. "Whenever we need a goal, there's no doubt in your mind she's going to get it. It's automatic."

Mitchell scored three goals and Mangan had two goals and two assists for the Friars (9-0). Charlotte Campbell made eight saves.

Claire Quinn's goal put St. Anthony's up 3-0 early in the first half, but Suffern's defense and methodical style slowed the pace as it chipped away. Caitlin Leary's third goal tied it at 5 for Suffern (7-3) midway through the second half. Dana Gisonno gave them a lead with 9:01 to go.

But the Friars, in a familiar position, turned once more to a familiar face.

"When the pressure is on, we want Izzy to have the ball," coach Summer Ferraro said. "She never panics . . . When games are on the line and we desperately need a goal, she delivers 100 percent of the time."

Inevitably.

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