Maggie Bill's four goals, one assist leads St. Anthony's victory
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Hey, there goes Maggie Bill again. Wait, was that . . . Yes, that was her. Again.
The matchup of Long Island's top lacrosse teams, and the hype surrounding it, provided a grand stage Wednesday at St. Anthony's High School -- and Bill danced all over it.
The All-American dominated on both ends, reinforcing her status and her team's standing among the elite, as the Friars topped powerhouse Garden City, 11-6, in a non-league game.
In the crease, Bill routinely split double teams to score four goals (on four shots) and dished an assist. The midfielder was seemingly omnipresent on defense, too, with four caused turnovers.
"We came in really pumped for this because we're the underdogs and we wanted to get an upset," Bill said.
Underdogs? A team that hasn't lost to a Long Island opponent since 2011 -- to Garden City, which the Friars avenged last year -- and has finished the previous two seasons ranked third in the country? A team that, just two weeks ago, beat second-ranked St. Stephen's & St. Agnes of Virginia?
"Well, that's what we heard from a source," Bill said with a grin, alluding to St. Anthony's No. 9 ranking and Garden City's fifth in a national poll. "We used that as motivation."
The Friars (12-1) took control from the outset. Kerri Puckhaber scored two quick goals, and Izzy Mangan gave the Friars a 3-0 lead 5:36 in.
"It means a lot to perform like this against an awesome team," St. Anthony's coach Corinne Lomangino said. Her team has won five consecutive CHSAA Class AA titles. "We have kids who really get excited for big games and they continue to step up."
Haley O'Hanlon and Krista Dampman each had two assists, and Taylor Carpentier made six saves for the Trojans (13-1). Tara DeAngelo, Jackie Jahelka and Kayla Murphy each had a goal in the first half as Garden City attempted to mount a rally, but Bill's three goals midway through the period helped stake St. Anthony's to a 9-3 lead.
"We definitely made a lot of mistakes -- too many turnovers -- and we have to learn from that," said Trojans caoch Diane Chapman, whose team has won a record seven straight Class B state titles. "Playing in these kind of games, against a team of this caliber, will expose the things you need to work on. We wanted to win, absolutely, but this is a loss that I think we can get better from."
Mangan had three goals and two assists, Taylor Mitchell scored twice and Charlotte Campbell made eight saves. As impressive, though, was the defense stifling a surging Trojans team that entered having scored 36 goals in its previous two games.
Megan Beach forced three turnovers, including two strips and recoveries deep in St. Anthony's territory in the final 7:58, squelching any chance of a Garden City comeback. "Whenever I'm near the ball, I try to pick it off and get the turnover," Beach said. "I always play an aggressive style and today it worked."
Ella Bonafede had six ground balls and defender Jenny Schwalje had three draw controls and two ground balls.
Garden City "runs a lot of picks and they do it well, so the challenge for us was fighting around them," Schwalje said. "They're a great team and we took a lot of pride in being able to contain them."
Even more in pulling that "upset."