Lacrosse: Stone Bridge Boys, Girls Sweep Through VHSL 5A North Zone Semifinals



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By Owen Gotimer
LoCoSports Editor


Ashburn (June 3, 2015) – After lightning ruined their first attempt at the VHSL 5A North zone first round, the Stone Bridge High School boys and girls lacrosse teams loaded on buses on June 2 to make the trip to Rock Ridge High School where they would host Thomas Edison High School and Mount Vernon High School, respectively, in zone semifinals.



An early offensive attack had the Lady Bulldogs up big to start their game, but a slow second half gave the Eagles a shot to come back. Bulldog senior Kendall Fitzgerald and sophomore Maria Keener halted the Edison rally with an onslaught of goals defeating the Eagles, 18-10.

In the nightcap, the Bulldog boys let Mount Vernon hang around during the first half before Stone Bridge senior Matt Nabors, junior Michael O’Day and freshman Nickolas Cole helped the Bulldogs outscore the Majors 7-1 in the third quarter to seal the 12-6 victory.

Lady Bulldog attack too much to handle for tough Eagle goalie

KeenerGiving up four goals in the opening five minutes of a VHSL 5A North zone semifinal is never the goal for a defense, but even with the excellent play of junior goalkeeper Elsa Girardo, the Edison Eagles were outmatched by the Stone Bridge Lady Bulldogs’ attack.

“Once we were able to set it up on attack, pull it out and be more comfortable and patient, we were able to go,” Stone Bridge head coach Monika Guerrero said. “Kendall Fitzgerald and Maria Keener are such a nice duo on attack. Once they found their own, it was nice.”

Fitzgerald scored the game’s first goal less than two minutes into the contest and Keener followed suit less than 30 seconds later to give Stone Bridge the early 2-0 lead.

In a first half dominated by the Lady Bulldogs, Stone Bridge had five different players score while allowing only two Edison goals.

However, the start of the second half was another story as the Eagles came out soaring going on a 3-0 run to start the half, bringing the score to 9-5.

With a comeback in the works, Fitzgerald and Keener had seen enough as they scored a combined five goals in the final eight minutes to give the Lady Bulldogs the win.

Celebrating the win, Stone Bridge found out they would be playing Potomac Falls High School in the VHSL 5A North zone championship on Thursday, June 4 at 6 p.m. at Rock Ridge. The Lady Bulldogs and Lady Panthers split the season series 1-1 with Stone Bridge claiming the Loudoun Group tournament championship over Potomac Falls just a week ago.

“We have to cover their big players: Knego, DeCarli and Curl. We have to be intense in the circle and slow down their transition,” Guerrero said. “Potomac Falls wants you to play tight and out power you and out hustle you. Our girls are more finesse players, so we just have to pull it out wide. On attack, last time I thought we dominated, and we just have to do that again Thursday.”

1H 23:26 SB Kendall Fitzgerald
1H 22: 57 SB Maria Keener
1H 21:29 SB Hadley Killen
1H 20:23 SB Morgan Salvato
1H 17:07 E Danielle Hook
1H 12:56 SB Maria Keener
1H 6:03 E Emma McDowell
1H 5:17 SB Kendall Fitzgerald
1H 3:31 SB Cara Hawkins
1H 2:30 SB Morgan Salvato
1H 1:57 SB Kendall Fitzgerald
2H 23:24 E Emily Murphy
2H 20:15 E Emma McDowell
2H 18:02 E Emma McDowell
2H 17:23 SB Elisa Kim
2H 14:50 E Catherine Dina
2H 14:22 SB Noelle Brown
2H 12:56 E Catherine Dina
2H 9:28 E Emily Jarmin
2H 8:04 SB Maria Keener
2H 7:37 SB Maria Keener
2H 7:22 SB Cara Hawkins
2H 6:54 SB Kendall Fitzgerald
2H 2:34 SB Maria Keener
2H 2:10 SB Hadley Killen
2H 1:36 E Emma McDowell
2H 1:13 E Emily Murphy
2H :31 SB Kendall Fitzgerald

Stout Bulldog defense pushes Stone Bridge into zone championship


Stone Bridge junior Cade Groton broke open the scoreless VHSL 5A North zone semifinal with a goal five minutes into the game which was quickly answered by Mount Vernon senior Justin Fees in a back and forth first half, before the Bulldogs slammed the door on the Majors with a momentum consuming and defensively lock down third quarter.

“That’s one of those things we can always trust. Logan [Broadbent]’s a first team all-group goalie,” Stone Bridge head coach Scott Mitchell said. “We have a strong defense and goalie, so we can count on them. They play with aggression and confidence. If we play good team defense, things always work out well.”

Up until the half, the Bulldog defense was able to stop every part of the Major attack except senior Louis Martin who single-handedly kept Mount Vernon in the contest. However, coming out of the half, even Martin was slowed down as the Stone Bridge defense stopped Major attacks while quickly transitioning play into Bulldog attacks giving Stone Bridge all the momentum.

“We made some slight adjustments on offense. They were playing a zone and played it very well,” Mitchell said. “Essentially, the halftime message was let’s just keep doing what we’re doing. They’re going to go on their runs, we just have to make sure we go on ours.”

The run started just before halftime – when Bulldog junior Colin Jachimowski scored with less than 30 seconds to play — and continued into the third quarter for the Bulldogs when Nabors, O’Day and Cole each scored two goals apiece to put the game out of reach for the Majors.

The win gives Stone Bridge an opportunity to play for the zone championship on June 4 when they travel to George C. Marshall High School for a 7 p.m. start.

“The boys have had a goal since the beginning of the year to continue to work hard. Every day we just tell the guys let’s get better, let’s just get better,” Mitchell said. “In the back of their minds, even though we tell them let’s just get better, they’ve always had the idea that they wanted to go to states. They wanted to do things the program’s never done before. These guys feel it. It’s not pressure; it’s energy. They take that and go to work every day.”

1Q 10:07 SB Cade Groton
1Q 7:27 MV Justin Fees
2Q 11:14 SB Colin Jachimowski
2Q 7:07 SB Michael O’Day
2Q 5:25 SB Noah Madgwick
2Q 3:33 MV Louis Martin
2Q 1:26 MV Louis Martin
2Q :29 SB Colin Jachimowski
3Q 8:17 SB Michael O’Day
3Q 7:03 SB Nickolas Cole
3Q 5:35 SB Cade Groton
3Q 3:55 MV Louis Martin
3Q 3:39 SB Matt Nabors
3Q 1:24 SB Matt Nabors
3Q :38 SB Nickolas Cole
3Q :09 SB Michael O’Day
4Q 8:53 MV David Gibbs
4Q 1:52 MV Greg Smith

Owen Gotimer is a graduate of Syracuse University where he earned a degree in broadcast and digital journalism. Before attending SU, Owen graduated from Heritage High School in Leesburg. Follow LoCoSports on Twitter (@LoCoSports) for up-to-date news and scores from around Loudoun County.


About Author

Owen Gotimer has a passion for helping people grow and self-educate through new media. Owen spent his college years at Syracuse University, where he studied broadcast and digital journalism in the renowned Newhouse School of Public Communications. In his "free time", Owen volunteers as a varsity baseball coach at John Champe and is the president of the Jeffrey C. Fowler Memorial Scholarship.

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