Up-and-coming St. Paul’s moving in the right direction

by Nelson Coffin

In a season in which several lacrosse teams are making positive moves in the highly competitive Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference, St. Paul’s School for Girls is the next squad making waves with its strong play.

The Gators first opened some eyes when they dropped a 13-9 decision to nine-time defending conference champ and No. 1 McDonogh, marking the closest margin of victory for the Eagles this season.

After St. Paul’s fell to St. Mary’s, 12-6, things were starting to look bleak until the Gators rallied to beat Mount de Sales Academy, 17-6.

And then this week coach Mary Gagnon’s squad really took a huge step forward by edging No. 3 Bryn Mawr, 11-10, on Wednesday and No. 2 Glenelg Country School, 9-7, on Friday in Howard County to improve to 5-2 in the conference and overall.

Considering the youth of her team, Gagnon is very pleased with the 16th-ranked Gators’ upward arc.

Against the Dragons (6-2, 5-1), for instance, only two goals were scored by a senior, Maryland-bound midfielder Darby Welsh.

In that game, sophomore midfielder Alex Pirisino scored three goals while freshman Christina Gagnon had three and fellow rookie middie Ange Pino chipped in with one.

Likewise, the low defense that plays in front of senior Yale commit Claire Boone in the goal includes sophomores Lizzie Pirisino and Laney Cornelius playing along side of freshmen Paris Colgain and Josie Hahn.

“Our entire defense played well,” Mary Gagnon said about handing Glenelg Country School its first conference loss of the season. “We’re young with a lot of talent. I feel like every time we get on the field we’re playing better.”

Shay Ahearn led the Dragons with three goals and Bobbie Haney scored two. In addition, Alli Bateman and Hannah Glaros had one each for GCS.

Next week will also be challenging for the Gators, who host No. 5 Notre Dame Prep on Monday before road games at unranked Archbishop Spalding on Wednesday and next door neighbor and 15th-ranked Maryvale on Friday.