It was a tale of two halves Monday afternoon as No. 5 Notre Dame Prep rallied for a 15-10 victory over No. 17 St. Paul’s School in an IAAM A Conference contest in Towson.
Boston College-bound attack Covie Stanwick scored four goals and handed out three assists for the Blazers (5-4 overall, 5-2 IAAM A), and Hannah Hartman had four goals. Brooke Boyd led St. Paul’s (7-5, 3-5 IAAM A) with three goals and two assists with Kelly Boyd, Sam Fine and Amanda Sutor each finishing with two goals.
Trailing 8-7 at intermission, Notre Dame Prep picked up the defensive intensity on the Brooklandville over the final 25 minutes. Blazers coach Mary Bartel was pleased with her team’s rebuttal.
“We got outplayed in the first half,” said Notre Dame Prep coach Mary Bartel. “We made some changes defensively and told our attack to do a couple of different things and they responded.”
“We really got composed and took them out of their game,” said Stanwick.
Down 9-7 early in the second half, Stanwick scored unassisted to spark a run of five unanswered scores. Stanwick found Erin Seipp for a score before unassisted tallies from Georgia Tunney and Stanwick. Kirsti Paavola scored off a pass from Seipp for an 11-9 advantage with 13 minutes, 28 seconds remaining.
Kelly Boyd brought St. Paul’s to 11-10 with an unassisted tally with 11:02 to play, but the Gators were held at bay the rest of the game. Stanwick, Hartman and Tunney scored to put the Blazers clear.
“We didn’t have our second slide ready and we definitely stepped that up,” said Notre Dame Prep senior defender Kelsey Gahan. “We were able to release quickly to cover the cutters.”
After back-to-back appearances in the title game (lost both times to McDonogh School), the Blazers have been in reorganizing mode this spring. The Blazers have a host of eight new faces in starting roles including an entirely new defensive unit.
“We’re learning to play with different people,” said Stanwick, the country’s No. 1 senior prospect according to Inside Lacrosse. “The more you play, the more you’ll know they’ll be in that certain spot.”
The upstart Gators put Notre Dame Prep on its heels early with a 5-2 advantage after Shelby Wells’ goal. The Blazers pulled even at 7 late in the first half before Brooke Boyd’s third score regained the advantage for St. Paul’s.
The Gators had a 9-7 advantage in the early second half, but things slowly slipped away. St. Paul’s is undergoing a transition with former Mount Hebron coach Brooke Kuhl-McClelland at the helm.
“I thought our defense did a great job in the first half,” said Kuhl-McClelland, who has one senior in her starting lineup. “You got to play 50 minutes. The momentum changed in the second half, we couldn’t get a draw control. It’s a sign of an inexperienced team.”
The Gators head to Annapolis for a league match against St. Mary’s Wednesday afternoon. Notre Dame Prep takes on Garrison Forest School Tuesday before heading to No. 4 John Carroll Thursday.
No. 5 Notre Dame Prep 15, No. 17 St. Paul’s School 10
St. Paul’s 8 2-10
Notre Dame Prep 7 8-15
Goals: St. Paul’s-B. Boyd 3, K. Boyd 2, Fine 2, Sutor 2, Wells; Notre Dame Prep-Stanwick 4, Hartman 4, Tunney 3, Seipp 2, Paavola, Gahan.
Assists: St. Paul’s-B. Boyd 2, K. Boyd; Notre Dame Prep-Stanwick 3, Seipp, Tunney.
Saves: St. Paul’s-Lucas 12; Notre Dame Prep-Wilcox 5.