Glenelg Country’s domination of the draws leads the Dragons to a win over No. 7 NDP

by Katherine Dunn

Maggie Weiseman lives by a simple slogan when she lines up to take the draw for Glenelg Country School’s No. 5 girls lacrosse team: ‘Win the draw, rule the world.”

Glenelg Country School seniors Lena Doreen (18) and Maggie Weisman (3) combined for nine goals and an assist in the Dragons’ 15-7 win over Notre Dame Prep Friday. The Dragons have outscored their opponents by 56 goals through the first seven conference games.

The senior helped the Dragons dominate the draws early and run up a five-goal lead by halftime en route to a 15-7 victory at No. 7 Notre Dame Prep Monday afternoon in an IAAM A Conference contest.

The Dragons won eight of 12 first-half draws, including four controlled by Weisman. They won four of the first five draws and led 4-1 in less than nine minutes.

“Being able to get those draws and help bring the team ahead was definitely a big accomplishment of mine,” Weisman said, “because one of our coaches used to say, ‘Win the draw, rule the world,’ so if we’re winning the draw, we’re ruling the world and that really showed on the scoreboard.”

Weisman and Blair Byrne scored in the first three minutes. After Emily Peek’s free-position goal got one back for the Blazers, Maggie Flanagan and Kate Furhman scored for the 4-1 Dragons’ lead with 16:13 left in the half.

For the rest of the half, Glenelg Country scored two goals for every Blazers goal.

The Dragons (7-1, 6-1 conference) had an advantage in experience up and down the field and they also got a stellar performance from senior goalie Stephanie Marzsal, who had 10 saves.

Marzsal’s biggest stand came early in the second half when the Blazers (7-4, 5-3) appeared ready to shift the momentum to their side.

Senior Molly Cain took over in the cage for the Blazers in the second half and stopped the first shot she faced which, seconds later, triggered Sarah Goodison’s goal off an assist from Emily Peek to cut the lead to 8-4.

But after the Blazers won the next draw, Marzsal stopped back-to-back NDP shots and the Dragons capitalized with Lena Doreen’s goal from Kate Fuhrman. The Blazers cut it to four twice more but could not get closer.

“I think it was Steph who set the tone,” Doreen said. “Those saves are a big momentum changer and with that [and] our clears, we got transition really fast and momentum switched on our side.”

Dragons coach Paige Walton said her veteran team has been playing well in every aspect of the game all season.

“They’re committed end-to-end. I feel like there’s no selfish play,” Walton said. “If they have the shot, they’ll take the shot. If they don’t have the shot, they’ll pass it, they’ll move the ball and wait and be patient for the best shots. Defense, just being disciplined and not fouling and waiting for the double, recovering on the slide. That comes with playing together for a long time and that’s the key — they’re mature.”

Six Dragons scored with Weisman netting five goals, Doreen, four, and Blair Byrne and Regan Byrne, two each. Fuhrman had a goal and five assists as nine of the team’s goals were assisted. Defender Cydney Lisk had several big plays to lead the defense along with Neve O’Ferrall, Ashley Dyer and Hannah Glawe.

Although the Blazers did much better on the draw in the second half, winning eight of 11, most of their possessions ended in a save or a turnover. They kept pace through the first 15 minutes before the Dragons scored five straight goals. NDP didn’t score a goal for more than 17 minutes until Bella Tan slipped one in at the buzzer.

Glenelg Country School goalie Stephanie Marzsal had 10 saves in the Dragons’ 15-7 win over Notre Dame Prep on Friday. The senior lefty made back-to-back stops just after the break to keep the Blazers from building any second-half momentum.

Mac Ford’s Blazers don’t have the same level of experience as the Dragons and struggled on the draw and on the defensive end early in the season. They’ve lost only to teams ranked ahead of them, including one-goal losses to No. 4 Archbishop Spalding and No. 6 Glenelg High School.

Against the Dragons, however, they broke down too often on offense with a handful of unforced turnovers and had difficulty shooting on 8-meter free-positions. The Blazers also had four yellow cards in the last 20 minutes of the half and the Dragons scored four extra-man goals.

“I thought our defense was a little better. We put too much pressure on them with our offensive ineptitude,” Ford said. “But we’ll have games like this. We’re still trying to mold ourselves into the team we want to be. It’s taken a little longer than usual, but we still have some pieces out there, so we’ll see.”

The Dragons evened the series with the Blazers at three wins each since Glenelg Country moved up to the A Conference in 2017. They’ve gone back-and forth through all six games.

Both teams are nationally ranked, but the A Conference has five teams in this week’s Nike/USA Lacrosse National Girls Top 25 and four more listed as also considered. The Dragons are No. 8 and the Blazers are No. 15, behind No. 1 St. Paul’s, No. 3 McDonogh and No. 7 Archbishop Spalding. Bryn Mawr, Maryvale Prep, Garrison Forest and St. Mary’s were also considered.

Pictured above: Coach Paige Walton’s No. 5 Glenelg Country School girls lacrosse team is tied for third place in the IAAM A Conference standings after defeating No. 7 Notre Dame Prep, 15-7, Friday. No. 1 St. Pauls and No. 2 McDonogh remain undefeated while the Dragons and No. 4 Spalding have one loss each.

Glenelg Country 8 7 — 15
Notre Dame Prep 3 4 — 7

GOALS: GCS—Maggie Weisman 5, Lena Doreen 4, Blair Byrne 2, Regan Byrne 2, Kate Furhman, Maddie Herman; NDP—Sarah Goodison 2, Peyton Howell, Elizabeth Kane, Emily Peek, Finley Barger, Bella Tan.

ASSISTS: GCS—Kate Fuhrman 5, Jaclyn Marszal 2, Maggie Weisman, Josie Pell; NDP—Emily Peek 2.

SAVES: GCS—Stephanie Marszal 10; NDP—Emme Martin 7, Molly Cain 3.