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Washington Post Rankings

Posted Wednesday, March 30, 2011 by Michael Haight
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Girls’ lacrosse top 10: Good Counsel on top again

By Andy Marso and Matt Brooks, Wednesday, March 23, 6:58 PM

The number “66” is verboten around the Good Counsel girls’ lacrosse team these days.

The Falcons have won 66 straight Washington Catholic Athletic Conference games, but Coach Michael Haight said the streak is not on their minds this season.

“We don’t talk about it at all,” said Haight, whose team begins this season where it ended last season: at No. 1 in The Post’s top 10 rankings. “We just tell the girls every year that they have a legacy to uphold for maintaining what every other team before them has set for the past seven years.”

Good Counsel, ranked No. 2 in the nation behind St. Anthony’s (N.Y.) in the latest ESPN RISE poll, looks like it has the talent to maintain that legacy, and then some, this year.

All-Mets Caileigh Sindall and Brigid Smith are back, but the star of the early season has been senior midfielder Kelly Lechner, who has 14 goals and seven assists in two games.

“She’s just been lights-out,” Haight said.

The Falcons have four midfielders, two defenders and two attackers back from a squad that went 18-3 last year despite a killer schedule. This year’s slate is no less daunting, with non-conference games against St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes and a host of other out-of-state powers, including St. Anthony’s on April 28.

But playing the best anywhere has helped Good Counsel remain the best year after year in their own backyard — the WCAC. That, and a steady dose of dedication.

“All of our girls play year-round with a club... and we give them weight training and speed and conditioning throughout the whole winter” Haight said. “That’s pretty much why we’re successful in the conference.”

Tradition-rich Severna Park, ranked second, returns premier attackers Elizabeth Barranco and Kendyl Gardner from a team that finished 16-1 a year ago. Attacker Carly Reed, an honorable mention All-Met as a freshman, is back for No. 3 St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes, the defending VISAA Division I champion.

No. 4 South River, the defending Maryland 4A champion, lost All-Met Player of the Year Brooke Griffin, but returns goalie Kelsea Donnelly. No. 5 Broadneck features four Division I recruits.

La Salle recruit Alanna Diffendal anchors No. 6 Marriotts Ridge, which made the Maryland 3A/2A semifinals last year. No. 7 Severn lost to Good Counsel, but the Admirals put up 18 goals in the game. No. 8 St. Mary’s-Annapolis opened the season with a 12-10 win over nationally-ranked Episcopal (Tex.).

No. 9 Battlefield lost six players from the team that advanced to the Virginia state quarterfinals, but could be poised to finally overtake Loudoun Valley in the AAA Cedar Run District. Senior goalie Caitlin Hester (Ohio State) anchors a stout Bobcat defense. No. 10 Chantilly, the 2009 Virginia champion, is already off to a 5-0 start behind senior Kacey Norwood (26 goals).

marsoa@washpost.com

matt.brooks@wpost.com


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