EASTON — It looks strong on offense and equally impressive on defense.
Perhaps the biggest strength though possessed by Saints Peter and Paul High’s girls’ lacrosse team early this season is its ability to read each other. And it doesn’t matter what position they’re playing.
The Sabres showed that versatility Tuesday afternoon as freshman Morgan Quade scored five goals and watched three other teammates notch hat tricks in an 18-4 victory over Concordia.
“What’s great about this group of girls is they are not set in one position,” Sts. Peter & Paul third-year head coach Alison Beyer said. “I can move them where I need to on the field and they all work together very, very well when I switch it up.”
That was part of the reason for the Sabres’ highest goal output of the young season, as Beyer moved defenders to midfield, midfielders to attack or defense in a variety of combinations. And it didn’t really matter who was where on this breezy, sunshine-soaked afternoon, the Sabres (2-1) clicked.
Evelyn Murphy put Sts. Peter & Paul up 1-0 just 38 seconds into the game. And though Concordia (0-5) tied it a little over two minutes later, when Kelsey King set up Maddie Godat’s goal, the Sabres answered, scoring five goals in a little over five minutes. Quade and freshman Emmary Sweeney (three goals) each scored twice and senior Joy Perry (three goals) once for a 6-1 bulge less than 10 minutes into the game.
“They play so well together,” Beyer said. “They just read each other very, very well. It makes me very happy. Sometimes you get lost in the moment of playing that you kind of forget, ‘Oh, I’ve got a teammate there I have to communicate to.’ Just eye contact and the motions that they make, that sophomore class, they know what’s going on. It’s really exciting to watch them.”
King finally got the Saints back on the board with just under 12 minutes remaining in the half.
The Sabres promptly reeled off the next 11 goals, starting with sophomore Hattie Messick’s goal with 9:41 left in the first half, and ending with Darby Thomas’ strike with 5:27 remaining on the running clock in the second half.
Messick (four goals) dominated faceoffs, and often charged down the field, shot and scored, or dished to an open teammate for a goal. After Quade scored her third goal in the first half, Messick netted three straight goals in 3:19, the last one giving the Sabres an 11-2 halftime cushion.
“The reason why the continued to score is I didn’t keep everybody in the same position,” Beyer said. “I switched it up. Leila (Robinson) is normally defense. I moved her up to midfield. Even with changing up, moving people different places, they still scored.
“That’s a prime example of what I mean when I say how well they can read each other,” Beyer continued. “I can take somebody from defense and put them on attack and they know exactly what’s going on because that’s how we do it in practice. They anticipate me doing that.”
Perry’s goal 2:20 into the second half gave Sts. Peter & Paul a 12-2 lead and started the running clock.
Concordia had chances to trim its margin, but sophomore goalie Katie Bryan (12 saves) made a number of stops on free position opportunities for the Saints. It wasn’t until three minutes remained in the game that Concordia scored again, as Jules Carreira and King scored two minutes apart.
“Katie (Bryan) looks better and better every game,” Beyer said of her goalie. “She works really hard. And even in practice and her own time she works hard to improve.”
Sts. Peter & Paul also got a goal and an assist from Caroline McKelvy.
“I’m ecstatic, right now” Beyer said. “I think we’re just going to get better and better. With Katie, with all the other girls, the more they play together, the more comfortable they are with each other. It’s evident. I can see it just them being more comfortable playing with each other. Our team is so young, so to see some of these young girls do what they’re doing makes me very happy, specifically for our future.”
K. Island 3, Colonel 0
AMERICAN CORNER — Brooke Loveless had 10 assists, four kills, three aces and two blocks, and Emma DiPhilippo finished with five kills as the Buccaneers remained undefeated with a 25-12, 25-10, 25-19 sweep of the Colonels.
Madison Tinsley had six service points for Kent Island (6-0), including four aces.
K. Island 2, N. Caroline 1
STEVENSVILLE — Nolan Burns scored a pair of goals as the Bucs edged the Bulldogs.
Chris Jones made eight saves for North Caroline, which suffered its first loss of the season.
St. Michaels 7, N. Caroline 0
ST. MICHAELS — Riley Papineau scored three goals and set up a third, and Kaitlyn Lyons and Macy Motovidlak each totaled a goal and an assist to lead the Saints.
St. Michaels also got goals from Tori Batley and Abbie Kemp. Campbell Gowe had an assist. Julie Bridges made four saves and Madison White made one.