Friends School took a 1-0 lead over host Mount de Sales during a see-saw first half on Thursday afternoon, and that didn’t sit well with a Sailor squad that had haunting memories of a last-minute loss to them last season.
The explosive Sailors responded with four unanswered goals in the second half and they held the Quakers without a shot on goal in a 4-1 triumph.
The win pulled the Sailors (8-2, 4-0 in conference) into a tie with Seton Keough (8-3-2, 4-0) in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland B Conference.
Seton Keough will play at Mount de Sales on Saturday (Oct. 6) at 1 p.m. and Sailor coach Mary Gentner is looking forward to the homecoming day game.
“Seton Keough is a good club and they are fast and quick and they like to take shots,” Gentner said.
Sounds a lot like the Sailors in the second half against Friends, after the Quakers had taken a 1-0 lead with 11:45 left in the first half on flick into the goal by Olivia Reed following a drive into the circle by Weezie Foster.
“It was beautiful,” Friends coach Sarah Foster said. “All I say to the girls is just get a stick on it and redirect it.”
The goal lit a spark in the Sailors after halftime and the never let the flames die down.
The Sailors scored all four goals in the first 17:12 of the second half, starting with a score by junior Amanda Ignacio off an assist by Leah DiGiandomenico.
The play ignited on a penalty corner pass from sophomore Riley Gentner to senior Ashley Lesniewski.
She patiently steered it to DiGiandomenco and her diagonal drive was redirected in by Ignacio.
“I was so excited we scored on a corner,” coach Mary Gentner said. “We’ve really been working on corners and I think it showed.”
Three minutes later, the Sailors scored the go-head goal on a rare back-handed reverse shot by Leah DiGiandomenico, off a pass from Lesniewski, that started with another penalty corner from Gentner.
“I’ve actually been doing it all season, but my coach doesn’t want me to do it because the refs call it when it gets up in the air,” DiGiandomenico said. “This time it happened to go on the ground and the goalie didn’t move. I guess she didn’t expect it.”
“It was just picture perfect,” coach Gentner said.
Hustle by sophomore forward Lacy Cole on the right side set up more scoring opportunities and DiGiandomenico obliged off an assist by Mary Kate Halligan.
Leading scorer Julianna Shearer (12 goals) scored the final goal with 13:48 remaining.
“They came out hard in the second half and they played to their strengths,” Friends coach Palmer said. “They had several good players with good stick skills and they transferred the ball up well.”
Sailor junior goalie Eve Lukowski was relieved at the sterling defensive effort from defenders Lauren Hiltz, Laura Gretz and Caitlin Carr and midfielders Ignacio, Lesniewski, Gentner and Amanda Donovan.
Last year, Lukowski was in goal when Friends scored the game winner in a 2-1 triumph with under 30 seconds remaining.