By Nelson Coffin, firstname.lastname@example.org
2:15 PM EDT, June 12, 2012
Towson Times Co-Players of the Year Carly Ross and Sam Darcangelo are not headed to the University of Florida to play lacrosse as part of a package deal.
The Maryvale midfield stars insist that they made up their minds independently to join the Gators, who have already joined the elite of Division I women's lacrosse by making an appearance in a national semifinal last month.
Darcangelo and Ross should help the Gators become even more of a threat to claim a national title, considering the way their senior years unfolded for the Lions.
They were a major factor in Maryvale's run to the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference championship game against the nation's No. 1 team McDonogh, which had to use all of its resources to hold off the Lions, 12-11.
Ross, who also considered Navy and James Madison University, had a goal in the championship game while Darcangelo scored three times, including the game-tying goal with 8:12 remaining.
If nothing else, they helped make the Eagles (18-0) earn the triumph.
"I could tell they were getting a little nervous from their conversation on the field and the way their coach reacted," Ross said.
They were both instrumental in the Lions' 9-7 victory over Bryn Mawr in a semifinal, combining for three of Maryvale's goals in a 5-0 opening run that forced the Mawrtians to replace starting goalie Molly Wolf for the rest of the first half.
"They're everything you want in a well-rounded offense," said Wolf, who will join Darcangelo on the South All-Stars in the Under Armour All-America game at Johnny Unitas Stadium on June 30 at 5 p.m. "They go hard to the goal every time."
Ross totaled three goals in the win and Darcangelo, who turned down Georgetown to play for the Gators, had two.
Darcangelo finished the season with 58 goals and 14 assists. Ross, an excellent defender, was close with 49 and 17.
The duo contributed seven goals and an assist in the program's first victory in recent memory over archrival Notre Dame Prep, a 12-11 thriller at the end of April.
"Sam is one of the strongest midfielders in the Baltimore area," Maryvale coach Jessica Vitrano Randisi said. "She is not only strong physically, but mentally, too. She is a very smart player. She is consistently the leading goal scorer on our team. Sam can find the back of the net off of any pass. I feel very confident when the ball is in her stick.
"Carly is the definition of a well-rounded player," the coach added. "She always gives 100 percent. She often starts our attack with a caused turnover or is the first out of the 8 (-meter arc) for the quick clear. She takes high percentage shots and is great on free positions. Carly is a great team leader, who can get her team pumped up at any time.
"Florida is very lucky to have both of these girls. They work very well with each other. They know exactly what the other one is going to do, and that helps tremendously."