By Connor Letourneau, The Baltimore Sun
9:28 PM EDT, June 30, 2012
Before the seventh annual girls Under Armour All-America Lacrosse Classic on Saturday, officials wondered how athletes would fare in temperatures predicted to reach near triple digits. Shortened halves were discussed, extra timeouts were pondered.
They wouldn't be necessary.
Despite sweltering heat that reached 95 degrees, the nation's top high school talent put on a scoring clinic for a sparse crowd at Towson University's Johnny Unitas Stadium. In a contest that seemed more video game than showcase, the South routed the North, 25-13.
And they did it in stunning fashion.
The South, which was just 1-5 all-time against the North entering the game, set numerous scoring records Saturday. The team shattered the previous scoring record of 17 goals, had two players eclipse the individual goals mark and even had a member set the assists record.
"It was just really a team effort," said South midfielder Taylor Cummings (McDonogh). "Girls were moving for each other. We were passing when they were open and I think we worked really well as a team, which is why everyone was so successful."
The two-time Baltimore Sun Athlete of the Year broke the showcase's points record with eight points (five goals and three assists) -- eclipsing the previous mark of six. She also had 11of the team's 21 draw controls en route to Most Valuable Player honors.
But Cummings was just one of several local prospects with notable showings Saturday. Attacker Corinne Etchinson (McDonogh) set the game's assists record (five), and five in-state prospects had points.
"Being on an all-star team like this, it's kind of hard to find a chemistry," said Kelci Smesko, a Ridgewood, N.J., native who tied Cummings with five goals. "But for these 60 minutes, we found a chemistry. We just played so well together and we played for each other and it wasn't selfish."
That mentality helped the South dominate a North squad that featured 15 New York natives. Its 12-goal margin of victory was seven more than the showcase's previous record.
After a back-and-forth start, the South pulled away midway through the first half. Starting with Cummings' unassisted goal at the 14:58 mark, the South scored seven-straight goals in a four-minute span to take a commanding 13-6 lead.
That advantage had ballooned to 17-8 by halftime, leaving Cummings and her teammates in need of a respite.
"It was definitely hot," said Cummings, who has committed to Maryland. "Halftime was really nice. The heat definitely affected some of us. We were really tired."
It wouldn't matter.
The North simply wasn't able to recover from the South's first-half explosion. It only scored five times over the final 30 minutes, and never again got within five goals.
The South, which boasted 11 local prospects, enjoyed a rare rout with a crowd largely filled with friends and family members.
"This was awesome," Cummings said. "I'm just glad that the South was able to win."
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