The early signs indicated that the St. Mary's and Notre Dame Prep girls lacrosse teams were in for another typically close game.
Then something happened yesterday afternoon in Annapolis.
"Everything just clicked in our favor," said St. Mary's coach Erika Bristow.
Trailing by one 10 minutes into the first half, the No. 6-ranked Saints put together a take-charge run of 11 straight goals and went on to a surprisingly comfortable 14-5 victory against the No. 7 Blazers.
Senior midfielder Kelly Coppedge led the attack, scoring five times with one assist. Sophomore Brooke Dieringer added four goals as the Saints (9-3) improved to 5-1 in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference.
Not to be outdone was senior goalie Jamie McGraw, who was challenged high by Notre Dame Prep (7-3) all afternoon and showed top form with 16 saves.
"We played awesome," Bristow said. "Any time you go up against an elite team like Notre Dame Prep, you have to play that well to get a win like this. Everyone was up for this game and we played as a team."
Cary Chasney's second consecutive goal with 16: 25 left in the first half gave the Blazers a 3-2 lead.
Before they would score again, Chasney recorded her third goal with 6: 32 left in the game, Coppedge and Co. scored 11 times, and McGraw did her part with 12 saves during the span. Winning the draws and ground-ball battles in the middle of the field got it all started.
"Today, we played real well as a team. We focused on ground balls, draw control and patience," Coppedge said. "We wanted to come out and show what we could do."
By game's end, that was plenty clear to Notre Dame Prep coach Mary Bartel.
"They stayed in the game emotionally the entire game and I don't think we did that. They took some nice shots and had some good speed," she said.
Senior midfielder Lana Smith added a goal and three assists for the Saints, who also got a goal and an assist from sophomore Jaime Motley. Morgan Thalenberg, who scored once, also played a strong two-way game.