The Baltimore Sun

Coach of the year

Krystin Porcella John Carroll

The Patriots' second-year head coach guided her team to one of the most difficult accomplishments in local girls lacrosse - repeat championships in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference. Not only did the Patriots win and finish No. 1, but they also went unbeaten at 18-0, a rare feat in the A Conference.

Porcella certainly had an abundance of talent, but her deft management of that talent as well as strategic game plans against nearly all of the area's toughest teams had just as much to do with the second title. She also helped her players cope with the building pressure as the season went on, especially when it started to get to them in the playoffs.

"After [the one-goal quarterfinal win over St. Paul's], we sat down and talked rather than practice. We got everything off our chests. They felt the pressure and I said, 'I do too.' We talked about taking a step back and having some fun, which is what we had been doing all year. Communicating that helped, because everyone felt it, but no one wanted to talk about it."

The Patriots went on to beat McDonogh, 11-6, in the final. Porcella, a John Carroll graduate who played lacrosse at Loyola, also credited her assistants Chelsea Ford, Danielle Markette and Erin Stiteler.

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