Im trying to get my mind off of [statistics] this year, said St. Stephen's… (Ricky Carioti/THE WASHINGTON…)
In preparing for last Friday’s game against Notre Dame Prep, longtime St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes girls’ lacrosse Coach Kathy Jenkins took a look back at the tape of her team’s matchup with the Blazers late in the 2010 season.
The Saints lost that day three seasons ago, despite a three-goal effort from then-freshman Carly Reed. It was how the young attacker created the offense that stood out to the longtime coach.
“It’s [Reed’s] freshman year, and she just played beautifully against Notre Dame Prep,” Jenkins said. “It wasn’t fancy. She made her move and placed the ball in the goal. I said, ‘You need to see this video.’ ”
For the past four years, Reed has piled up statistics at a more prodigious pace than any player in St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes history, showcasing an increasingly flashy skill set.
The 2012 All-Met Player of the Year became the Alexandria private school’s all-time leading scorer as a sophomore, and four games into her senior season, she has now accumulated 433 total points with 363 goals and 70 assists.
But as Reed powers to the finish of a decorated high school career, Jenkins has preached a less-is-more approach. With a wide array of moves around the net, the North Carolina recruit has been able to attack opposing defenses almost at will in recent seasons, but facing constant double teams, she has also learned to open up the field for her teammates.
“I’m trying to get my mind off of [statistics] this year,” Reed said after scoring three goals in the team’s 13-7 win over Notre Dame Prep last week. “I feel like a lot of people expect me to score all the time. I’m trying to kind of just move the ball more. Coach Jenkins wants me to get my assists up.”
Reed has St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes (4-0) back in a familiar spot, beginning the spring atop The Post’s rankings where it finished last season after winning its 17th straight Independent School League AA title.
Despite all the attention, Reed is off to another fast start, which she credits with being able to train more normally in the offseason. Last year, she dealt with a stress fracture in her ankle, leading up to the start of spring practice. She’s netted 18 goals already, including an eight-goal outburst in Sunday’s win over Radnor (Pa.) to begin the team’s spring break trip in California.
The Saints also boast plenty of offensive firepower around Reed, notably seniors Besser Dyson and Margaret Tucker Fogarty, with a defense directed by Virginia signee Wyatt Whitley.
Dyson, another Virginia recruit, actually led the team in points last spring with 146, and she has adjusted to playing behind the net more often this season, acting as a distributor with 15 assists so far. Fogarty, who will play at James Madison, has been counted on to provide more offense from the midfield with the graduation of All-Met Michele Phillips.
“We’re coming,” Jenkins said. “. . . We’re still getting used to playing together without people who did important jobs last year that other people now have to step into.”
On the girls’ lacrosse online message boards, it’s easy to find posters predicting a down year for No. 8 Oakton.
A year after graduating 11 seniors, including a program-record four now playing in college, the Cougar team that will defend its 2012 state championship looks much different. Gone are all five of Oakton’s top scorers from last season, creating a skeptical buzz around the 2013 Cougars, but Oakton Coach Jean Counts isn’t buying it.
“From the outside perspective, it’s funny,” Counts said. “We graduated a ton and so of course, all the outsiders are like ‘Oakton’s dead.’ There’s an ‘Oakton’s dead’ thread on laxpower.com, apparently. It’s funny because we’ve played three games so far and it’s looked like a very different team but not nearly as lifeless as some people might have assumed.”
While Oakton lost much of its starting offense, Counts was quick to point out that her entire starting defense from last year returns intact. Tori Anderson, who tallied 24 goals a year ago as a sophomore and is the team’s top returning scorer, already has eight goals through three games.
The Cougars, who have been in South Carolina since Saturday on a team-bonding trip, kicked off their spring break with an 8-7 win over Langley Thursday night in a rematch of last year’s state championship game. Sophomore Lydia Montanino, who scored just four goals all of last season, equaled that in the Cougars’ win over the Saxons.
“It’s kind of funny, it’s like joke’s on who? We’re fine, and we’re doing fine. It gives us a little bit of something to prove, but not much,” “I guess being the team that won the last game of the season last year, everybody wants to beat you and you know you have that bull’s-eye on your back.”
The Post Top 10
Led by All-Met Player of the Year Carly Reed, St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes starts out in familiar territory atop the rankings. Reed and Virginia recruit Besser Dyson combined for 198 goals in 29 games last spring. Georgetown Visitation, which split two meetings the Saints last season, has a strong returning cast, including All-Met Tess McEvoy. Oakton took a rematch of last year’s Virginia AAA state title game last Friday, beating Langley, 8-7, behind four goals from sophomore Lydia Montanino.
1. St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes (4-0)
2. Georgetown Visitation (2-0)
3. South River (1-0)
4. Good Counsel (2-0)
5. Severna Park (1-0)
6. Mount Hebron (1-0)
7. Marriotts Ridge (1-0)
8. Oakton (2-1)
9. Severn (1-2)
10. Spalding (3-1)
On the bubble:
Stone Ridge (3-0)
Records through Tuesday
Related: Girls’ lacrosse schedule, results
Girls’ lacrosse stat leaders
Lacrosse rankings: The Post Top 10