St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes girls' lacrosse head coach Kathy Jenkins didn’t attend the conference championship game Wednesday. The Saints long-time coach, who reached the 600-win club earlier this season, was in Boston for the birth of her first grandchild, Winnie.
But her team may try to have Winnie’s name changed to Champ. In their coach’s absence, St. Stephen’s rolled to the ISL AA lacrosse championship by throttling Visitation, 18-6.
“She prepares everyone. It's just a tribute to her that we could do this without her,” said assistant coach Jessica Murray, who coached in Jenkins’ absence. “She prepares the girls and as her assistant coaches we implemented the plan.”
The Saints wasted no time jumping on the scoreboard. Senior attacker Michele Phillips scored two of her four goals in the first 10 minutes of play to give St. Stephen’s a 4-2 advantage. The Saints dominated the draw throughout the afternoon and won the first four draws of the game to seize control.
The Saints never let up and built a commanding 11-4 lead by halftime.
“Our girls are really good at attacking fast and attacking hard. They went hard every time at the cage today,” said Murray.
The Saints offense was led by junior attacker Carly Reed’s game-high six goals. Junior attacker Besser Dyson led the squad with four assists. Meanwhile, junior middie Layne Voorhees added four more goals.
Going into the second half, the Saints were leery of Visitation making a run because that was the catalyst the Cubs used to shock the Saints 12-11 on April 18. But sophomore goalie Gussie Johns-- who was pulled during the regular season meeting—made sure that the Cubs weren’t going to string goals together. The sophomore came up with four saves, including two point-blank saves in the second half.
“We just really wanted to bounce back after losing to them earlier in the season,” Johns said. “We wanted to play our game and worry about what we could do instead of what they could do. In the end it really worked out for us.”