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    Sacred Heart sweeps Florida's best

    by Stephen Haynes on
    Sun, Apr 15, 2012 2:04 AM

    Updated Thu, Apr 19, 2012 12:25 PM
    Sacred Heart sweeps Florida's best
    Photo by Photo credit: Handout

    Emma Salter, you and your Sacred Heart teammates won big, sweeping the best three girls lacrosse teams in Florida. What did you do next?

    "We went to Disney World!"

    Yeah, really. For one, they were nearby, and there was cause for celebration. Not quite on par with a Super Bowl, but midfielder Aileen Carey compared the euphoria to that of "winning a national championship."

    Sacred Heart completed the sweep Thursday night with a 21-9 thumping of Orlando's Bishop Moore Catholic High School. But the biggest win -- on this trip and in their high school careers, Salter said -- was Wednesday's double overtime upset of Vero Beach High School, the team ranked 10th in the country. In that game, Carey scored on an 8-meter shot with 1:41 left in the first overtime, and the Spartans held on for a 15-14 victory. Carey said she "faked high and shot low," scoring on a bouncer.

    That play was made possible by Becky Conto, whose goal off a feed from Chrissy Corcoran tied it at 14 with two seconds left in regulation. "I had missed one high seconds before ," Conto said. "And I'm thinking, 'That's the game.' Then Chrissy gets it back to me . . . Everyone played a part in that win, which was most impressive."

    Salter made two of her 13 saves in the final 34 seconds of overtime. "We rushed the goalie," Carey said of the celebration, "and It was looking like a mosh pit."

    In the three games, Conto totaled 11 goals and three assists, Maeve Quinn and Meghan Breen each had eight goals and three assists, Maggie Comiskey seven goals, and Nina Corcoran four goals and six assists. Kerriann Moran, Meghan Ginty and Annie Westlake anchored the defense.

    "I think a lot of momentum and confidence comes from this," Spartans coach Morgan Molinari said. Her team resumes league play this week.

    Sacred Heart (7-0) is currently ranked 19th by ESPN Rise but will likely advance in the next poll. Tuesday they topped Lake Brantley High School, 16-7, in the first of the three games.

    "It's been awesome watching the program progress," senior Nina Corcoran said. "Beating a top-10 team is a huge accomplishment; doing something we weren't sure we could."

    Sacred Heart had pushed its way into the low end of the national rankings last April after traveling to Chicago and knocking off Illinois' top three teams. This year? "We wanted to go somewhere warmer," Molinari said. "Our goal was to face some tough teams, challenge ourselves, and hopefully climb the rankings."

    Mission accomplished . . . And they didn't have to wish upon a star.

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