Midtown: Sports

Cardinal Gibbons win behind strong second half

Cardinal Gibbons coach Prudence Scott watched her girls’ lacrosse team celebrate two things Tuesday afternoon.

The first thing was Cardinal Gibbons defeated Ravenscroft, a rival school with just as much talent, on its home field, 12-9.

The second was Scott and the Crusaders could savor this victory longer than usual because the school’s spring break is later this week.

Scott knew a victory like this one wasn’t a bad way to start the time off.

“This is a good win for us,” she said. “We’ve been working on putting things together, and we’re just getting better and better as the season goes on.”

The Crusaders (8-3) also played stronger as the game went on.

In the second half, Scott noticed her team made better decisions.

The Crusaders made the simple pass. Players defended better. And the Crusaders scored seven goals after halftime.

Attackers Lane Huger and Claire Nelson each had four goals. Shelby Scanlin was the player who was able to get the ball to Huger and Nelson.

Scanlin, a midfielder, controlled much of the pace in the second half and was able to find teammates deep in Ravenscroft’s territory.

“Ravenscroft is a good second-half team,” said Scanlin, who also scored three goals. “I knew we had to keep working on transitional passes.”

The Crusaders needed to put together scoring opportunities fast after Ravenscroft (8-2) rallied early in the second half.

Midfielder Melissa Funsten, who scored five goals to lead the Ravens, tied to game at 6-6 after she scored with 16 minutes left.

Scanlin, a Maryland recruit, responded with a steal that led to Huger scoring.

“I think every aspect of our game got better throughout the second half,” Scanlin said. “I really think that’s one of the things we’ve been able to improve on because we can maintain our speed and conditioning.”

Once the Crusaders had the lead, it was up to goalkeeper Mary Ann Dinh to secure the victory.

Dinh recorded her best saves late. The Ravens had two chances to score in the second half on penalty shots. Both times Dinh caught the ball.

“It’s kind of nerve racking,” Dinh said of the penalty shots. “Sometimes when you’re taking a penalty shot, you can see the other player’s eyes kind of get big because you know they want to make it. It’s a great feeling when you catch the ball.”

Dinh, who finished with a game-high 10 saves, said she could tell her play lifted her teammates.

When the game was over, each of the Crusaders ran to her. All of the high-fives meant the Crusaders could go on spring break happy.

“She really made a difference in this game,” Scott said of Dinh. “I think our defense as a whole worked pretty well in the second half.”