Girls Lacrosse: Farr fuels St. Ignatius run in rout of Palo Alto

A newcomer to the sport as a freshman, Kemiji-McDonald learned quickly and will now play collegiately at the University of Michigan. (Photo by Devin Chen)

St. Ignatius junior midfielder Maria Kemiji-McDonald pushes the ball up-field against Palo Alto on Monday at St. Ignatius Prep. (Photo by Devin Chen)

By Josh Levine

Led by five points from Hannah Farr and seven saves by goalkeeper Katarina Habelt, St. Ignatius dominated visiting Palo Alto High School in a 16-3 non-league girls lacrosse matchup Monday.

The Wildcats (3-0) rattled off 10 straight goals over a 20 minute span that encompassed both halves. Farr had four of her five points during that stretch, and key goals by freshman Kate Mattimore also contributed to the rout.

St. Ignatius freshman midfielder Kate Mattimore (center) tries to squeeze through a pair of Palo Alto defenders on Monday at St. Ignatius Prep. (Photo by Devin Chen)

“Everyone played today and everyone contributed, which is something we haven’t been able to do in the first two games,” said St. Ignatius head coach Amy Harms. “We did the little things right and reacted well to their defense.”

The Wildcats were without arguably their best player in Rachel Hines, who was a last-minute scratch because of an illness. Harms did not give a timetable for her return.

“Playing without Rachel was definitely a challenge,” Harms said. “Different players had to step up in new roles and play new positions. But as long as we continue to win the center draw like we did today, I am comfortable.”

The Vikings (2-4) came out strong and scored on an early shot from Nina Kelty, but key saves from Habelt kept the few shot attempts the Vikings had out of the net.

“We came out strong and by the second half we looked tired,” said Palo Alto head coach Jamie Nesbitt. “Today we struggled and everything collapsed, including our stick work. It was not the best we’ve looked all season.”

After a strong 16-4 season last year, the Vikings are in a rebuilding phase. Out of the 12 starters, seven were either juniors or sophomores.

“We are still very new and adjusting to each other,” Nesbitt said. “I hope we can use this game as sort of a reset and fix how we play. Our defense kept a good mentality today despite the goals and they had a lot of hustle.”

St. Ignatius, which plays an independent schedule in the Central Coast Section, has major matches against solid teams like Sacred Heart Prep and Redwood this week, but Harms was mostly excited about the Wildcats’ game on March 29 against Cherry Creek from Colorado.

“That is a big game for us and is great experience for these girls,” Harms said. “They are good quality opponents and it’s exciting to have them up here to face us. This will be good lacrosse.”

Scoring Summary

First half
SI: 23:13 – Christina Cohan
PA: 19:23 – Nina Kelty
SI: 15:30 – Kate Mattimore, assist Hannah Farr
SI: 13:50 – Farr
SI: 13:31 – Caitlin Ng
SI: 10:43 – Alexa Robinson
SI: 9:04 – Mattimore, assist Erin Geraghty
SI: 6:17 – Heidi Halsted, assist Farr

Second half
SI: 24:07 – Nicole Vincelette
SI: 23:09 – Meggie McDonnell
SI: 21:33 – Farr, assist Ng
SI: 21:11 – Vincelette, assist Halsted
PA: 18:44 – Gracie Cain
SI: 17:35 – Halsted
SI: 15:07 – Grace Buckingham, assist Farr
SI: 9:18 – Buckingham, assist Geraghty
SI: 6:00 – Maria Kemiji-McDonald
PA: 3:57 – Kimmie Flather
SI: 0:14 – Elaina Koros

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