Concordia completes turnaround with IAAM C lacrosse title

Saints rally past Catholic for first championship since 2011; Hubbard scores 8 goals

Published 5/14/2023 7:48 a.m. EDT, Updated 5/15/2023 3:08 p.m. EDT

Concordia Prep lacrosse team celebrates after receiving the IAAM C Conference championship trophy and plaque. The Saints, who won two games in 2022, capped a perfect season (13-0) with a 17-10 victory over Catholic at USA Lacrosse's Tierney Field in Sparks.

Concordia Prep’s girls lacrosse team hasn’t played many close games this spring, so when the top-seeded Saints went into halftime of Saturday’s IAAM C Conference final tied with second seed Catholic High, their only starting senior, defender Kamille Simmons, urged her teammates to fight even harder.

“I told them, ‘Anytime you drop the ball, you’ve got to fight for it. Anything is not given to you, you have to work for it even though we were undefeated. They wanted to beat us ten times more than we wanted to beat them. I told them to play like we just lost 21-1. You have to play like champions if you want it.’”

The Saints certainly played like champions. They scored the first three goals of the second half and never surrendered the lead en route to a 17-10 victory to cap an undefeated championship season at USA Lacrosse’s Tierney Field in Sparks.

After finishing 2-9 a year ago, the Saints polished off a 13-0 season with their first championship since 2011. All three of their previous championships came before the school’s name changed from Baltimore Lutheran.

Freshman attacker Sloan Hubbard scored a career-high eight goals, including five in the first half as the Saints rallied from four goals down.

“I always have confidence if I miss shots,” Hubbard said, “and today I just {kept shooting], because you miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take. I just think we really came together, we really pulled it in. I’m so proud of this team and what we’ve accomplished over the past few months.”

With 4.1 seconds left in the first half, Hubbard ran straight to goal off the draw, tying the game at 8.

“We have nine freshman so we have a young team,” coach Carlyn Stefanelli said, “but these girls just want it and they just love lacrosse. They’re doing it for the girls that were before them and the girls that are seniors and our juniors that were with us in the B Conference two years ago when we were losing by a lot and we had a 1-and-whatever record, so I think them listening and buying into everything that we’ve been talking about is what changed everything.”

The Saints, who start six freshmen, outscored their C Conference opponents by an average of 9.4 goals. Catholic (8-3) is the only team to score more than eight on them. The Cubs suffered their only conference loss to the Saints, 17-9.

Saturday, the Cubs sparked hopes for the upset early, taking a 6-2 lead in the first 17 minutes. Breaking a 2-2 tie, Rachel Roane, Gabrielle Caruso and Maura Barnes scored in less than two minutes before Barnes added another goal with 8:35 to go in the half.

Hubbard stopped the run with three straight goals, rolling from the left and rolling from the right before firing home a pass that missed its original target to pull within 6-5. Ceanna McGrist tied the game after she spun off a defender and dodged another.

Sign Up for Alerts
Get notified of need-to-know
info from The Banner

The teams then traded goals to 8-8 with Hubbard’s goal before the half starting a four-goal Saints run. Molly Clapp, who finished with four goals, scored twice in the first three minutes of the second half before Hubbard’s behind-the-back goal gave Concordia an 11-8 lead with 18:24 remaining.

The Cubs, who got four goals from Barnes, never got closer than within three although, midway through the half, they had a three-man advantage for a short while and a two-man advantage for about a minute and a half.

Later, Barnes’ free-position goal brought the Cubs within 10-3 before the Saints scored four times in the final five minutes.

The Cubs, who won C Conference championships in 2017 and 2018, have been on a similar upward trajectory to the Saints. They won two games last season in the C Conference and just one the year before in the B Conference. This season, they lost only to Concordia in the conference.

“I told them I’m just so proud of them, making it this far, being able to play at USA Lacrosse —that’s an experience within itself,” Cubs coach Megan Morales said. “They should be proud of themselves, coming into this No. 2 seed, having an exciting semifinal win to get here, so just being proud of that and hopefully we’ll be here next year.”


at Tierney Field, USA Lacrosse


Catholic 8 2 — 10

Concordia 8 9 — 17

GOALS: Catholic — Maura Barnes 4, Rachel Roane 3, Lauren Sieracki 2, Gabrielle Cruso; Concordia —Sloan Hubbard 8, Molly Clapp 4, Ceanna McGirt 3, Haylee Kurek, Molly Holler

ASSISTS: Concordia — Sloan Hubbard, Ceanna McGirt

SAVES: Catholic — Leila Melani 6; Concordia — Madison Selby 7