Ten is becoming Mary Alice Creasy's magic number.
Creasy, a junior midfielder for Charlotte Latin's girls' lacrosse team, has scored 10 goals in each of the Hawks' wins so far this season. The latest came in Latin's 16-3 win over Greensboro Day School on April 16.
Creasy, 17, scored five goals in each half. Junior Claire Gibson and Sophomore Sarah Black scored two goals each while adding two assists apiece on four of Creasy's goals.
For her part, Creasy is a little uncomfortable with the attention, believing that there would be no goals without her teammates' assists or superb goaltending by junior Alex Taylor. She didn't realize how many times she scored until the following day.
"This is a team sport and it was a team win, regardless who scored," she said after the Greensboro game. "We made good, smart passes, and we fought for the ball to the very end. We needed to reassure ourselves that we have the potential to be a good team."
Creasy picked up a love for lacrosse in sixth grade. She transferred from Charlotte Catholic after her freshman year. Her dad, Tom Creasy III, was in Latin's second graduating class. Her grandfather helped establish the school.
Deb Savino, Latin girls' lacrosse coach, calls Creasy a solid player who understands the game. "She knows where she needs to be and what needs to be done," Savino said.
Creasy is a leader on the field who plays through pain and encourages her teammates to keep focused even when a referee misses a call for the Hawks, Savino said.
"She says, 'Just play through it. We can't do anything. Let's just go,'" Savino said. "She's a good person for them to look up to."
Creasy's first 10-goal performance came against Saint Mary's School from Raleigh, March 27 at Latin. Creasy was playing with a sprained ankle and sprained her other ankle during the game. The Hawks were almost out of energy from playing their second game that day and were out of substitutes.
Her performance that day helped Latin hold off a rallying Saint Mary's for a 13-12 win.
"I honestly did not think I would last the whole game," Creasy recalled.
The Hawks lost their first game that day to Cape Fear Academy from Wilmington, 12-10. Despite the grueling day, Savino said it was a good test for the team.
"It was hot, it was God-awful, and they got through it," she said. At one point in the Saint Mary's game, an assistant coach turned to Savino and said of Creasy, "Is there anything she can't do?"
Latin will continue to need these kinds of performances in its upcoming games to improve upon their 2-4 start in the demanding North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association. This is the Hawks' second season playing NCISAA girls' lacrosse.
Latin must excel during all 50 minutes of a game to finish above .500 this season, Savino said. Right now, they're playing well about half a game, but Savino said she sees her players improving in different areas each contest.
She noted senior captains Virginia McGarry and Caroline Gill, both defensive wings, for their contributions on offense and defense and leading improvements each game.
"I think we'll surprise some people when it comes time for the tournament because some kids have figured a few things out, like how to avoid wearing yourself down," Savino said. "Little by little, we're getting there."
Fred Tannenbaum covers sports for South Charlotte News. Have a story idea for Fred? E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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