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Girls lacrosse: Natalie Wallon leads way for Charlotte Catholic

  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/05/20/21/51/11fjT1.Em.138.jpeg|216
    Diedra Laird - dlaird@charlotteobserver.com
    Charlotte Catholic's Natalie Wallon scores a goal as Marvin Ridge’s Bayleigh Pavlish, left, and Jessee McMillan, front, try to defend. Wallon lead the way for Catholic with nine goals in the state lacrosse semifinal game.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/05/20/21/51/MkNEb.Em.138.jpeg|246
    Diedra Laird - dlaird@charlotteobserver.com
    Charlotte Catholic's Natalie Italiano (20) scores a goal against defender Marvin Ridge 17 Jessee McMillan during the Marvin Ridge at Charlotte Catholic girls lacrosse semifinals.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/05/20/21/51/gLkHU.Em.138.jpeg|406
    Diedra Laird - dlaird@charlotteobserver.com
    Marvin Ridge's Katie Aten and Charlotte Catholic's Natalie Italiano in action during the Marvin Ridge at Charlotte Catholic girls lacrosse semifinals on May 20, 2014.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/05/20/21/51/bhKAr.Em.138.jpeg|245
    Diedra Laird - dlaird@charlotteobserver.com
    Charlotte Catholic celebrates its victory over Marvin Ridge. Charlotte Catholic cruised past Marvin Ridge 17-3 to advance to the NCHSAA girls’ lacrosse state finals.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/05/20/21/51/1jsxfl.Em.138.jpeg|257
    Diedra Laird - dlaird@charlotteobserver.com
    Charlotte Catholic’s #8 Emma Jette on the move at right as Marvin Ridge #17 Jessee McMillan tries to defend during the Marvin Ridge at Charlotte Catholic girls lacrosse semifinals on May 20, 2014.

With an offensive outburst in the first half and a near-shutout in the second half, Charlotte Catholic cruised past Marvin Ridge 17-3 to advance to the NCHSAA girls’ lacrosse state finals.

Natalie Wallon led the way for Catholic with nine goals, which was by far the most in the game. Catholic’s Natalie Italiano was next with three.

“Is it silly to say I think it’s a quiet night?” Catholic coach Dee Bier said of her top scorer. “She’s good. She’s a hustler; she takes care of the ball; she’s got such a quick little shot.”

The win was much easier than the 13-12 regional semifinal win over Lake Norman High School last Friday. With the state on Saturday, Bier said the team is in good shape.

“I was really happy with the way they played overall,” Bier said. “I thought it felt like in the semifinals everything was coming together for us today.”

Much of the Cougars’ improvement came on the defensive end, where they did a better job double-teaming Mavericks players on isolation plays. Even when the double teams left Catholic down a man guarding the rest of the Marvin Ridge players, the Cougars did a good job of picking up Mavericks cutting toward the goal.

“We had that mindset where now I know the little things are going to matter,” Bier said. “I think we followed through on that, and I think we did the little things, whereas last game it wasn’t always clean and we didn’t always secure the ball.”

The Cougars Apex on Saturday in Cary for the state championship. Apex defeated Cardinal Gibbons 15-14 on Tuesday.

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