Lakeridge girls lacrosse battles back to beat Wilsonville 13-11
You may not get a second chance to make a good first impression, but the Lakeridge girls lacrosse team was glad it had a chance to make a lasting one.
The Pacers, hosting Wilsonville in Three Rivers League action on Wednesday, May 8, fell behind the Wildcats by four goals in the first 10 minutes of their contest at Lakeridge High School.
But Lakeridge settled itself at the end of the first half, battled back to tie the contest with 15 minutes, 55 seconds left to play and edged away to win 13-11.
"The start of the game didn't go as well as I expected. I definitely didn't play to my potential," said Lakeridge freshman midfielder Alyson Bucholz, who scored once in her team's win and won two draw controls. "But in the second half, we did a lot better and our whole team really brought it because we wanted to win this game."
"I think at the start of the game, we just didn't go into it all the way with the right mindset," said Lakeridge senior goalie Averi Basso, who made 12 saves in the game. "But I think we picked it up when we realized, 'This is a game we can win if we play 100% the entire rest of the half and go for every ground ball, every 50/50, just everything.'"
With the win — Lakeridge's third straight — the Pacers improved to 7-4 and third place in the TRL (8-6 overall). Wilsonville, meanwhile, lost for the seventh straight time and fell to 2-9 in league and 2-14 overall.
"I thought we were doing well on playing as a team rather than just playing for ourselves," said Wilsonville junior Brooklyne Waddell, who tied for team-high scoring honors with three goals. "But I think they came out stronger in the second half and definitely more aggressive, and I think the second half, they just outplayed us."
As to the Cats' fast start, Wilsonville scored the night's first goal just 1:36 into the contest and added four more over the next 8:05 to grab an imposing 5-1 lead with 15:09 to go in the first half.
Wilsonville's Cailin Gahan notched the game's first score when she made a steal and connected to give her team a 1-0 lead, and while Lakeridge answered with a Marie Hartfield steal and score 2:25 later, the Wildcats dominated the next five minutes.
Waddell gave her team a 2-1 edge when she scored on a spin move down the right side, Gahan connected on a free position goal next, Maura Schramm took a pass from Avery Lanz and scored on a cut, and Kylie Hix followed suit off a pass from Waddell to make it 5-1 with 15:09 to go in the first half.
"I think that we started off strong by getting the (draw controls) — draws win the game — so I think that was one of the things that helped us start off strong," Waddell said.
"I think that we were just really aggressive when we got mad at them and it just made our effort go up," added Wilsonville freshman Bailey Waddell.
While Lakeridge didn't turn the tables on Wilsonville immediately, the Pacers used a 4-3 scoring edge over the final 12:44 of the half to close within 8-5 at the break. That stretch included a pair of goals from Siena Davies — the first when she rebounded her own miss and scored, the second on a break set up by Jane Pearson — a Pearson break assisted by Hartfield and an Erin Freer score on a cut that brought the Pacers within 6-5 with 3:29 to go in the half.
But Wilsonville responded late in the half, scoring twice in the final 1:09 to lead 8-5, the first goal on a low shot from Hix and the second by Lanz off a Brooklyne Waddell pass with just 20 seconds remaining.
Suitably awakened, the Pacers opened the second half with three straight scores that tied the game at 8-8, first getting a goal from Amadea Bortoli, then a pair of scores by Hartfield, the second of those on a curl over the top of the goal with 15:55 to go.
But the Wildcats, to their great credit, didn't fold. They re-took the lead twice in the remaining minutes, first when Schramm rebounded a Lanz deflection, and again at 10-9 when Brooklyne Waddell scored on the left side with 10:25 remaining.
The Pacers just kept on coming, though, and put together a four-goal stretch that — finally — put Wilsonville away. Aiden McCulloch got the first of those, Bucholz took a Davies pass for the second, Davies made it three straight at the end of a long run and Hartfield capped that by winning a draw control, racing up the field and connecting for a 13-10 lead with 2:30 to go.
Brooklyne Waddell added her team's final score with 1:22 to go, but the Pacers ran out the clock from there.
"I think if we just keep practicing and keep going at it, we can really bring it and we can show the teams that think they're better than us that we can rock them," Bucholz said.
"It's really exciting," Basso said. "It feels really good that we were able to pull this off tonight."
While disappointed with their loss, the Wildcats were proud of their efforts.
"I think that we came out strong — they just came out more aggressive than we did (in the second half)," Brooklyne Waddell said.
Hix finished with three goals, four ground balls and three caused turnovers, while Lanz added one goal, two assists, three ground balls and eight draw controls. For Lakeridge, Davies and Hartfield finished with four goals each, Hartfield won seven draw controls, and Bortoli collected 10 ground balls and caused six turnovers.