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CB West rallies past Plymouth Whitemarsh, stays unbeaten

WHITEMARSH >> The Central Bucks West girls lacrosse team had to work through struggles for the first time this season. And although the Bucks got through them to stay unbeaten, they know better effort will be needed in future tough tests.

“I think that was definitely a wake-up call. And I think it’s honestly what we needed,” West’s Casey Reichwein said. “We didn’t come out ready to play today and I think that we fought back hard and that showed. It was a little bit of a tough game but we pulled through, that’s what matters.”

A surge by host Plymouth Whitemarsh gave the Colonials a 7-5 lead at halftime of Monday afternoon’s Suburban One League non-conference matchup. But CB West regrouped after the break, scored five of the first six goals in the second half and held on for a 10-9 victory.

“I said to them at the end of the game, I’m almost glad that this happened because I do think that they need to know that we’re not going to be blowing past everyone,” Bucks coach Tara Schmucker said. “So we need to be able to fight back and they need to have that grit and intensity. And I was not happy with the game and I’m happy they came out with the win.”

Olivia Fitzgerald paced the Bucks (5-0) with three goals, while Bryn Boylan scored twice – including the game-winner off a Reichwein assist at 12:01 remaining – and handed out two assists.

West’s Finley Ueland had two goals, back-to-back tallies that gave the visitors at 4-1 lead at 8:03 in the first half before Plymouth Whitemarsh (0-3) found better success on the draw and ended the half on a 6-1 run.

“We hustled, we were very aggressive, we fought, but still turnovers killed us,” PW coach Ellen Reilly said. “Possession of the ball is key and we can’t throw it away like that.”

Victoria Betterly led the Colonials with three goals, her final score coming with 33 seconds left to pull PW to within 10-9. But on the final draw, Boylan raced in to the circle to snare the ball from the air and West ran out the clock.

“Certainly not a good day for us in terms of ball handling and some smart decision, we’ll adjust and I’m happy we came out with the win,” Schmucker said.

Ali Diamond added two goals and three assists for PW while Lilly Hanlon had a pair of goals.

Monday was the tightest game so far for the Bucks, who reached the District 1 quarterfinals last season. West scored 15.3 goals in the first four games, winning each by an average on 11.0 goals.

“They made a name for themselves, so people are going to be after us, so they need to work even harder,” Schmucker said. “And we had some ups and downs last year. I’m hoping that doesn’t continue but I think they showed some grit today by fighting back, so that’s a good sign.”

Plymouth Whitemarsh lost junior midfielder Sophie Kolkka to a PCL tear in its season-opening defeat to Radnor and the Colonials still trying to figure things out missing the St. Joseph’s commit. The Colonials try for their first win in their SOL American opener at Abington 7 p.m. Wednesday.

“One game at a time,” Reilly said. “I was happy with today. It’s a loss but I saw a lot of good things.”

Central Bucks West next plays 7 p.m. Friday home against Bishop Shanahan.

“I think we’re coming out expecting to do well but at the same time we got to be humble and know that it doesn’t matter who’s predicted to be the better team, it’s whoever comes out and plays their hardest,” Reichwein said. “And I think that today was a good lesson for that.”

The Bucks pulled level 7-7 in the second half of goals from Dani Dundas and Fitzgerald. Raquel Baskin put PW back up at 16:54 before Maddie Maio had West back level at 16:54.

Reichwein gave the Bucks the lead for good 70 seconds later. Maio’s free-position shot was saved but Reichwein was in front to grab the airborne rebound and put it in the net at 13:03.

“Kind of just in the moment when you have that mentality,” Reichwein said. “That’s kind of what we did. We fired each other up on the sideline and then we came back out.”

Reichwein connected with a cutting Boylan to make it 10-8 Bucks at 12:01.

“She makes so really great cuts,” said Reichwein of Boylan, who is committed to North Carolina for field hockey. “And I saw her open on the other side of the field and she made a great cut and it happened to get through and she made a great shot.”

Down 4-1 in the first half, Diamond ignited the PW offense, assisting on two goals and scoring another two in a 4-0 run for a 5-4 edge at 5:16.

Fitzgerald tied the game 5-5 with 2:27 left before halftime but goals from Betterly and Hanlon gave the Colonials at 7-5 advantage at the break.

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