Mount St. Joseph overcomes Upper Dublin’s early lead to earn non-league win

UPPER DUBLIN — Upper Dublin’s girls lacrosse team could not have planned a better start to its game Friday.

The Flying Cardinals also could not have planned on a worse end. A hot start went ice cold in the second half against a tenacious Mount St. Joseph team.

The Magic claimed a 9-8 victory after they had trailed by 7-0 early in the first half.

“It’s honestly just one step at a time,’ Mount coach Lindsey Colaferi said. “I just told them to be patient, we just had to reorganize. Our main focus was shutting down their main two players, the rest of the team we can play 1-on-1 with, we had to get everybody back on the same page. We had a rough start.’

In the blink of an eye, Upper Dublin was already in control of the game. Senior captain Julie Cross was unstoppable for most of the first half, getting the Cardinals off to a roaring start.

Cross finished with four goals, giving her 204 on her career, and two assists. Her height gave her a serious advantage on draw controls, which she put to full effect on Upper Dublin’s third goal, winning the draw and charging down the field, into the teeth of the defense and finding the back of the net.

By the 9:02 mark of the first half, Upper Dublin was up 7-0. But Mount’s comeback bid was on its way.

“We’re looking for consistency,’ Cardinals coach Dee Cross said. “I said to them we came out like gangbusters, we were up 7-0 and we didn’t score at all in the second half. It wasn’t that we didn’t have opportunites, we were just throwing the ball away.’

Jess Grodsky, Maddie Templeton and two goals by Hannah Reape accounted for Upper Dublin’s other scoring. Reape hit a hard-cutting Cross for UD’s seventh goal and it seemed like the Cards were in full control.

But less than three minutes later, Meredith Bohner got the Mount on the board with a free position shot and Kate Cahill added another goal a few minutes later. Cross put a stop to the short run with a solo effort run down the middle, but it wasn’t enough to stem the Mount tide.

The Magic used some last-minute magic, scoring three goals in the final 1:08 of the first half to cut UD’s lead to three going into the break. Goals by Bohner, Cahill and Kaitlyn Meister made it a manageable deficit.

“Once we get that momentum shift we started climbing back up,’ Colaferi said. “I told them to just ride the wave and get the momentum going and keep working hard for each other.’

Christine Mischiner kept the roll going to start the second half on a free position shot, followed by another free position goal by Mary Katherine Maloney with 21:34 left in the game to cut UD’s lead down to one. Upper Dublin took a timeout there, but the Cardinals weren’t playing like they did to start the game.

What had been crisp passing and solid ball control had turned into off-target passes and an inability to quickly police up any ground balls before the Mount could pounce on them. A scoring drought of nearly seven minutes followed Maloney’s goal, but Mischier tied the game up when she scooped up a ground ball off a long pass and beat a chasing defender in for the score.

“It’s mainly experience, we have a couple of juniors but they don’t have varsity experience, we have a few freshmen out there, some sophomores,’ Cross said. “It’s being consistent and getting a killer instinct. When the ball is on the ground, we need to get there first.’

Cross said she didn’t feel her team stopped playing once it had the big lead. The Mount adjusted well, leaving at least one player to face-guard Julie Cross the entire second half and often sending extra help at the Syracuse-bound senior while keeping careful watch on Reape behind the net.

Maloney put her team up with 11:33 left, but there was still plenty of time left on the clock. While Upper Dublin wouldn’t score again, it wasn’t for a lack of trying.

The Cardinals had several free position shots in the second half, but they were either saved or off the mark and when they did build up on offense, their shots weren’t into the open areas of the net. Upper Dublin also had a two-minute man advantage late in the second half but couldn’t jump on it.

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