Springfield – The Springfield High School girls’ lacrosse team is off to a 4-0 start after a 13-6 win against Villa Maria Academy Friday afternoon.
And Cougar coach Keith Broome thinks they’re capable of even more.
“I don’t think we played [today] as well as we can play,” said Broome. “We had some unforced errors and were getting beat on ground balls in the first half.”
Springfield, holding on to a slim 6-4 lead early in the second half, exploded for sixth straight goals to take a commanding 12-4 lead with 11:02 left.
“We did a nice job in the second half,” said Broome. “We started getting draws, and had a nice run.”
Springfield junior attack Bailey O’Brien had two of those six goals, and led all game scorers with four goals on the day. Sophomore midfielder Olivia Little and junior midfielder Bridget Whitaker each tallied three goals for the Cougars.
“Bridget Whitaker did a good job with draw control, made good passes and played good defense today,” said Broome.
With the score tied at 3-3 midway through the first half, Whitaker put the Cougars ahead for good with her first goal of the game at 10:30, then tallied again three minutes later. Just 20 seconds after Whitaker’s second goal, Olivia Little tallied to make it 6-3 going into halftime.
Villa came back just three minutes into the second half when junior Audrey Fantazzia, the leader of the Hurricanes’ offense, tallied her third goal of the game to make it 6-4.
“Audrey is always consistent, always coming up with key plays,” said Villa Maria head coach Kiera Huntsman. “In the first half, we were moving the ball [well], and talking a lot [on the field]. But I think fatigue set in the second half for us – we played [AACA rival] Merion Mercy yesterday – and we were not making smart passes in the second half. Still, we kept hustling.
“I thought our defense really stepped up today – [junior defender] Sarah Moffitt and Brenna Murray were winning ground balls. And Anina Iacobucci was an asset on the midfield and attack.”
With Springfield’s lead cut to 6-4, the Cougars started to gain momentum with goals from Whitaker (with 20:43 left in the game) and O’Brien (17:06). The floodgates really opened midway through the second half, as the Cougars got four goals in 2 ½ minutes from Little (13:46), junior midfielder Maggie O’Connell (12:27), O’Brien (12:15) and senior midfielder Cailyn Gormley (11:02) to go ahead 12-4.
Broome said, “I thought Maggie O’Connell did a nice job today. She’s a competitive kid, works hard.”
The Cougars were coming off an 18-8 win against West Henderson Thursday in which, similar to this contest, they held a slim 8-6 lead at halftime, then pulled away in the second half.
“We’re a relatively young team,” said Broome, whose varsity roster includes 12 juniors. “And our four seniors give us nice leadership.”
Springfield opens its Central League schedule with a couple of tough opponents – at Strath Haven next Tuesday, and at Conestoga two days later.
On the other side of the field, Huntsman, whose Hurricanes are now 1-3, said, “We’ll learn from this [loss] – to keep our heads [throughout the game] and take care of the ball more.”
Springfield 13, Villa Maria Academy 6
Villa Maria 3 3 – 6
Springfield 6 7 – 13
Villa Maria Academy goals: Audrey Fantazzia 3, Erin Finley, Lucy Meehan, Brianne Bammer.
Springfield goals: Bailey O’Brien 4, Olivia Little 3, Bridget Whitaker 3, Samantha Arrell, Maggie O’Connell, Cailyn Gormley.
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