River junior Emily Scott advances the ball up the field against
heavy pressure from a Walsh Jesuit defender last Saturday afternoon.
(West Life photo by Larry Bennet)
start gets Rocky River girls past Walsh Jesuit
By Jim Horvath
Published March 31, 2010
last Saturday’s season opener against Walsh Jesuit, Rocky River
girls lacrosse coach Lindsey Cooke was hoping for a quick start
against the visiting Warriors.
“I wanted us
to come out strong for our first game,” Cooke said. “Our goal was
to score first and settle in after that.”
Lydon took that goal to heart.
a 6-0 Pirate run with a goal less than two minutes into the game
as River built a big lead, then held on in the second half for a
12-7 home win on a sunny, but windy afternoon.
working hard for the past five and a half weeks preparing for the
season,” Cooke said. “To win that first game is a real boost for
the team. And it was a pretty powerful start to our third season.”
River sophomore Juliana Lydon led the team in scoring with three
goals in last Saturday’s season opener against Walsh Jesuit.
(West Life photo by Larry Bennet)
After going 2-9 in its first season, River came back
with a much-improved 9-4 record last spring. Cooke knew the Division
I Warriors would provide a stiff test for her young program.
“The big thing
was we wanted them to play our game,” she said. “Coming in, we really
didn’t know that much about them other than they played in Division
I. We pretty much went into this game blind.
“But we controlled the ball in the first half and
got into our transition game quickly,” Cooke said. We played very
selflessly on offense, and that helped us build our big lead in
the first half.”
seemingly scored at will on the Warriors. Lydon, who led her team
with three goals on the day, got things going with the first goal
of the season with 23:09 left in the first half. A free position
shot and score by junior Sarah Artiste with 17:49 remaining made
it 2-0, River.
The home team
kept the momentum swinging in its favor with another goal at 17:18.
Just over two minutes later, junior Haley Jacob took a pass from
sophomore Stephanie Davis for yet another score and a 4-0 Pirate
lead with 15:11 left in the half.
to maintain possession of the ball and pressure the Warrior defense.
Goals at 13:12 and 12:45 made it 6-0, Pirates, at the halfway point
of the first half. Walsh Jesuit finally broke the ice and scored
its first goal of the game at the 9:48 mark, but River came right
back with a goal at 7:40 to make it 7-1.
built the lead to 9-1 by the halftime horn. Junior Olivia Strang
scored with 3:14 left, then sophomore Erin Kehn found the back of
the net as the River offense was clicking on all cylinders.
however, were not about to get back on the bus and go away quietly.
minutes of scoreless play, Walsh Jesuit scored four goals in just
under four minutes to cut the River lead to four at 9-5. The teams
traded goals, with the Warriors taking a timeout with 5:51 left
in the game and River up, 11-6.
“We had a little
bit of a breakdown at that point,” Cooke said. “We tried to regroup
after that. Then we went into our stall plan, and we were able to
maintain our position. Once they started doubling us, we were able
to make the pass to the open player and continue to move the ball.”
tacked on one more goal with 4:28 left, forcing the visitors to
start gambling more on defense. Playing with a one-player advantage
in the final 1:17, Walsh Jesuit was able to score just one more
goal, that coming with 1:07 remaining. River’s junior goalie, Abby
Andrews, made two strong saves in the final minute.
rally allowed the Warriors to come away with a slight 18-17 shots
on goal advantage. Andrews had 11 saves on the day, nearly pitching
a shutout in the first half.
Davis, Jacob and Strang each fueled River’s cause with two goals
each, while single goals came from Artiste, Kehn and junior Chelsea