Springside lacrosse takes Hill into overtime
Host Springside School appeared headed for a three-point loss in last Wednesday’s non-league lacrosse match, but the Lions pumped in three goals in the final 43 seconds of regulation play to tie Hill School at 9-9.
Hill went up by three points again early in a six-minute overtime stint, and this time Springside could only match one of the Lady Rams’ markers, and went down to defeat, 12-10.
The visitors received four goals apiece from Greta Witter (one assist) and Callie Francis as they improved to 1-1 on the season. Caroline Shomber made nine saves in goal for the Lady Rams, who had suffered an 11-9 setback in their season opener with Penn Charter.
Georgetown University recruit Courtney Caputo rang up five goals and one assist for the Lions (2-1), who had started their season with wins over Shipley and the Academy of the New Church. The Lions have two other NCAA Division I signees on their roster, midfielders Nicole Lombardo (American University) and Lindsay Yang (Lafayette).
The regular starting goalie for the Lions, junior Hilary McDonnell, was out of town on a college visit on Friday, and at the beginning of Springside’s pre-game warm-up sophomore Sydni Epps volunteered to mind the net. She made three saves during the game.
New Springside head coach Sara MacIntyre remarked, “With someone playing in goal who had never done it before, I think our defense stepped up and tried to limit the shots against her.”
Early in the lacrosse season the attack is usually more advanced than the defense, and a lot of goals on both sides were scored by players simply running at the goal and getting off a shot or drawing a foul.
Three minutes in, Hill’s Shomber saved a free position shot by Lions sophomore Libbie Maine, and over the next 16 minutes the Lady Rams built a 3-0 lead. Witter assisted Francis for the icebreaker, then each of them scored unassisted goals.
Around the five-minute mark Springside netted two goals in 36 seconds as Caputo converted off of a free position and then passed the ball from the top of the offensive set down to scorer Ellie Stout (a sophomore) near the cage. The visitors responded with two goals in the last two minutes of the half to enjoy a 5-2 advantage at the intermission.
Springside continued to play catch-up, as the second half began with Hill’s Francis completing a personal hat trick. Near the middle of the period the Lions had gotten back within two points of the leaders (6-4) with strikes by Caputo (free position) and Maine.
The Lady Rams responded in kind, notching a free-position goal and then coming right down off the following draw to score again. Springside called time-out, trailing 8-4 with 12:04 on the clock.
“In that time-out we said we need to start getting the draw controls and the ground balls, because that’s where you start to turn the game around,” MacIntyre related.
Caputo deposited a bounce shot off of a free position, then Lombardo fed the ball in from the right wing to fellow senior Maura Daddario, who scored from in front of the cage. On another free position the Lions had a chance to pull within one goal of the leaders, but Shomber stopped the shot by Caputo. Instead, Hill went back up by three (9-6) when Valerie Rodden tallied at the end of a transition sequence with 5:07 remaining.
With under two minutes to go, a ball fired by Springside junior Nicole Volgraf was swallowed by Shomber, and with the one-minute mark approaching Lions junior Annalise Davies successfully dodged a defender but then sent a shot into the left post a few inches off the ground.
The hosts kept up the pressure and it began to pay off when Yang earned a free position with 43 seconds to go and found the net. On another free-po, Caputo cut the lead to one goal with 21 seconds showing. Caputo collected the ball off the subsequent draw, but had to make a backpass before the Lions could start upfield.
They approached the arc from the right with the ball in Daddario’s stick, and she passed the ball over to Davies, who was headed straight in at the left post. Davies faded away outside and then stuck a shot into the far side of the goal, tying the game at 9-9 with two seconds remaining.
“It’s always nice to see assisted goals,” MacIntyre said, “because it shows the girls are working together and have confidence in their teammates.”
There was not enough time to break the deadlock in regulation play, but 55 seconds into the OT (two three-minute periods, played in full) Hill went ahead for good, finding a wide open Megan Kelly on the right side of the arc to go up 10-9. Before the first three-minute session expired the Lady Rams padded their lead with a pair of goals by Witter.
Right off the draw that started the second segment, Caputo dashed down the field to score with 11 seconds elapsed, but that proved to be the final goal of the afternoon as Hill prevailed, 12-10.
MacIntyre, the new Springside mentor, played Girls Inter-Ac League lacrosse when she attended Agnes Irwin (Class of 2005), and was recruited by Lehigh University coach Liz Brode Harris, a Springside alumna. Her primary assistant this year is a former Lehigh teammate, Carolyn Von Heill, who is originally from Chatham, N.J.
The other assistants are all Springside alums: Brode Harris (’91), Leslie Lane (’75), and Lydia Barber Imperiale (’97).