The Westfield High School girls lacrosse team fell short against Mountain Lakes with a 16-8 loss on Thursday.
The Blue Devils (4-3) struck first, scoring with 23:21 left in the first half on a goal by Emily Shields. The Lakers (6-0) answered right back less than a minute later with back-to-back goals from senior midfielder Allie LaBeau and Perry for a 2-1 lead with 20:38 left. Westfield tied the game on a free position goal by Alexis Kardius, but Perry struck again with 18:43 to go on an assist from junior midfielder Meredith Newfrock to give the Lakers a 3-2 lead.
“They’re fast so we were going to try to slow down their speed a little bit, drop in, try and play a good side, we knew what kind of defense we needed to play, and to take care of the ball on the attack,” Westfield coach Sam Warner said. “We have a very strong attack when we run it and it’s just imperative in games like this that you take care of the ball at midfield, ground balls, draw controls, they are very important.”
Junior midfielder Victoria Kalamaras scored two more goals to give Mountain Lakes a 5-2 lead with 14:44 left, but Courtney Weisse scored for the Blue Devils to cut the lead to 5-3. The Lakers went on to score three more goals in a six-minute span to take an 8-3 lead, which Westfield cut to 8-4 with 5:13 to go in the half. Kalamaras scored her third goal of the half with 5:01 remaining for a 9-4 Lakers lead, but Weisse scored on an assist from Anna Tanji with 42 seconds left to send the game to halftime with Mountain Lakes up 9-5.
“I think that they dodge well and they draw that double well, our sides were a little late and I think that allowed them a few opportunities,” Warner said. “Unfortunately we put them on the line and that’s really where I think that our game ended, is that we put them on the line more than we wanted in the beginning.”
Westfield opened the second half with Elizabeth Cusick’s second goal of the game to cut the lead to 9-6, but Perry went on a three-goal run to give Mountain Lakes a 12-6 advantage with 13:16 left in the game. Cusick picked up her third goal with 11:43 for a 12-7 game, and Perry struck again with 10:24 on an assist from senior midfielder Maddy Siebold for a 13-7 lead.
Tanji scored Westfield’s final goal of the game with 6:48 left for a 13-8 score, and senior midfielder Olivia Fernandez scored a free position goal with 5:46 left to push the Lakers’ lead to 14-8. Siebold scored her second goal of the game with 3:43 on an assist from Perry and Kalamaras capped Mountain Lakes’ scoring with with 45 seconds to go for the 16-8 final.
“We did really well our draw controls, we did better,” Warner said. “We have been more aggressive on them and getting more of them, which I think is huge for us. And our defense really did play hard until the end. I have a great goalie and I think that my D has started to really want to play for her.”