Trailing 8-4 as the second half reached its midpoint, the Woodson Cavaliers mounted an impressive comeback Monday night at Stone Bridge, scoring five consecutive goals to take a lead with just under eight minutes left. But the effort would not be enough as the Bulldogs regained the lead for good, 12-11.
The momentous Woodson (4-2) swing started with junior attack Kara Halpin quickly striking with two of her four goals on the day, in a span of nine seconds to cut the lead to two.
Junior attack Carrisa Pritchard and senior captain Margaret Thaxton followed their teammate’s lead, scoring three unanswered goals between them to give the Cavaliers a 9-8 with 7:56 remaining.
That lead would last only 45 seconds, though, as Stone Bridge sophomore attack Lauren Giusti scored the third of her four goals to tie the game. Giusti then followed with her third assist of the game to give the Bulldogs a lead they would not let go.
“I would be worried if we have to play them again,” said Stone Bridge head coach Kristin Howard.
Stone Bridge (8-1) sped out to a lead with Giusti scoring before the game was three minutes old, forcing Woodson to play from behind for the majority of the game.
“We have a lot of different strengths this year, we’re a lot faster, we still have just as good chemistry and we definitely have the same work ethic. I think we’ll do just as well as we did last year … even better. We need to touch up on the basics a little bit but I think the intensity will come,” said senior captain Sarah Vinall.
The basics got away from Woodson while visiting Stone Bridge as dropped balls and poor passes countered the fact that the Cavaliers spent a majority of their time around the Bulldogs goal.
“It’s hard to put anything together when you’re not catching or throwing well. We just weren’t making good choices with the ball and I think that killed us. We’re coming up short, not playing 50 minutes … hopefully, it doesn’t take too many more games to figure out you have to play 50 minutes to win,” said Woodson head coach Jenn Wish.
According to Wish, complete games and the elimination of minor errors will be key elements for the Cavaliers to make another deep run in the state tournament,
“I hope we have it in us,” said Wish. “I think we have to prove it to ourselves before we go out on the field and show everybody else what we’re capable of and willing to do. We just need to go game by game and fix the little stuff each time and see where we end up in the postseason."