The Langley High girls’ lacrosse team had to fight hard in a 12-9 comeback victory over Stone Bridge on April 2. With the win over its Liberty District opponent, the Saxons improved to 6-0 on the spring season.
The contest was tied, 5-5, at halftime. Stone Bridge appeared to be taking control of the game when it scored the first three goals of the second half to surge ahead 8-5 with 14 minutes remaining. But following a timeout, the momentum turned to Langley’s favor.
Langley attack Maggie Kovacs went on a scoring rampage, finding the net five times over the remainder of the game to lead the Saxons in the dramatic comeback win.
Other players who stepped up late in the contest included Lee Quinby, who got the ball on almost every draw; defenders Sophie Spivack and Natalie Dolan, who had numerous interceptions and caused turnovers; goalie Mary Riley Pembroke, who made three important saves; and Meggie Bentz, who shut down one of Stone Bridge’s top scorers in the second half.
After trailing 8-5, the Saxons outscored the Bulldogs, 7-1, over the final 14 minutes.
"The game changed so quickly, it was surreal," said Langley coach Richard DeSomma. "Every girl, at the same time, played flawlessly. They got the ball on the draw, they passed it forward and we scored. When Stone Bridge got the ball the girls caused a turnover or intercepted the ball. It was truly amazing. The girls just decided with will, determination and toughness they were going to win and they did. The team has shown that type of spirit all year. It was a championship level performance. The fans sure got their money’s worth tonight."
Langley’s scoring and assist leaders in the win were: Maggie Kovacs (six goals, two assists); Erin Wiltse (three goals, one assist); and Elspeth McGarry and Annie Swanson, both with one goal and one assist. Scoring for Stone Bridge were: Kelly Galawnia (two goals); Racha el Pascale (two goals); Kayla Worstell (two goals); Lauren Giusti (two goals, two assists); and Kayla Sleece (one goal).
Going into the game, Langley was ranked No. 4 in Virginia by Lax power.
In Langley’s prior game, it defeated Lake Braddock, 15-7, in a non-district affair on March 30. DeSomma, while pleased with the win, said the Saxons were not as crisp in their passing. Only seven of the team’s goals came off of assists.
"Tonight’s game was not as smooth as the last four in that we had a hard time with passes and ground balls," said the coach. "We won and that is great, but we need to return to our game that involves more team work. The final score is deceptive. Lake Braddock played a strong and aggressive game throughout."
Kovacs scored three goals with four assists in the win. Other good outings came from Torrie Zarella (three goals, one assist); Lee Quinby (one assist, one goal); Jill Canning (one assist); Annie Swanson (three goals); Erin Wiltse (two goals); Katy Wingo (two goals); and Elspeth McGarry (one goal). Saxon goalie Mary Riley Pembroke was the backbone of the defense with 14 saves.
On March 27, the Saxons downed district foe Jefferson, 13-5. Elspeth McGarry (four assists) and Kovacs (four goals, two assists) both had stellar games. Other solid outings came from Wingo (three goals), Annie Swanson (two goals), Erin Wiltse (assist) and Annie Swanson (assist). Sarah Orlando, Lee Quinby, Erin Wiltse and Torrie Zarella each had a goal.
"As long as the player with the ball is willing to pass to the player near the goal we can win," said DeSomma, following the win.