As players returned to the field after a timeout with 16:38 remaining in the second half on Tuesday, Lake Braddock girls lacrosse coach Victor Chen encouraged the Bruins not to be comfortable with their two-goal lead.
"You’ve got to keep pulling away!" he shouted from the sideline. "They’re too dangerous to keep close!"
"They" were the T.C. Williams Titans, whose athleticism gave Chen reason for concern. Junior midfielder Tiana Barlow scored the game’s first two goals and was pivotal in helping TC control the draw. Freshman midfielder Allegra Benites proved a scoring threat and senior midfielder Anjuli DeWakar was an impact player on offense and defense.
Lake Braddock increased its lead to six when TC made its final run. Benites scored twice in a 45-second span and DeWakar added a goal with 7:18 remaining, cutting the Bruin lead to 17-14, but the Titans would get no closer. TC showed ability in spurts but lacked consistency during a 19-15 loss at Minnie Howard.
The Titans surrendered a season-high goal total in their first Patriot District contest and never fully recovered from a 6-1 Lake Braddock run midway through the second half that pushed a one-goal Bruin lead to a six-goal advantage.
"I think we were having a little bit of trouble possessing after the draw," second-year TC head coach Caroline Van den Berg said. "I think if we had continued to win draws like we had been, we would have continued to take it."
The loss dropped TC’s record to 2-2. The Titans defeated Washington-Lee (15-8) and Edison (19-8) and lost to Paul VI (13-10).
Four different Titans scored goals, led by five from Benites.
"She’s an all-around athlete," Van den Berg said. "She’s one of the fastest on the team. She can go both ways — offense and defense — and she’s got a very aggressive, completive mindset."
DeWakar scored four goals for TC and was especially dangerous when fed the ball while cutting toward the goal.
"She’s everything," Van den Berg said. "She’s a great leader for the team; she’s a positive influence on the team. She leads by example. Her stick skills are great. She’s the girl who’s always in there scrapping for ground balls. She steps up under pressure and scores when we need it. She’s also the girl you want to be defending against someone."
Barlow and junior midfielder Maddie Wann each scored three goals for TC. Barlow winning the draw is important to the TC offense.
"Tiana is a flash of speed," Van den Berg said. "She’s got one of the strongest shots I’ve ever seen. Her ability to win the draw has been really key for us to make it go on our attack side."
TC will travel to face Wakefield at 7:15 p.m. on April 4.