0
Votes

Langley Girls Lax Romps to Liberty District Regular Season Crown

Saxons defeat improved South Lakes for title, three days after downing Jefferson.

— The Langley High girls lacrosse team capped an undefeated campaign in the Northern Region’s Liberty District with a convincing 14-7 win over the South Lakes Seahawks on April 30.

Playing at home on Senior Night, the Lady Saxons built an imposing 11-3 lead at halftime, with the six senior starters giving way to younger players during an uneventful second half. Senior Margo Swomley and Junior Hayley Soutter each tallied four goals for the Lady Saxons, while the Seahawks were led by freshman Megan Greatorex’ six goals, many in the late going.

Completing an outstanding regular season with only one loss, Langley grabs the top seed in Liberty District Tournament play which opens this Friday on the Saxons’ home field.

Following a beautiful Senior Night ceremony honoring co-captains Macy Anderson, Ellie Glasgow and Kelly Martins, along with senior stalwarts Ann Frances Davis, Caroline Mahoney, Nicky Pritchett and Margo Swomley, and an outstanding singing of the National Anthem by sophomore starter Jordan Simonides, the Lady Saxons settled down the to the matter at hand, squaring off against an improving Seahawks squad.

But from the opening draw, it was clear the Lady Saxons would prove too quick, talented and aggressive for South Lakes to handle. Swomley, continuing her white-hot late season scoring pace, struck early and easily at 24:17. After several whistles stopped play in a portent of the emphatic refereeing that the Saxons would face, sophomore Julie McCaffrey tied things with a nice quick-stick goal at 19:29. Moments later, senior leader Glasgow answered, muscling in for a tight, low winner. Greatorex drew a penalty and scored for the Seahawks to even things at two at 17:29.

The Seniors took charge and Langley put on an overwhelming show of force in the remainder of the half. Pritchett sprinted in for a right-handed goal, the southpaw catching the Seahawks off guard, then Swomley whipped a winner home off a nice feed from Simonides to make it 4-2 at 13:30. Following a goal save by Seahawk goalie Lisi Mueller, Swomley again executed her now-patented goalie stick check, scooped the ball and easily scored to make it 5-2. Following a save by Long leading to a beautiful downfield run and nullified goal, the Saxons struck again at 8:02 on a Kelly Martins quick-stick set up by a characteristically deft pass from Saxon assist leader Hayley Soutter.

Proving she can score herself, Soutter would tally four times in the half’s final seven minutes, beginning with an unassisted romp through the Seahawk defense, ending with a double-fake winner to make it 7-2 at 6:49. Greatorex scored on an assist from junior Maria Leith, Martins answered on a penalty shot, and then, following a brilliant defensive sequence from the Saxons led by Swomley’s swarming turnover, Soutter drew a penalty to make it 9-3. It was Soutter on a feed from junior Olivia Sisson; and then the versatile junior did it again, slicing through tough traffic to find the net with 19 ticks left in the half, effectively ending the competitive portion of the game with the Saxons on top 11-3 at the break.

Coach Richard DeSomma used the second half to feature his strong bench of up-and-coming young players. Following a terrific turnover from junior defender Kelly Dore, Swomley completed her four-goal outing with a graceful rifle shot to build the lead to 12-3 with 19 minutes remaining. Showing his characteristic sportsmanship, DeSomma then instructed the Saxons to hold the ball out on offense. It would be a full 13 minutes before another score was registered, with sophomore Lauren Clubb breaking free and driving straight to the goal for her first goal as a Saxon. Greatorex showed determination, chipping away at the Saxon lead and scoring four times as the game ground through its final mintues. The choppy pace was interrupted by a beautiful downfield sprint by sophomore Katherine `Galloping’ Gallo, who finished with a nice shot for her first Saxon tally. The game horn sounded with the final score 14-7 in favor of the district champion Saxons.

“Congratulations to all of our seniors. They have showed dedication, spirit and determination, a model for our younger players,” said DeSomma. “We have concluded a terrific run in the regular season, but we are back at square one in the district tournament and will need to be at our best.”

THREE DAYS PRIOR to the district-clinching win over South Lakes, the Langley girls cruised to a convincing win over the Thomas Jefferson High Lady Colonials, 17-7. The win kept the Lady Saxons undefeated in Liberty District play, pointing to Langley’s regular season and district home closer against South Lakes.

Senior Margo Swomley led the Saxons with six goals while junior Allison Chou tallied four for the Colonials.

Playing on Jefferson’s home field in sunny but increasingly chilly conditions, the Saxons opened with a penalty shot goal at 23:24 from junior Grace Goettman. Jefferson answered with a penalty goal from Chou, whose determined play kept the Colonials close for much of the first half. Swomley began her career scoring spree with a penalty at 21:40 to make it 2-1, and the Saxons never looked back. Senior co-captain Kelly Martins executed one of her patented quick-stick shots for a goal on a timely feed from senior Nicky Pritchett. Then, following a stabbing save by junior goalie Erin Long, Swomley scooped a blocked shot and scored the put-back to make it 4-1 at 18:33.

Chow muscled in and drew the penalty call for a goal at 16:44, but then Swomley continued her torrid scoring pace with a rifle shot off a Goettman feed and then another penalty at 14:30 to make it 6-2 Saxons. Chow gamely persevered, executing a nice cut back to find the net and cut the lead to three, but it was Swomley again, this time off a feed from Saxon assists leader Junior Hayley Soutter.

With the score 7-3 at 12:27, DeSomma, the Langley coach, put the brakes on the Saxon attack. It would be more than eight minutes until sophomore Jordan Simonides blistered a goal following a nice pass by junior Olivia Sisson. At 2:28, Goettman weaved effortlessly through the Colonial defense and scored a solo goal. Finally, with 10 ticks in the half, junior Kleo Greenwood scored for Jefferson to leave the halftime score 9-4.

DeSomma deployed his deep corps of players in the second frame, and the Saxons put on a display of open-field ball-handling and attack offense. Martins opened the half with a half-field dash and shot at 23:38, then Sisson followed minutes later with a brilliant ground ball off the draw, run and finish. Jefferson continued to press on, with junior Molly Hemenway scoring at 17:40 on a feed from sophomore Hunter Clark, but it was Goettman again at 16:01, then Swomley finishing her six-goal outburst with another fine assist from Pritchett.

The prettiest goal of the night came when Soutter, dashing down the right side of the field, found Sisson with a long, curling pass, which the junior stabbed in full gallop, and then buried from a close corner angle hurtling by the helpless Colonial goalie.

Then it was the Seniors’ turn, as Martins found her co-captain Ellie Glasgow in traffic, with Glasgow finishing with authority down low. At 9:05, Soutter tallied unassisted on a north-south move that thoroughly flummoxed the Colonial defenders to make it 16-5.

DeSomma again called off the attack, and a full four minutes later, Chow scored on a penalty. The Saxon scoring night ended when senior defender Caroline Mahoney took charge of a ground ball and made a rare foray into the offensive end. Directing traffic, the senior looped around the goal, whirled and found freshman Aubrey Zarella, who handled Mahoney’s pass nicely and buried a no-doubter for her first – but, surely, not last – Saxon tally. Hemenway’s meaningless last score kept the Saxon bulge at 10, with the final horn sounding at 17-7.