Girls lacrosse: Stevenson in its element against Libertyville
Building momentum is always a challenge in spring sports, with Mother Nature's antics and all.
Teams are itching to get outside in order to sustain some continuity, and that looked evident Wednesday evening when the Stevenson girls paid Libertyville a visit for a North Suburban Conference lacrosse tilt.
"We have a lot of rescheduled games coming up and are basically hitting the ground running. We're looking forward to trying to gain some momentum and get more experience in game-like situations," said Libertyville coach Andra Dalton, whose girls fought valiantly despite coming up a little short, 13-9. "We started the season slow, but games like tonight really build our confidence in moving forward. Our effort tonight was very encouraging and was important for us to bounce back (after losing the previous day)."
The Pats, currently ranked seventh in the state, jumped to a quick 1-0 lead on a goal by sophomore midfielder Kilian Weber a little over two minutes into the contest.
Libertyville answered immediately with the equalizer by sophomore attacker Emma Burns with 16:47 left in the first half.
But Stevenson (11-2, 3-0) then padded the lead with 4 unanswered goals over the next six minutes to take a 5-1 advantage. Senior middie Georgia Maskalunas popped in two scores, while single goals were tallied by junior midfielder Erica Spieler and sophomore attacker Michelle Shen.
"We're trying to stay consistent and keep the ball moving on the attack side," said Pats coach Sarah Gutierrez. "They (Libertyville) have some nice shooters and were great on the draw."
Speaking of the face-off, Libertyville junior attacker Maddie Spaulding won the ensuing draw, which helped lead to a goal by senior midfielder Mary-Cate Buchert to make it 5-2 as the momentum was starting to shift to Libertyville at that point.
Stevenson senior keeper Ryan Johnson had then come out of the crease a couple of minutes later and Buchert took advantage by scoring after freshman midfielder Megan Feeney knocked the ball away from Johnson a few seconds prior.
"Our theme this year has been 'Possession' and keeping the energy and aggression up," said Spaulding, who won several draws on the night, helping lead a nice comeback.
Spieler had scored again right before halftime to make it 6-3. She scored two more goals in the second half, while Weber another.
But Libertyville, on the strength of Spaulding's play on the face-off, helped draw them to within 9-5 after goals from senior midfielder Ashley Marshall and Burns.
Spaulding then won a face-off and took it all the way for a goal. She scored two consecutive and Libertyville was within 9-7 with 8:40 left in the game.
"It's gets pretty crazy by the goal," said Johnson, who stopped 9 shots and is only in her second year of playing lacrosse. "But it's awesome. You're adrenalin gets going with everyone yelling and trying to uplift each other."
Weber then scored two more goals, while senior attacker Stephanie Schultz and Shen rounded out the scoring for Stevenson.
Buchert then scored her fourth on a penalty shot and Spaulding added her third.