Tesoro Titans LAX narrowly overcomes resurgence by Lady Eagles

On Wednesday the Lady Eagles lacrosse team took on Tesoro on the fields of SMCHS. What started out for SM as a game of caution against a believed-to-be superior opponent quickly became a devastating slaughter-fest laden with despair. Bella Mariles was among Tesoro’s first scorers and contributed to the dampening of SM’s mood early on in the first half. After the first goal, there was a draw at center field (which SM won) giving them the first of many failed opportunities to score a goal and prevent the growing score deficit. After SM’s failed offensive attempts, Courtney Brown of Tesoro got the ball on the receiving end and scored Tesoro’s 2nd goal just 21:50 into regulation time.

Towards the latter part of the first half the score was 9-1 (Tesoro) and SM was already starting to feel the sting of defeat. Then just when it seemed that all was lost for the home team, SM’s all-star duo, Junior Taylor Rowden and Senior Lena Huebscher, took off on a startlingly fast 6-1 run. Gasps and moans were audible from the Tesoro bench while eruptions of cheer emitted from the SM crowd. With their first breath of fresh air, the Eagles slowly started to work their way back; but Tesoro was anything but accommodating to SM’s return to the game. Rowden was the first to score for SM, with an assist from Huebscher (a trend that would become very common in the minutes to follow). The Tesoro team was quick to respond, however. The Titans’ Head Coach Dave Rose told his team to settle, or slow down the offense to make a play, and sure enough after the Titans settled they were able to set up a goal-scoring play that left the Eagles without the precious momentum that they had just started to gain.

To make matters worse, SM then committed a Free Possession Foul on Melissa Foley which gave her the opportunity to score a goal soon thereafter, further widening the scoring gap between the two teams. After that defensive misstep, SM got aggressive. Danielle O’Connor cross-checked the ball carrier for Tesoro and gained the possession back for her team, giving Rowden the opportunity to shoot, which resulted in SM’s 2nd goal of the game. O’Connor proved to be invaluable on defense throughout the course of the game as she picked off pass after pass from the Titans and opened up several offensive opportunities for her teammates. Thanks to O’Connor’s efforts, Huebscher and Rowden were free to unleash their offensive prowess. The dynamic duo proceeded on their 6-1 scoring run throughout the rest of the first half and into the first few minutes of the second. Tesoro’s response to this was their excellent passing game around the arc, which they used to limit the power of the SM defense. It was evident that the Eagles were becoming frustrated, because they soon fouled Tesoro’s Ali Huerta, giving her a penalty shot (which she missed) to close the first half. With the score gap closing the Eagles had the Titans on the run, but they needed to make sure they kept their cool.

SM started out the 2nd half attacking the goal hard, and they were rewarded for their efforts with their first goal of the half at 20:52, bringing the game to 7-10 (Tesoro). Another big goal for SM came a few moments later when Huebscher sailed home a shot, causing Tesoro to call a timeout. The timeout may have done more to affect Tesoro’s momentum than SM’s however, because after the break Katie Roschak of SM gave Courtney Brown an off-ball push, setting her up for a penalty shot. But instead of shooting it, Brown decided to pass the ball out to one of her team mates, whom missed the shot attempt and ultimately turned the ball over to the Eagles.

Danielle O’Connor came out of the woodwork again for SM half way through the 2nd and scored a huge goal, tying the game 10-10. With the gap finally closed and the clock winding down, both teams tightened up their defense, determined not to let their opponent gain the upper hand. Time, however, was not on the Eagles’ side that evening. During the last possession of the game, with the score 12-11 (Tesoro) the Titans had the ball and used their aforementioned superior passing game to prevent even O’Connor from stealing the possession. The final seconds ticked away and SM had to concede defeat. Although this one may not have gone in the W column for SM, it was still a comeback for the history books; no doubt about it.  

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