Newberry Girls Lacrosse Falls In OT At Home

NEWBERRY — The Newberry girls lacrosse team lost their home opener in a 5-4 overtime thriller to the St. Joseph’s Academy Flashes on Wednesday night.

Hot Out of the Gates

As the first whistle blew, Newberry (1-2) lost the opening draw but wasted no time recovering on defense, spearheaded by senior goalie Shyenne Smith’s vocal expression. With just over a minute of play gone by, Smith already secured two saves for Newberry.

Smith’s first test came with 8:29 left in the first quarter when the Flashes (3-0) lined up for an 8-meter penalty shot off a horizontal stick penalty. Immediately after making the save, Smith created the Panthers’ first possession of the game by clearing the ball out to Emily Armstrong, who converted the fast break into a goal that put the Panthers up 1-0.

Building Momentum

Newberry won the next two draws. The impact of having the majority of offensive possession was clear when Brooklyn Bourassa scored for the Panthers with 6:26 left in the first quarter.

Despite the lead, the Panthers struggled to maintain possession in the midfield, and the Flashes’ hopes were kept afloat by causing many turnovers in transition. St. Joseph’s Tristyn Fulton took advantage of that weakness and made a well-placed shot against the Panthers that Smith stopped.

The first quarter ended with the Panthers leading in shots taken 9-5 and a 2-0 score.

Halfway through the second quarter, Lula McCullors brought the Panthers up 3-0, scoring off of a groundball opportunity within the 8-meter.

With only four seconds left in the half, the Flashes fired a shot hoping to not be held scoreless through the first half. Once again, it was Smith who made the save and kept the Panthers’ dominant 3-0 lead.

Getting Too Comfortable

Having recognized that their strategy needed to be adjusted, the Flashes came into the second half running more organized plays and taking the ball behind the cage more often.

Being adaptable paid off when Sydney Rickelman scored twice in quick succession at 4:58 and 3:54 to put St. Joseph’s on the board with a score of 3-2. The Flashes returned the favor to Newberry by keeping it scoreless in the third quarter.

As the Flashes drew the score nearer to a draw, the Newberry defense came into the fourth quarter more aggressive and with an improved groundball percentage spurred on by midfield Anna Grace Bennett.

At 6:17, Audry Ritter had a one-on-one with the St. Joseph’s goalie, the perfect opportunity to give the Panthers a stronger lead. But, unfortunately for NHS, the shot went over the crossbar. However, Carly Loeffler recovered the ball off the chase and scored, making the game 4-2.

The Flashes’ Mara Mask responded in kind, scoring on Smith with 1:32 left in the game to come within 4-3. Cheers erupted from the St. Joseph’s bench, urging the team to score again before time ran out and contributing to a more desperate style of play for both the Flashes and the Panthers.

Loeffler took a Hail Mary screamer shot with only four seconds left in the game to tie it at 4-4 and send it into overtime.

Brave Heart

Five minutes were set on the clock. Play would resume in five-minute increments until the first goal, the winner takes it all. St. Joseph’s wasted no time, winning the draw and scoring less than a minute into overtime by overwhelming the Panthers’ three-quarter lead and taking the game.

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