Newberry Scrapes Past Buchholz Off A Stellar Performance

 NEWBERRY — The Newberry Panthers junior varsity lacrosse team beat the Buchholz Bobcats 5-4 with a nail-biting finish on March 7. 

 The height advantage that the Bobcats (1-3) held over the Panthers (1-0) was immediately apparent, as they took control of the opening draw.

Unfortunately for Buchholz, the defensive unit from Newberry has improved from the season’s start, using quick slides and precise communication to bar the Buchholz attackers from the 8-meter. 

 Emily Armstrong, a defender for the Panthers, created the first transition into offense with a well-timed check and subsequent ground ball. A shooting space violation on the Bobcats resulted in Newberry’s first scoring opportunity for Lilani Pringle, who easily converted the free position into a goal to make the score 1-0 with 8:15 left to play in the first quarter.

Only a minute later, Pringle scored again on a fast break. 

 The Panthers continued to hold the majority of possession the rest of the first half by holding Buchholz to few shots on goal.

The Bobcats’ first potential to score on a free position shot was once again blocked by Panthers goalie Shyenne Smith. However, Buchholz refused to go into halftime scoreless and managed to sneak a shot past Smith to make the game 2-1.

With only one minute left to play in the first half, Newberry’s Avery Brown answered with a quick goal, just to have it taken back and given a yellow card for a dangerous propel. 

 When the game resumed to start the second half, the Panthers were still playing a man down. Nevertheless, Kennedy Price scored two goals in quick succession, one of which was called back for a crease violation, making the score 3-1 with 11:22 left in the third quarter. 

On the back of the Panthers struggling to maintain ground balls, the Bobcats created more offensive opportunities. They earned three back-to-back free position shots from the center hash, all of which Smith saved.

On the fourth shot on goal, Buchholz’s Brynn Baker converted to make the game 3-2 with 5:13 left in the third quarter. 

At the top of the fourth quarter, Buchholz goalie made a big save and cleared the ball out to Baker, who went coast-to-coast to tied the game at 3-3.

Riding the momentum, Kaitlyn Lee brought the Bobcats their first lead of the game at 4-3 with 4:37 left to play. 

The game entered its last minute with the Bobcats still leading and looking for a final goal to end it. Smith denied them the chance after saving a critical one-on-one with a Buchholz attacker and clearing the ball out to Price, who tied the game at 4-4 with 40 seconds remaining.

Facing the pressure to avoid a repeat of their previous overtime loss in the last 12 seconds of regular play, Pringle not only earned a hat trick on the game, but shot a game-winner for Newberry. 

About Morgan Vazquez

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