Newberry Girls Lacrosse Pulls Off Another Nail-Biting Win

NEWBERRY — The Newberry High Panthers girls lacrosse team beat the Leesburg Yellow Jackets 9-8 on Tuesday. 

Quick Scores

 The Panthers (4-3) got off to a hot start, with Audry Ritter winning the opening draw and finding the back of the net only 20 seconds into the game.

The Yellow Jackets (0-6) seemed unfazed, immediately going into an offensive possession on the next play. Newberry senior goalie Shyenne Smith saved Leesburg’s first shot on goal, but was unable to stop the next one from Callie Pinkston. Less than 90 seconds into the game, the score was tied 1-1. 

Changing Momentum

 For nearly three minutes, neither team could hold onto possession, spending most of their time fighting for the ball on the ground in the midfield.

Isla Avant broke the stall by scoring on a fast break to give the Yellow Jackets their first lead at 2-1.

Lilani Pringle fired right back for the Panthers less than 30 seconds later, making the game 2-2.

With 5:09 left to play in the first quarter, Avant scored again and it seemed as if Newberry’s confidence faltered.

To close out the first quarter, Smith revitalized the Newberry defense with a huge save to prevent a hat trick from Avant. 

Don’t Call It A Comeback

 The Panthers came into the second quarter prepared to fix the issues that plagued them in the first: lack of offensive communication and lost ground balls in the midfield. They quickly established a pattern of disrupting attempted clears by the Yellow Jackets and capitalizing on them.

The effectiveness of their adaptation in strategy became apparent when they had three shots on goal in the first four minutes, with Faith Gindlesperger converted one at point-blank range, once again tying the game at 3-3.

Two minutes later, Gindlesperger scored again off a successful clear from Smith, making the game 4-3. The Panthers scored twice more before the end of half, with Kennedy Price making an impossibly slim shot coming around the crease and Pringle taking advantage of a ground ball opportunity in a chaotic 8-meter. 

Transitional Trouble

 At the top of the second half, Avant put the Yellow Jackets back on the board with two goals off the fast break to make the score 6-5 Newberry.

Both teams got into foul trouble throughout the game, particularly concerning covers in transition. That continued slip on the Yellow Jackets behalf turned into many unforced turnovers. Luckily for them, halfway through the second half, nearly every Newberry shot had been wide.

On NHS’ best look, Pringle received a yellow card for a dangerous shot. While she was out and the Panthers playing a man down, the Yellow Jackets scored twice to take the lead at 7-6. 

Faith Gindlesperger scored four goals for Newberry

Goal For Goal 

After being held scoreless in the third quarter, Newberry regained momentum off a goal from Avery Brown to tie the score at 7-7.

A free position shot granted to Gindlesperger gave the Panthers the lead at 8-7.

Another yellow card was given to Newberry’s Emily Armstrong to once again mak the Panthers vulnerable.

The Yellow Jackets capitalized by responding with a goal from Pinkston to tie the match at 8-8 with only three minutes left to play.

Determined to finish it off, Newberry’s Lorelai Crehore took control of the draw and completed a fast break to put the Panthers up 9-8.

With only eight seconds left, Avant was fouled in the 8-meter, giving her the opportunity to score and bring the game into overtime. Smith denied Leesburg the chance, making the game-winning save for Newberry. 

Up Next

Newberry hosts Santa Fe (4-6) at 5 p.m. Friday.

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