Friday, April 1, 2005
By Crystal Parker
Hosting the first game of the season has its advantages as the comforts of home are right there for you. The Cougars from Cherry Hill West seem to take advantage of their surroundings as they were in complete control of their inter-conference girl’s lacrosse competition with Camden Catholic. For an entire half and then the majority of the second half, the Cougars matched the favorite Camden Catholic team goal for goal and held a lead very early in the second half. But the Lady Irish lacrosse team remained calm and held onto a 9-7 victory. Katie Gallagher highlighted the win by scoring four of the nine goals scored by the Irish.
Practice, practice, practice, and yes those words can finally be put away for at least one day as teams get to see how well their preparation for the real game is executed on the field. The first game of the girl’s lacrosse season found the much improved Irish team traveling to Cherry Hill participating in an Olympic Conference league game. Once the opening whistle was blown, players were able to work out their opening day jitters. With Camden Catholic’s Katie Gallagher scoring the first goal of the game with 21:20 showing on the game clock, it appeared as if the West would be in for a long day.
Cherry Hill West coach Robin Schwartz had to be happy to see her team respond to the early deficit. In fact, not only to the Cougars tie the game just over a minute later they would also take the lead. Angela Wilmer deposited the ball into the net to record their first goal of the season and Alyssa Eichhorn followed up that goal with one of her own giving West the 2-1 advantage. From that point on, the Cougars would never trail in the first half but the Irish matched goal for goal as both teams ended the half tied at 4-4.
It would seem as if this see-saw battle that occurred during the first half would repeat itself during the second half when Wilmer scored her third goal of the game early in the second half put West up 5-4. The Irish would respond and take their first lead since the first goal of the game when Erica Nevin and Cait Donato pushed the score to 6-5. Those two goals were enough to slide the momentum into Camden Catholic’s favor and the Irish never looked back. Goalie Julie Ricci picked up and preserved the victory for Camden Catholic.