The Concord Carlisle Varsity Girls Lacrosse team opened the season on the road with a hard earned win over a perennially strong Wellesley team.
After losing close contests to tough Wellesley squads in their opening game each of the last two seasons, CC played a complete game last Thursday, receiving contributions from all areas of the field to secure the 9-7 win.
In the first half Wellesley put sustained pressure on CC to start the game, building a 3-1 lead midway through the first half. CC’s defense, led by sophomores Johanna O’Neil and Madeline Leahy, proved resilient and several great saves were recorded by second year varsity goal tender Conley Ernst to keep CC in the game.
CC regained its footing as the play continued with strong scoring chances by both teams. The difference was CC’s ability to finish their chances on offense and Ernst’s ability to deny Wellesley’s repeated shots. CC went on a 4-0 run, with goals by Hannah Dudley, Ali Barrett, Emma Mahoney, and Becca Olsen to make it 5-3 at the half.
“I was proud of the way the team stayed composed in the early part of the game” said Coach Paul Morrison. “The defense and Conley Ernst held strong, and once we started possessing the ball good things happened.”
After allowing a Wellesley goal to start the second half, CC got their offense in high gear executing two beautiful goals featuring quick and precise passing by the CC squad and finished by Olsen and Barrett . The speedy and efficient attack caused Wellesley to call time out with the score 7-4 and CC poised to pull away.
After the time out CC took possession and Emma Brandhorst sprinted in for a quick score to extend the lead to 8-4. The last 10 minutes of the half were played at a frenetic pace as Wellesley pressured all over the field for the ball. Wellesley climbed back into the game outscoring CC 3-1, but CC was able to make key defensive plays down the stretch including a critical interception by Jenna Carlton with less than 3 minutes left.
CC’s scoring was led by captains Ali Barrett and Emma Mahoney with 3 goals each. On defense, in addition to Ernst’s stellar play,
Tessa Dibble provided great man marking, Madeline Leahy had four key ground ball pickups, and Johanna O’Neal had two important caused turnovers.
Coach Morrison felt the play of his veterans gave CC an edge in the game. “Senior leadership was critical to our victory. All four captains (Barrett, Brandhorst, Mahoney, and Olsen) played important roles in guiding us to the win. We feel very good about being on the winning side of a close game with Wellesley.”
CC will be tested again as they travel to defending sectional champion Westford Academy on Tuesday.