The Notre Dame (Hingham) girls' lacrosse team stepped onto the field at Andover High School undefeated at 11-0 and walked off with an 13-11 loss.
The second-ranked Cougars beat No. 1 Lincoln-Sudbury, 14-10, just a week ago, but according to coach Meredith Frank, her players didn't bring the same tenacity to Wednesday night's game.
"I think we were a little scared to play Andover at Andover under the lights," she said. "Against L-S we had the comfort of home field and could put those fears aside, but we didn't seem to be able to do that tonight."
The Golden Knights (10-3, 5-0) capitalized on the Cougars' timidity and came out firing, taking an early 6-2 lead. Andover coach John McVeigh praised his team's draw control as the key to the quick start.
"We won several draws early on," he said. "Both teams have strong attacks so it was a really even game."
Andover finished the half up 10-5, extending their lead to 12-6 with 11 minutes left in the game. But Notre Dame, seeing the clock winding down, dug in their spikes and made a furious comeback.
Senior Alex Dalton (five goals) and sophomore Isabella O'Connor (four goals) led the Cougars on offense while midfielder Madison Caron dropped back to help out on defense. The tactic cut Andover's lead to 12-10, but the effort fell short.
"I think we started off pretty sluggish and just weren't able to truly close the gap they created in the first half," said Frank. "Once our back was against the wall, we had some players make plays, but it just wasn't enough."
Senior Ally Fazio led Andover with five goals and two assists but senior goaltender Jill Beucler also made a huge difference for the Knights, recording 12 of her eight saves in the second half. "She made big saves down the stretch for us," said McVeigh.
The victory is Andover's second big win this week. They handed L-S a 15-9 loss on Sunday, making a strong case to be the team to beat in girls' lacrosse.
Several reporters and editors contribute updates, news and analysis to the High School Sports Blog.
- Bob Holmes: A Reading resident (Go Rockets!) and Boston College graduate, Holmes is the Boston Globe High School Sports Editor. We remind you now that his weekly picks are often made in jest so everyone just calm down when he picks against Everett for 11 straight weeks. Contact him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeHolmes.
- Craig Larson: A native of West Springfield (Leo Durocher anyone? Tim Daggett?) and Curry College graduate (a proud Colonel!), Larson is the sports editor for the Globe's regional sections: South, West and North, as well as a frequent contributor on the college beat. Abington to Xaverian: it all starts with the schools. Have a compelling story idea? Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeLars.
- Zuri Berry: Berry attended the same high school as sports legends O.J. Simpson and Joe DiMaggio. (Guess which one is his hero.) He's a South Boston resident (formerly of Eastie) and the editor of the High School Sports blog as well as the go-to-guy for everything high school sports on Boston.com. Contact him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @ZuriBerry for all of the latest updates.
Then there are our winter correspondents:
- Alex Hall | @AlexKHall | Baseball
- Colleen Casey | @ColleenCasey226 | Softball
- Mike Giesta | Boys lacrosse
- Catherine Calsolaro | @catrenee13 | Girls lacrosse
- Liz Torres | @etorres446 | Boys volleyball
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