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Ashley Lemon scores four goals and Maddie Blackwell adds two more as the Patriots top the Spartans.
Friday, May 17, 2013
SALEM — The third time was the charm for the Patrick Henry girls’ lacrosse team.
Thanks in large part to a stellar defensive performance, the Patriots avenged two regular season losses to Salem with a 9-6 victory over the Spartans in the West Division final on Friday night.
Ashley Lemon scored four goals for the Patriots (13-3) and Maddie Blackwell added two more. Lockard Douthat, Anne Johnson and Anna Kate Draper also scored for PH.
Hannah Giorno and Jordan Hayes each scored twice for Salem (13-2). Cate Pace and Morgan Leeson each score for the Spartans.
The Patriots never trailed, jumping out to an early 2-0 lead while PH goalie Alaina Girani held the Spartans scoreless for the first ten minutes.
Salem rallied to tie the score twice in the first half, but the Patriots went into halftime with a 5-4 lead.
“What made the difference was a significant attitude difference in the last week and half,” Patrick Henry coach Randy Polito said. “We looked at this as a fresh start and what we did going forward is what matters. They’ve been receptive to the change and it paid off.”
PH pulled out to a 7-4 lead in the first 12 minutes.
“Shutting them down gave us momentum to get down the field and score,” Girani said.
The Spartans cut the lead to 7-6, but the Patriots pulled away.
“It’s been a long week for us. We’ve had to play three games, but that doesn’t mean that Patrick Henry didn’t play a good game, because they did,” Salem head coach Maggi Pace said. “They played a zone defense they’ve been working on and we were overwhelmed by it.”
“It’s a lot better defense. We’ve got to work as a unit more and have each other’s back,” Girani said.
Polito added that Girani’s performance in net couldn’t be overlooked.
“She’s been the rock all year,” Polito said. “We’re not here without her.”
Both teams move on to West Central Section play next week. Salem hosts Monticello on Tuesday while PH travels to Western Albemarle on Wednesday.
“Fortunately we were already seeded No. 1 [as regular season champs],” Pace said. “Except for the trophy there was nothing riding on this. This was the last time we could lose and not get knocked out.”
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