The Oyster River Bobcats huddle before the game begins. With the playoffs just a few games away, Oyster River Girls Lacrosse (7-6) headed into their senior night against Kingswood (7-5) with a lot on the line. The Wednesday night game, along with three following matches, would decide when they would make playoffs or not. With playoffs taking the top 12 teams, Oyster River’s 10th place was just a few losses away from missing the cut. Callie Vincent (‘21) noted that, “this game was really important. We needed to win in order to secure our place in the playoffs along with our next two games.”
Defender Anna Haight (‘19) clears the ball through two defenders. Apart from the importance of playoffs that came with this game, senior night is a important celebration for those that have put four years of their time into the sport. Aidan Kelley (‘21), a spectator of the game, explained that, “senior night is important to show the players some respect, especially the four year, hard-working veterans that put a lot into the team.” This year, the eight graduating seniors include Anna Haight, Kelsey McCrone, Abby Schmitt, Abby Craig, Kate Lehnhard, Gabbie Haug, Maddy Alphonse and Ally Marshall.
Marshall vies for a faceoff late in the first half. In regards to seniors, Vincent added that, “Our seniors have done such an incredible job leading us through this season by being such key players on the field for us. They always set good role models, and we are going to miss them a lot.”
Captains Kelsey McCrone (‘19) and Ally Marshall (‘19) celebrate the first of McCrone’s two goals this game. From the start of the game the Bobcats dominated. Oyster River came out to an impressive 5-1 lead within the first 5 minutes. Their first three goals came unanswered from faceoffs won by Marshall. Maddy Alphonse (‘19) also played her part in taking the lead, scoring the first, third, and fifth goals that led the Bobcats to a commanding hold on the game.
Vincent scores her first of four this game to pull away again. The Bobcats would then lead the game at the 11 minute mark 8-3, once again taking control of the contest. McCrone said afterwards that, “the first three goals set the tone and pace for the rest of the game. It showed us the energy and skills that we were working with, making for fast and smooth transitions and set ups for our plays.”
Arianna Alcocer (‘21) scores her second goal of the game with four minutes. Oyster River went into the half 11-6 up and would hold the game from there on out. Maintaining the lead throughout the entire game, the Bobcats kept the formerly 7-2 Kingswood to 11 goals, while scoring 16 themselves.
Gabbie Haug (‘19) deflects a shot away from the goal towards the beginning of the first half. Haug, a lacrosse commit to Lycoming College, played her part in keeping the Bobcats in front. Her 16 saves, along with impressive work from the defensive line, held the Knights to their third lowest scoring game this season. Marshall and Alphonse both added another goal, while Abby Schmitt (‘19), Shannon Foulds (‘20), and Bella Mazza (‘22) all tallied as well. Kelley, a former lacrosse player, pointed out how, “they moved the ball really well. […] It seemed to me like the team worked together well, and they come out strong to set the tone for the rest of the game.”
The girls celebrate their win before shaking hands with their opponents. In preparation for the game, the Bobcats needed to bounce back after their 19-2 loss to Portsmouth (13-1) on Monday this week. McCrone explained, “we started with a spag the night before to get our spirits up after our loss earlier in the week. We play better when we have a lot of energy and confidence in ourselves and our teammates.” Later she added that mentally Oyster River outplayed Kingswood as well. “When the other team started to get frustrated and aggressive, we were able to keep our composure. We’ve been working on our clears and transitions which have been key elements to improving our game.”
The team celebrates after scoring in the first half. The Bobcats extended their lead last Thursday night with a win over Manchester Memorial (0-13), dominating 17-1. They then played again at ConVal (4-7) last Friday, winning 15-11, and in doing so rose to 8th place in the table. They play Alvirne (1-11) tonight, Tuesday, May 21st, as they try to extend their 3 game win streak before the first round of playoffs.
Written by Quinn Wilson