Midfielder Waverly Oake-Libow (#15) takes the draw.
After losing twice to Portsmouth at the end of April, the Oyster River High School Girls Varsity Lacrosse team pulled out all of the defensive stops on Tuesday, May 4th, at home against the Timberlane Owls.
Although they entered this season with fewer players than last year, the Bobcats started their 2021 season off strong with two big wins over Spaulding. Going into the game against Timberlane, the team focused on being more aggressive and showing that they came to play hard. “Our defense played an amazing game,” said midfielder Waverly Oake-Libow (‘23). “They got the ball back so many times and our goalie, Molly Haggard, had many great saves. Our defenders work very hard during games, and yesterday they showed up big time.” Despite their best efforts and strong defense, small slip ups were what lost the Bobcats’ the game against the Owls 8-6.
Attacker Callie Vincent (#17) runs with the ball alongside teammate and midfielder Sophie Royal (#6).
The Bobcats’ started the game off strong with attacker Arianna Alcocer (‘21) scoring in the first two minutes. The goal was scored after the Timberlane goalie recovered the ball and looked to break out. Alcocer put pressure on the Timberlane goalie and forced a turnover, shooting the ball in the lower left corner of the goal.
The game against Timberlane was the Bobcats’ first game in two weeks and Alcocer spoke about the impact that had on their game. “Going into the game I was not sure what to expect. We had no scouting report on Timberlane so really no idea on how they played or the type of offense and defense they ran. Watching their warmups, they dropped the ball a lot and seemed like a decent team but nothing we couldn’t handle,” said Alcocer. “I didn’t realize the impact of not having practice for a week and what that would look like for the team. Fortunately, at the end of the game we all had reflected on how the game had just gone and realized what we needed to focus on for our next game against them.”
Attacker Brooklyn Northcut (#3) cuts towards the goal.
With 32 seconds left in the first half, Sophie Royal (‘23) shot the ball into the top left corner of the goal over the shoulder of the goalie, bringing the score to 4-3. “My goals for the game were to communicate more and to work as hard as I could,” said Royal. Her efforts paid off according to Alcocer, who said, “I think the team did a great job of communicating. Defense held their own by talking and shut down a lot of the options and plays the other team was trying to run. On offense, we were able to move the ball up the field by communicating with one another to get more options available for the person with the ball.”
After facing off in the second half, Oake-Libow scored three minutes in, tying the score. “I was proud of how as a team we realized what we were doing wrong and fixed it,” said Alcocer. “At halftime we all regrouped and talked about what we were doing wrong, and we made the necessary changes to come back. We didn’t win but we did start playing like a team again and making good reasonable connections and slowing the plays down so we could work with it.”
Defender Emy Przylski (#11) guards a Timberlane player.
A goal from Timberlane put the Owls in the lead. Oake-Libow took the draw and then went into a fast break passing it to Vincent who tied the score once again. “My goal for this game was to run the offense well,” said Oake-Libow. “In past games, we’ve struggled to run our offense and this game we hoped to run it smoothly and just as we planned.”
Defender Ganya Brooks (#7) guards a Timberlane player with the ball.
Varsity Coach Murphy-Putnam explained what the team needs to focus on for future games. “We need to work on making less mistakes,” said Murphy-Putnam. “We were very messy with the ball, not protecting our sticks, making risky passes, and dropping the ball.”
Oake-Libow agreed and said, “those kinds of mistakes are avoidable and led to some costly goals. I could have been more composed during the game and I hope to make up for my mistakes on Thursday.” She continued by adding her perspective of what the team can do to amp up their game. “As a team, we all need to contribute more to transitioning the ball up the field,” said Oake-Libow. “The defense had so many great stops but we could not capitalize. If we are able to bring the ball to the offensive zone then I think we have a good chance of winning.”
The Bobcats have their next home game against Manchester on Thursday, May 20th at 4:30pm. You can check out the scores of previous games at oysterriverathletics.org.
Photos by Madelyn Marthouse