(May 15, 2015) The Worcester Prep Lady Mallards were determined to win the Eastern Shore Independent Athletic Conference championship trophy last Friday in Berlin and they took it to the Saints Peter & Paul Sabres from the opening whistle.
“Going into the first draw the girls were really pumped up and ready to play,” Worcester Prep girls’ lacrosse Coach Leigh Anne Flounlacker said after the Mallards’ 16-9 victory. “This is the game that means the most all season so they wanted to leave it all on the field. That inner drive definitely influenced that early lead which was essential.”
Before the Sabres knew what hit them, the Mallards had scored eight goals in 18 and a half minutes. At halftime, the home team led 10-3.
“We came out really strong. We really wanted it,” said Prep senior captain Sophie Brennan. “I don’t think we made many mistakes. We were smart with the ball, we had good shot placement. We put it all together.”
Saints Peter & Paul started to chip away at Worcester’s advantage after halftime. The Sabres cut the Mallards’ lead to four goals (10-6) with a little over 19 minutes remaining in the game. After the last goal, Flounlacker called a timeout to talk to her players.
“We had to call a timeout and just regroup. I told them if they didn’t clean it up the Sabres were going to come back and win,” she said. “It’s as simple as that. They stepped it back up from there and played smarter the rest of the game.”
Thirteen seconds after the timeout, Brennan scored off a sophomore Karlie Southcomb assist.
Brennan finished the game with three goals and an assist. Senior captain Molly Soulè also contributed three goals and an assist.
Junior captain Grace Tunis (three assists), sophomore Leigh Lingo and freshman Sarah Savage (one assist) chipped in with two goals each.
Southcomb (one assist), sophomores Amy Lizas and Julie Talbert and senior Caroline Lindsay netted one shot apiece.
Carolyn Dorey, a senior, stopped six Sabres’ shots in the first half and one in the second half. Freshman Sophie Bandorick took over in goal about midway into the second half. She recorded two saves.
“Overall, I’m so proud of how they played this game. It felt like everything they had practiced and worked on all season finally came together,” Flounlacker said. “They were transitioning the ball quickly, placing their shots, working great together on defense and it looked great.”
Worcester won 15 games this season and lost only two. This was Flounlacker’s first season as the varsity team’s head coach. She led the JV team in 2014 and assisted Allie Gamble with the varsity squad. When the position opened to coach the varsity team this season Flounlacker jumped at the opportunity.
“We definitely had our ups and downs, but I think this was a great season overall. All of the girls worked so hard and improved so much. It was truly evident in the final games with how well they played together,” Flounlacker said. “I couldn’t have asked for a better first season. Every girl on the team came out every practice ready to give 100 percent and learn whatever they could, and that makes my job so much more enjoyable.”
Mallards who received All-Conference First Team honors were Brennan, Soulè, Tunis, Lingo, senior captain Maura Smith and sophomore Regan Lingo.
Southcomb, Dorey and Lindsay earned Second Team accolades.
Sophomore Madison Bescak was awarded Honorable Mention distinction.
Brennan was named Conference Player of the Year.
“It’s awesome. It’s exciting to go out on a good note. It’s nice for your hard work to pay off, but to win a championship is, I think, more exciting,” Brennan said. “It was a great season. I think that we progressively got better as a team. Leigh Anne did a great job. I think we worked well as a team.”
Seven seniors will graduate at the end of the month.
“We are graduating some key leaders, but we have quite a lot of depth from our underclassmen so I believe we have the potential to be just as strong if not stronger next year,” Flounlacker said.