By Nelson Coffin
On Monday afternoon in frigid conditions in Towson, Notre Dame Prep and Bryn Mawr played a lacrosse game that could give both teams a bit of a boost.
Despite falling in overtime, 14-13, to the Blazers in the A Conference showdown, the Mawrtians should feel good about how they were able to rally back from an early 8-1 deficit against a quality opponent to take a late lead by making a 12-4 run.
And NDP (6-3, 2-2 conference) can take solace in how it weathered that storm and celebrate how its was able to score the game’s final two goals against a rival that opened the season with seven straight wins.
Sydney Rosa’s goal won it for the Blazers.
Although the junior midfielder said that she hasn’t scored many goals so far this spring, she chose the right time to notch her second tally of the contest while showing that it’s not always about the quantity of goals that matter — the quality is every bit as important.
First and foremost, Rosa’s winner came with 30 seconds remaining in overtime to knock the surprising Mawrtians (7-1, 5-1) out of first place in the conference.
Rosa’s heroics started after a scramble for a loose ball ensued when NDP senior attacker Hannah Mardinay’s shot caromed off Mawrtian senior goalie Maia Faraone (13 saves) just outside the goal circle.
The rebound bounced into a scrum of players until Rosa gained possession and sent the ball past Faraone.
“There were a bunch of sticks there and I just scooped it up,” Rosa said. “I made sure no one was in my way and I shot it.”
Her goal ended a wild ride for both teams in a game that had a slew of twists and turns with NDP’s big early lead vanishing on a go-ahead goal by senior midfielder Olivia Rubin with just under three minutes left in regulation.
Less than two minutes later, the Blazers found the wherewithal to net the equalizer by senior attacker Caitlynn Mossman after senior Jordan Sabourin won the draw.
NDP coach Mac Ford said that winning three clutch draws late in regulation and in overtime could give Sabourin a spark in the circle and give the Blazers a potent one-two punch with junior Lila Knott, who dominated the draws in the early going.
With Knott earning successive possessions and Mardinay assisting freshman attacker Nancy Halleron and junior midfielder/attacker Ellie Curry before scoring twice herself, the Blazers had a 4-0 advantage less than four minutes into the opening half.
Mossman and Halleron then built the margin to 6-0 before sophomore midfielder Abbey Hurlbrink finally answered for the Mawrtians.
However, goals by senior midfielder/attacker Maddie Hoffman and Mossman bloated the lead to 8-1 with 10 minutes left in the half.
Things started to turn in Bryn Mawr’s favor when Rubin began winning draws outright or getting help from Hurlbrink on the circle.
“Those two were the MVPs of their team, that’s for sure,” Ford said.
The Mawrtians closed the first half on goals by Rubin, senior attacker Alex Marino and junior midfielder Virginia Oursler while yielding a goal to Rosa to trail, 9-4.
Not only was the Bryn Mawr offense starting to fins its rhythm, the defense was slowing the Blazers down as well.
“We were stopping their cutters better,” Bryn Mawr senior defender Helen Mackay said. “We were matching their sticks and we were communicating better.”
“We take a lot of pride in our one-on-one defense,” Bryn Mawr coach Brooke Matthews said. “We were trying to get all over them.”
NDP junior midfielder Brooke Barger and Rubin traded scores to maintain a five-goal separation early in the second half before the Mawrtians started to make a serious dent in the deficit.
Goals by junior midfielder Margo McCormack and Rubin started the Mawrtians’ final push that reached a crescendo when sophomore attacker Gwen Mather tied the score at 12-all with just over nine minutes left in the final half.
Six minutes later, Rubin’s fifth and final goal put Bryn Mawr ahead for the only time in the game.
“We know we can score goals fast, and we were fearless,” Matthews said. “I’m just so proud of the girls. But you have to credit NDP for finding their third and fourth options (on offense).”
Rosa said that it was a special win.
“Bryn Mawr is one of our biggest games,” she said. “We’ve been thinking about it for a while. Beating them is awesome.”
The Blazers will have almost a full week off before hosting the Hill Academy on Sunday while Bryn Mawr will jump right back into conference play when it travels to No. 16 St. Paul’s School for Girls on Wednesday.