Girls Varsity Lacrosse
The Forge Girls Lacrosse team took their home opener on Wednesday night by a score of 14-6 in a game they never trailed. It was a bad night for troupes and cold drinks at Eagles Stadium for this one, but the Forge offense was warm enough to jump on the Bears right out of the gate.
Sophomore Maggie Hatton got the Eagles on the board just 23 seconds into the game when she was left alone in front of Riverbend net minder Alexis Jenkins. Hatton ripped a shot past the stunned goalie to put the “good gals” on the board 1-0. Riverbend answered that tally just 11 seconds later on an unassisted goal by Senior Attack Jenna Hauger to tie the game at 1-1.
The home team then went on a 5-goal barrage and steadily started to control the offensive zone. Senior Kailey Clasen stole the ball to the right of the cage on an outlet pass and when she took control, she rolled left to the front of the net and fired low corner glove side and the Eagles were ahead for good 2-1 with 20:57 left in the first half. Just over a minute later Mary Ellen Schuster got into the act, taking a pass from Kadence Stanton to make it 3-1 Forge.
The Eagles Emily Ponce was the beneficiary of another Stanton assist and the senior attack made no mistake ripping the nylon just 24 seconds later to make it 4-1. The Ponce goal was so nice, she did it twice taking a Stanton crossing pass and flipping it over the shoulder of Jenkins with 18:39 until the break to make the scoreboard read Forge 5 Riverbend 1.
The home team had five goals in the first seven minutes and Stanton assisted on three of them. It was her turn to get in the goal column for herself and two minutes later, she did just that unassisted with 16:33 left until the break and it gave the Eagles a 5-goal lead. Just when the fans in attendance felt comfortable in the cool night air, the Bears came out of hibernation with some offense of their own.
The Bend’s senior attack Alix Corrao and Sophomore Haven Doherty scored 2 minutes, 17 seconds apart to cut the Eagle to 6-3. That run seemed to reignite the Forge offense over the next ten minutes. Goals from Mary Ellen Schuster (Ponce assist), Kadence Stanton (Ponce assist), Emily Ponce unassisted, and Ann Marie Hanville with just 1:15 left sent the Eagles to the locker room with a 10-4 lead.
The first half was mostly spent in the Bears end with the Forge offense applying consistent pressure on the visitor’s defense. The 2019 Eagles are deep, and Eagle bench boss Nate Medic started to lengthen his bench heading into the second half.
In the second half, the scoring slowed down (Eagles outscored the Bears 4-2 in the half) but the Eagle defense showed the shivering crowd that they were also capable of controlling the game. In the first minute of the second half, the Forge defense spread its wing a bit. Senior goaltender made an impressive point blank save in front of her cage with a flick of the stick, stabbing the shot out of the air and cleared it out of harm’s way to start the Eagle offense.
Forge momentum soared after that 10 bell save by Rodgers and the defense was out in transition with a quick outlet pass. Six minutes later that hard word led to another Eagle goal at the other end. Clasen took a feed from Hanville and she did the rest, potting her second goal of the night giving the Eagles a 12-4 lead with 13:39 left in the game. Just two minutes later Hanville found the back of the net assisted by Mary Ellen Schuster to make it a nine-point lead.
The night temperature was going down and so were the Bears and all eyes were on the stadium clock as the focus was finishing this one off. Shots and scoring had slowed in the second half but the Bears had one last mini run. Taylor Willingham and Hauger scored in the final ten minutes and that was answered by Leila Hazme with 1:20 left in the game and the first win of the season for the Eagles was in the books at 14—6.
The Eagles now take the show ON THE ROAD next week as they visit Brooke Point on Monday and Massaponax on Thursday. It was an impressive first win for the Forge in this one as they continue to roll through the Commonwealth District, a league they have owned for some time. The goal now is to keep playing hot and hope the weather catches up later in the season.