After starting the season 0-2, the Nation Ford Falcons girls’ lacrosse team rallied to score seven consecutive goals and beat the Clover Blue Eagles 8-7 for their first win of the season.
“We held them to one goal in the second half,” said Nation Ford head coach Tom McNeil. “They needed this boost of confidence.”
Nation Ford was led by Kelsey Gleason, who scored three goals in the victory. The Falcons had six different players score in the win.
Both teams started the game in a mist of rain and each got early looks at the goal before Clover’s Amelia McCavley put the Blue Eagles up 1-0 about five minutes into the game.
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McCavley and the Blue Eagles won the next face off and scored 52 second later on her second goal in as many minutes.
Clover would extend its lead to 3-0 on a goal from Kenzie Cook. However, Nation Ford would finally crack the scoreboard with a goal from Kelly King with less than 18 minutes left in the first half.
The Blue Eagles were able to keep Nation Ford on its toes despite the goal as they controlled the majority of the first half. Clover’s goalie Maggie Payne was able to stop several Falcons’ shots in the early going.
Clover’s Megan Bailey added the Blue Eagles’ fourth goal of the half with 13:26 left on the clock. McCavley then secured a hat trick about two minutes later to put Clover up 5-1 before Nation Ford called a time out to regroup.
The timeout didn’t help as Clover came right back out of the time out and scored a little over a minute later as Bailey got her second goal of the half. Clover was consistent in winning face-offs during the first half which led to the Blue Eagles controlling the ball and multiple shot opportunities.
“We came back with six returning varsity players this year,” McNeil said. “It has been a struggle.”
With about six and a half minutes left in the first half, Nation Ford found a grove and made a rally to make a game of it as Gleason, Nicole Morshead, Courtney Matthias and Jessie Whyte all scored a goal to get the Falcons back into the game. Right before the half, Gleason would get her second goal of the game and tie the game at 6-6.
The second half started just as productively as the first half ended as Macee Smith would score two and a half minutes into the half to give Nation Ford their first lead. Gleason would then notch a hat trick of her own with about 13 minutes left in the game to extend the Falcons lead to 8-6.
As the second half wore on, Nation Ford continued to control possession making it harder for Clover to fight for the lead.
Just as strong as Payne was for Clover in goal in the early going, Falcons’ goalie Tayrn Samons was just as strong late in the first half and into the second half making several key stops, especially toward the end of the game.
Nation Ford will now host Dorman next week and then travel to Chapin, while Clover will host Fort Mill and then travel to Greenville later in the week.
Mac Banks: firstname.lastname@example.org, @MacBanksFM