By Mitch Silver
Head Coach Georgette Summers sent out her lacrosse squad April 14 against the King School looking to go 3-0 in the Fairchester Athletic Association. And the Wildcats jumped on the visitors right from the opening whistle.
Less than a minute into the game, a penalty was called on the Vikings in their own defensive zone. Rye Country Day senior Caroline Keating took advantage and scored with 48 seconds gone. Sydney Cohn scored 22 seconds later, on the first rush after a face-off win, and the rout was on.
Seventy seconds later she scored again, putting the ball into the cage after the Wildcats stole it in front of King’s goal. Four minutes later, sophomore attacker Cameron Song scored to finish off a fast break. Then with just over 10 minutes clicked off the clock, Song clicked again on another free shot.
It was already 5-0 when sophomore Morgan Harvey took a high shot from in close that beat King’s goalie at the 11 minute-mark. Then, the Vikings would score their only goal of the half from in close with under three minutes left.
Up 6-1 at the half, Coach Summers urged her team to “run our plays, not just run up the score.”
The second half was much like the first, except the team that scored first was King; it came with just a minute, 45 seconds gone. Less than two minutes later, Sydney Cohn was warned for a check to the face. Barely a minute after that, Estelle Maggard scored for the Wildcats through a pack of defenders in front of the King goal.
Throughout the second half, Coach Summers rotated her face-off players. “Yes,” she said after the game, “we want to have a lot of players knowing what it’s like to take a draw.”
The next face-off win led to another Rye attack. Keating planted herself in front of goal. When Harvey fed her the ball, all she had to do was turn around and shoot. Goal!
With the score now 8-2, Song took a pass and ran from right to left in front of the goalie, flicking the ball past her as she passed the cage for a hat trick on the afternoon.
Wildcats’ goalie Nina Paganem had little to do up to this point. But the Vikings won the draw and, with 18 minutes left in the game, shot the ball hard and low at her. Paganem made the stop at her shoetops before clearing the zone to her midfielders.
Seventy-five seconds later, Cohn took an almost identical shot at the opposite end and beat the keeper for her own hat trick to make it 10-2. Keating upped the count to 11 and gave her team a third hat trick for the afternoon on a shot made running at the keeper.
That was the signal for a Wildcat goalie change, with Bella Wise replacing Paganem. Not long afterwards, Maggard scored the 12th goal for the home side. With less than five minutes remaining, Wise made the same sort of strong save at her feet that Paganem had made earlier in the half. King would score a third and final goal off a fast break with three and a half minutes remaining.
Afterwards, Coach Summers had high praise for her team. “You know, Bella, our substitute goalkeeper, hadn’t played on varsity before this season. Covid cost a lot of seventh and eighth graders their seasons recently.”
The Wildcats are scheduled to play three home games this week: Masters on April 19, St. Luke’s on the 21st, and Fieldston on the 22nd.