The Bishop Guertin High School girls lacrosse team made goal-scoring seem easy in the game’s first 32 minutes.
The Cardinals controlled possession, took advantage of its opportunities and were carried by strong play in goal from Lauren Trepaney to lead Bedford by as many as four goals on multiple occasions.
However, that BG team that was there in the first 32 wasn’t the same as the one that was on the field at the end. That team was shut down defensively and couldn’t maintain possession of the ball, leading to a crushing 17-15 defeat in overtime at the hands of the Bulldogs Tuesday night at Stellos Stadium.
Leading 12-8 with 18:02 to play, the Cardinals were outscored by Bedford 7-3 for the rest of regulation, then was shut down by goalkeeper Ashley Maddox, who made nine saves, eight of which came in the second half and overtime, in the two three-minute overtime periods.
“It was about possession,” BG coach Mandy Rogers said. “Making smart decisions, and the team that was winning the draws won the game.”
Despite leading for most of the game, the Cardinals needed some late heroics from Kristin Cameron just to get to overtime. BG had a pair of quality launches in the game’s final minute, but Cameron broke through with 7.4 seconds left in regulation to tie the game at 15 and force the extra frames.
Drew Shapiro scored twice in the first minute of overtime to immediately put the game away.
Trailing 12-8, Makayla Sterling, who finished with a team-high four goals, scored three of Bedford’s four consecutive goals to tie the game at 12-12 with 13:12 to play.
Sawyer Biron scored the Bulldogs’ next three goals, including a tally with 5:13 to go to give Bedford the 15-14 advantage.
The Bulldogs were frustrated by Trepaney, who made eight of her 13 saves in the first half, early on, but had more success against her in the second half thanks to better ball movement.
“You have to move the goalie more,” Sawyer said. “Originally we were putting it up top and she was just stuffing us and every time she’d knock it down it’d go right down the other end, so we figured out we have to move it, shoot around her and go on the sides and lower, not up high every time.”
Katherine Lambert led the Cardinals with four goals, while Averi Farhat added three of her own.
It took Bedford just 33 seconds to score the game’s first goal when Kelsey Linehan fed Kennedy Boyle in front to beat Trepaney. But the Bulldogs’ lead wouldn’t last long.
BG controlled possession for the next four-plus minutes, but failed to get a shot on target despite a pair of free-position attempts.
Once the Cardinals finally broke through with a goal from Lambert with 19:58 left in the first half, the floodgates came open as BG scored five consecutive goals over the next four minutes, 22 seconds to jump out to a 5-1 advantage.
Bedford finally found the back of the net again with 12:34 left in the first half as Sterling found Shapiro for the goal to cut the deficit to 5-2. After trading goals over the next five minutes to make it 7-3 BG with 7:17 left in the opening frame, the Bulldogs battled their way back with four straight goals to tie the game at 7-7, capped off by Sterling’s unassisted goal at 3:33.
Farhat put BG back in the lead with 1:10 left to put it up 8-7 at halftime.
Bedford found itself down at halftime, but coach Christine Hodgdon was pleased that her team responded well after falling behind early, preparing her team for its second-half comeback.
“With BG, they do a nice job of possessing the ball, so we had to make our comeback pretty quickly before we didn’t have a lot of time to work with left,” she said.