Girls’ lacrosse: Tartan defeats visiting Rochester in ‘wild’ match

Tartan 9 - Rochester Century 7

The Rochester Century Panthers were shorthanded going into the Saturday, May 3, girls lacrosse match against the Titans of Tartan.

After their 9-7 road loss to the scrappy Titans, Century head coach told his players, “You did a nice job today. I’m proud of you. ... Our defense really stepped up and did well.”

Swenson added, “We are missing six kids from our lineup due to our prom tonight. But our kids who stepped in did a great job. We had a hard time containing Tartan’s No. 6 (Natalie Herzog) and No. 22 (Ellie Tabaka) on offense, and I thought No. 14 (Taylor Roseen) did a good job against us on transition. But all in all, it was a good game for us.”

Over on the Tartan sidelines, head coach Phuong Le said, “We wanted to get the lead. It is always easier to play with the lead.

“We really played well today as a team. We had a couple of kids pick up three-goal hat tricks. So our offense played well.

“Then we stepped up on defense as well. Our goalie, Maggie Straka, must have at least a 70-percent save percentage today. She usually plays on offense, but she made a big difference in goal today, Le said.

“The big thing for us is to make progress each game. We did that today. I’m completely happy with the game today. We are 4-2 so far this season.”

The first half of the contest was a wild affair, with12 of the 16 total goals posted at the end of the first 25 minutes of action.

The Panthers logged the first goal just 1:53 into the fray. Two minutes later the Titans capped a great rush when Herzog fired and dented the twines.

The Panthers came right back with a pair of goals in less than a minute and moved to a 3-1 margin.

Jaimee Nowicki, on an assist from Tabaka, pulled the Titans within one at 14:05.

That did not deter the Panthers, who scored to push their lead back to two goals at 15:34.

At that point - with Rochester Century leading 4-2 - the Titans spurted ahead with four straight tallies.

Goals by Nowicki, Roseen with an assist to Herzog, Herzog and Grace Minder, moved the Titans into a two-goal lead.

The Panthers narrowed it to one goal with just eight seconds left in the half. But Tartan won the ensuing faceoff and saw Tabaka race in on goal. She fired a shot that found the target as time ran out to give the Titans a 7-5 lead at the halfway mark in the game.

An early second-half penalty to the Panthers gave the Titans an opportunity they did not waste.

At 1:36 into the second stanza Tabaka picked up her third goal of the game. Still on the power play, at 3:47 Nowicki dented the back mesh for her third of the contest that gave the Titans a 9-5 lead.

Rochester Century came back in the second half on two occasions, but it could draw no closer than a two-goal deficit and Tartan gained the 9-7 final.

The Titans will next play at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 8, at East Ridge. They stay on the road for a 6 p.m., Tuesday, May 13, game at Park of Cottage Grove.

They return home for a 6 p.m. Thursday, May 15, match against the Woodbury Royals.

Wally Wakefield can be reached at


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