Pioneers down Titans on last-second goal

Cayot scores five, including game-winner

The Hill-Murray Pioneers' potent girls lacrosse forces were able to overcome a valiant Tartan Titans comeback Thursday, April 16.

The Titans fell just short when the Pioneers scored the winning goal with only 1.6 seconds remaining on the scoreboard.  The goal was the fifth tally by Hill-Murray sophomore forward Caroline Cayot, who led her team to an 8-7 victory.

Following the game, the Hill-Murray ace said, "I couldn't have done it without the teammates. I love scoring goals and making assists.

"I try to make as many goals as I can when I'm on the field," the happy Cayot said.

Hill-Murray head coach Theresa Boyd agreed with Cayot's assessment when she said, "She is one of our scoring leaders. She is always very feisty down in the attack zone.

"She has an eye for the goal. If there is anybody you want to have the ball at the end of the game when we need a goal, it is her."

Then Boyd added, "Tartan came back really well. ... We started off the game really well, and then in the second half we just couldn't find the back of the net. Defensively, we weren't communicating very well, and that worked to

Tartan's advantage. But we stepped it [up] right at the end and were able to get the victory."

"It was a tough loss," Tartan coach Phuong Le said. "Our offense wasn't there in the first half. We came on offensively in the second half. Our goalie [Olivia Schultz] was truly outstanding." She had 14 saves and many were from pointblank range.

"Every year games against Hill-Murray are tight like this," Le said. "We will meet them again later in the season, and hopefully our offense will be there the whole game. It is always good competition. It was a good game for us."

Hill-Murray gained the early advantage when Hannah Ondrusik found the back of the Tartan goal at 23:32, just 1.28 into the fray.

It was Cayot at 5:41 with her first of the contest to make the count 2-0. Seven minutes later at 12:42 Cayot dented the back twines for a 3-0 score.

The Titans' Sydney Fedorowski then hit pay dirt at 16:21, and the Pioneers' Ondrusik answered with a goal at 22:38 of the first half.

From the faceoff at center field the Pioneers controlled the ball, and Cayot finished a good run with a tally just 10 seconds later at 22:48.

Titans rally to gain lead

With time closing in on the end of the first half, the Titans began their comeback when Taylor Roseen sent a brisk feed to the wicket of Brianna Greiskalns, who wasted no time scoring Tartan's second goal at 23:43.

Inspired by the score the Titans again went on the attack, and it paid off when Natalie Herzog fired a laser shot into the Hill-Murray net at 24:14.

The first half ended with a flurry of goals, and Hill-Murray owning a 5-3 advantage.

The second half opened with Tartan on the attack and just 59 seconds into the second stanza it was Herzog who made it 5-4.

A Tartan tally was disallowed because of an infraction during what was a cacophony of whistles.

But the disallowed goal didn't faze Tartan, and Herzog picked up her hat trick from nine yards in front to knot the score at 5-5 at 10:26 into the second half.

Just over 20 seconds later the Titans moved to a 6-5 advantage when Herzog put the ball into the wicket of speedster Ellie Tabaka. The Titans' Athena Award recipient scooted past two defenders and from in close fired a shot between the Hill-Murray pipes to give Tartan a 6-5 lead at 10:48.

The Titans continued their offensive effort when Roseen fed Zoe Culshaw-Klein, who put the Titans ahead 7-5 with a goal at 12:51.

It was now time for the Hill-Murray Pioneers to mount a comeback. A pressured attack paid off when Cayot fired a shot that hit the back of the Tartan net at 20:58.

It was 7-6 when Ondrusik garnered her third tally at 24:14 to level the count at 7-7.

With time getting close to the end, Hill-Murray had the ball in the Tartan end and with 14 seconds left called timeout to set up a strategy.

Play resumed and Cayot had the ball as seconds ticked away. She made her way to the front of the Tartan goal and with just 1.6 seconds on the clock put the ball into the net to give the Pioneers an exciting 8-7 win.

Wally Wakefield can be reached at wwakefield@lillienews.com or at 651-748-7820.
 

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