By Zach Shugan
ALPHARETTA, Ga. —Back and forth they went. For 50-plus minutes Tuesday night, the Alpharetta and Cambridge girls lacrosse teams battled it out and traded goals, with neither side leading by more than three goals at any point. Alpharetta’s biggest lead was one goal, but one goal is all it takes to decide a game.
After three straight Cambridge goals put Alpharetta down 13-10 in the second half, the Lady Raiders got back up and mounted a comeback to defeat Class 6A-7A’s No. 10-ranked Bears, 17-16, with sophomore Ashley Moran scoring the game winner in overtime.
Cambridge senior Hailey Toeppner had the hot hand from the get-go for the Bears. The senior signed to Duquesne University scored a team-high six goals, including a hat trick in the game’s first 10 minutes.
Sophomore Ashley Moran established herself early as Alpharetta’s primary option on offense. Moran scored four goals in the first half and finished with a game-high seven goals. A goal by Moran with 12 seconds left in the first half sent the teams to halftime tied 8-8.
Alpharetta also received a hefty contribution from sophomore Anna Farrar, who scored six goals, five of which came in the second half.
Down by a goal with less than a minute remaining in the second half, Alpharetta needed a score to extend the game and keep their hopes of winning alive. The Lady Raiders got the score they needed, as Lula Masters caught a pass from Claire McDonald and took a shot on goal. The ball bounced through the legs of Cambridge goalie Haleigh Manning and up into the net, tying the game at 16 with 27 seconds left on the clock.
Cambridge won the ensuing draw and had a shot on goal, but Alpharetta goalie Liz DeShazor came up with a save to keep the score even and force overtime.
Alpharetta won the opening draw of the three-minute overtime period and went to work on offense.
A penalty on Cambridge gave Farrar free position, but she didn’t take a shot herself. Farrar tossed the ball to Moran, who caught it and took a gather step before ripping a shot to the back of the net and giving Alpharetta the victory.
Alpharetta entered the game right ahead of Cambridge in the Area 2 standings, and the win gave the third-place Lady Raiders (4-2 area record) a bit more cushion in the playoff race. Alpharetta also won Wednesday night in a non-area game against Greater Atlanta Christian, improving to 8-5 overall.
For Cambridge (6-6, 2-3), the loss was its fourth in a row, three of which have been area contests. The Bears’ three area losses have come to the top three teams in the area standings: Milton, Roswell and Alpharetta.
The Bears are scheduled to play next Apr. 1 in a non-area game against Kell. Their final opportunity to improve their standing in the area (and their chances at making the state playoffs) is Apr. 16 at North Atlanta.
The top four teams in the area standings at the conclusion of the regular season will advance to the 6A-7A state tournament, which begins Apr. 28.
|Team||area record||overall record|
|4. North Atlanta||(2-1)||(2-5)|