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Girls lacrosse beats NWL

Parkland started the girls lacrosse season with a 19-4 loss to Southern Lehigh (5-2) before rebounding for a 16-3 win over Liberty (0-3) last week. This week opened with a game at Northwestern Lehigh, whose program has just one full season under their belts. While Northwestern was looking to knock off the Lady Trojans, Parkland (2-1) had enough to battle back for a 7-4 win over the Lady Tigers (2-4).

Sophie Marcotte scored a first-half goal to tie the game at one, but Northwestern Lehigh went up 2-1 before Maeve Leonzi scored the first of what would be four goals on the day, leaving the teams tied 2-2 going into halftime. Coach Dawn Cipolla wasn’t happy with her team’s play and is looking for them to continue improving on little things in their game.

“I’m proud of them that they fought back, but we just have to do better at the elementary stuff like taking care of the ball, running through ground balls and making the correct passes,” said Cipolla. “We’re building on it and we’re getting better each day. I’m not going to make excuses that we were locked down for 10 days before, but it is what it is.”

Northwestern Lehigh gained momentum early and stretched their lead to 4-2 on goals by Ava Collins and Claire Costa. The Lady Tigers were getting consistent pressure on goalkeeper Katey Kunz, but her play started to stiffen and the defenders in front of her slowed the attack from Northwestern.

Eventually, the momentum shifted, and Parkland started to be the dominant team, keeping the Tigers from getting any more pressure. The Lady Trojans began their comeback on back-to-back goals by Leonzi, tying the score at 4-4. Just 1:30 after her third goal, Leonzi struck again as Parkland took their first lead of the day at 5-4.

“We’re getting better, and I think that with not having a season last year it has taken us a little longer to gel, but we’re starting to really come together as a team,” said Leonzi, a senior. “We’ll be a better team later in the year than we are now just because of getting more time on the field.”

Parkland continued to dominate the play, but Northwestern Lehigh did get some opportunities around the mouth of the goal, only to have shots go wide or stopped by Kunz. Parkland started to slow the pace of the game but Marcotte netted her second goal of the game with 6:51 left in the game, giving the Lady Trojans a little more breathing room.

Northwestern again looked to gain momentum, but Parkland continued to slow the pace of the game and was able to keep the Lady Tigers from getting any further opportunities for goals.

“Northwestern was really good today,” said Cipolla. “They came out to play and they forced us to make a lot of mistakes. They’re very well coached and they’ve been a little surprising this year.”

PRESS PHOTO BY NANCY SCHOLZ Parkland's Emily Green carries the ball while Northwestern's Claire Costa defends.