Second half penalties cost MAU against Rice
BENNINGTON — Lacrosse is a game predicated on runs.
Whichever team can sustain their run for the longest time puts themselves in a good position to come out on top.
Rice made a six-goal run early in the second half and that was enough grab an 11-9 win against the Mount Anthony girls lacrosse team Saturday afternoon at Vets Home Field.
MAU was up 8-5 early in the second half, but the Knights began chipping away from there. Lisa McNamara scored soon after on a free position and Saige Biddle cut the lead to one. From there, McNamara started to take over. She scored the next two goals to put her at four for the day and give Rice its first lead.
Biddle added two more and put the game out of reach.
Penalties played a major part in the Knights making their second-half run. A penalty early in the half by Avery Galle allowed Rice more room to use its speed to drive to the net and MAU couldn't keep up.
When the Patriots were down by three with four minutes left, MAU was called for a pair of penalties in a two-minute stretch. That effectively ended any chance they had of making a comeback, being two players down for part of that late-game stretch.
Playing multiple girls down really didn't give MAU any chance to grab possession and Rice could stall as much as it wanted.
The Patriots know cleaning up those mistakes will be critical moving forward.
"The yellow cards really killed us. They took advantage on that yellow card that Avery [Galle] had," said MAU co-coach Whitney Brooks. "Those four minutes at the end of a lacrosse game, you can get so many goals, but we ended up getting two yellows, which really hurt us. [Rice] capitalized on it and were able to stall us."
Rice used its speed throughout the contest to keep MAU off guard. McNamara's speed, in particular, really stood out, as she could get to the net at will to get the Knights great offensive chances.
Especially during that Galle penalty early in the second half, McNamara's aggressiveness on the attack really showed.
McNamara and Biddle both had four goals, while Hadley Murphy had three for Rice.
"We knew [Lisa McNamara] was a really high scorer, but they are just so fast.," Brooks said. "[McNamara] scored a handful of those goals when we were a man down on defense. For a team to be able to emphasize on a small error, it just goes to show good of a team they are. We just really need to work on our fouls."
Even with the rough end to the game, there was plenty of positives to take from Saturday for MAU.
The Patriots controlled the majority of possession in the first and their offensive approach showed poise as they found the right passes and looked for the right shots.
Galle started the scoring early in the first and the senior did a great job finding open teammates throughout the half, assisting on multiple goals.
While Rice used its sheer speed to develop its scoring chances, MAU had a more patient approach and it worked very well in the first half.
"We're trying to step back and let them figure out what they want to do out there, instead of micromanaging them," said Patriots co-coach Emily Cross. "We didn't tell them what to do. They just went out there and did what they thought was right, so we're really proud of them stepping up and doing that."
Galle led the way for MAU with four goals, while Caroline Musinski had a pair. Amber Metcalfe, Marisa Rabidaeu and Abby Farrington all had one tally.
The Patriots drop to 3-7 on the season. MAU looks to snap a two-game skid against Rutland at home on Tuesday.
Adam Aucoin can be reached at email@example.com and followed at @AAucoin_Banner on Twitter.
TALK TO US
If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.