Above: Catherine Sprague sets for the shot on net against Lincoln. Photo by Chuck Nadeau
By Tommy Sprague
EG’s Girls Lacrosse team headed to Victory Field in Barrington Saturday afternoon to face some of their fiercest competition this season, last year’s Division I Champion Barrington Eagles.
The Avengers were rolling into this game, having recently defeated talented Portsmouth and Lincoln School teams. It was clear from looking at the pregame sideline that their successful mid-season record earned as a result of their elevated play and team bond that the team was full of confidence and energy. These Avengers did not seem fazed that they were about to play last year’s best team on their home grass. The Lavs came ready to battle.
The Avengers were on fire with the first whistle, scoring 6 unanswered goals in the first five minutes. Barrington was stunned and called an early time out, made adjustments and began their offensive drive. The Eagles’ draw control and possession turned the tide as they quickly made up the early deficit and, led by several talented DI commits, challenged the Avengers’ defense to their limits. At the end of the half, Barrington led East Greenwich 11 to 10. EG’s scoring offense stepped up with goals made by seven different Avengers – Mila Navarro had 3, Lindsey Rowe with 2, and one a piece for Eva Dufresne, Catherine Sprague, Julia Moore, Maeve Kiernan, and Helena Dunwoody.
In the second half, Barrington continued their draw control and launched an extensive attack on the Avengers. EG’s defense led by Izzy Gelzhiser, Olivia Prior, and Grace Birkett along with leadership in the net by Fiona Baxter limited the Eagles and put the ball back on the offensive side of the field. Helena Dunwoody added 5 to the board, and Maeve Kiernan and Catherine Sprague each netted 1. Exhausted and battered, both the Eagles and Avengers continued to fight and the lead went back and forth. As time expired, the game was tied at 17-17. The teams prepared for sudden death overtime – the first goal scored would win the game.
In OT, Barrington won position quickly and made a swift offensive toward the net. EG’s defense made it hard for the Eagles’ attack, but it was EG goalie Fiona Baxter that made a heroic save to stop Barrington’s shot. Post save, Baxter quickly rolled back behind the cage and cleared the ball, where it eventually landed in the stick of veteran Helena Dunwoody who drove to the net and launched her typical rocket to win the game.
Two days earlier (4/20/23), East Greenwich took on Lincoln School on Carcieri Field, and it proved a showcase for EG’s younger players, especially freshman Lindsey Rowe who, under tremendous pressure, scored at the 8 meter with 1.5 minutes left on the clock to put the Lavs up 10 to 9.
At the start of the Thursday game, Helena Dunwoody continued her reign at the draw by winning the majority of possessions at the whistle. Not to be deterred, the Lynxes pressed hard on defense, causing some unforced errors and giving the visitors many opportunities to get the ball on their end of the field. The Lynxes matched EG goal for goal in the first half. The duo of Dunwoody and Senior Captain Mila Navarro each scored 2 goals and the girls went into halftime with the score tied at 4-4.
With the score too close for comfort for both teams, each team’s offense came out hot and the shots on goal escalated. The defenses stepped up but both goalies ultimately were the last line of defense. Both goalies, EG’s Baxter and Lincoln’s senior Captain April Rowe, maintained confidence and concentration, made some clutch saves, and kept each of their teams in the hunt. The Avengers offensive remained determined with continued contributions from Navarro (1), Dunwoody (2), and sophomore Catherine Sprague who added 2 to the scoreboard. But, with the score tied in the final two minutes of the back-and-forth game, it was Rowe’s shot that would end the game.
These two wins put the Avengers in second place overall in the division with a 5-1 record. The team’s next game is Tuesday, April 25, at 6:30 p.m. at home against Prout. These Avengers are very fun to watch – come on out to cheer on this tremendous team. Let’s Go East!
Tommy Sprague is a team parent. Our thanks to him for covering Girls LAX. EG News is looking for similarly motivated sports enthusiasts to help us cover other EG sports. If you are interested, contact [email protected]. It’s a lot of fun!