Girls LAX: 12-11 Loss to Barrington to Start Season

by | Apr 4, 2024

Above: Maeve Kiernan puts up a firm defense. Photo by Chuck Nadeau

A tough test for the young Avenger team

By Tommy Sprague

Welcome to the 2024 East Greenwich girls lacrosse season! The Avengers hosted the Barrington Eagles for a highly anticipated opening match up Monday, April 1. EG knew the Eagles would still be sore from going 0-3 against EG in 2023, and anticipated them coming onto Carcieri Field fired up and determined to avenge their semi-final loss. After making it to the Division I state championship game last June, EG is hoping to see the same amount of success this season, but they know it will be tough after losing so many talented seniors whose performance was critical to the team’s championship run. The Avengers also have a new coach, Haley McCusker O’Keefe, after long-time coach Karen Lamont retired after last season. So much transition might lead outsiders to think this is going to be a rebuilding year for the Avengers squad but Coach Haley has hit the ground running and joining the team this year is a healthy transfusion of freshmen who are described as one of the most talented groups of players to ever play for EG. They seem to be almost instantly rebuilt.

On to the game action. In the first quarter sophomore Lindsey Rowe took command of the draw giving EG early and frequent possession. Juniors Catherine Sprague (1) and Maeve Kiernan (2) scored three quick goals to start the action. But early season jitters plagued EG, resulting in both forced and unforced turnovers. Barrington took advantage and matched the Avenger’s goal for goal, leading EG in the first quarter 4-3.  

Both teams attacked offensively in the second quarter. Lindsey Rowe and freshman Amaya Gomez each added goals, but it was the effort of East Greenwich’s freshman goalie Ella Mercurio who shined in her first start as an Avenger. Ms. Mercurio saved 9 goals in the second quarter, some of them back-to-back attacks on the keeper, limiting the Eagles to only two goals and keeping her team in the game.

In the second half, Barrington won more draws and capitalized on those possessions, getting up on the Avengers by three. Down but not out, EG surged back with more help from their freshman class. Midfielder Ava Halvorsen had an impressive hat trick (3) along with contributions from freshman attack Courtney Cavanaugh (1) along with two goals from senior captain Julia Moore, putting the Avengers on top by one goal within the final minutes of the game. However the Eagle’s defense was just too much for EG, creating turnovers which allowed Barrington to take a one goal lead. The Eagles effectively burned out the clock until the final whistle, beating the Avengers 12 to 11. 

Playing such a fierce opponent the first game of the season with such a young roster was a tough test for the Avengers. They can hold their heads high knowing that the building blocks are there. As this team continues to come together we can expect a high-powered offense along with a formidable defensive anchor will make for another exciting season.  

The Avengers next face the Lincoln School this Thursday at 4:15 p.m. at Faxon Farm in Rehoboth, Mass. Their next home game is on Monday, April 8, against Portsmouth at 6:30 p.m.

Tommy Sprague lives in East Greenwich. 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!

Ella Mercurio looks for an outlet after a save. Photo by Chuck Nadeau

Lindsey Rowe brings it out of her end. Photo by Chuck Nadeau

Tessa Charello-Ingegneri passes in the attack zone. Photo by Chuck Nadeau

Lindsey Ziady is pressured up the line. Photo by Chuck Nadeau

Eva Dufresne rushes upfield. Photo by Chuck Nadeau

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