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Girls Lacrosse

CV falls 12-5; still in search of 1st win

Cougars’ strong second half not enough in loss

  • The ConVal girls lacrosse team lost to Derryfield, 12-5, on Monday, April 29, 2013. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal girls lacrosse team lost to Derryfield, 12-5, on Monday, April 29, 2013. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal girls lacrosse team lost to Derryfield, 12-5, on Monday, April 29, 2013. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal girls lacrosse team lost to Derryfield, 12-5, on Monday, April 29, 2013. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal girls lacrosse team lost to Derryfield, 12-5, on Monday, April 29, 2013. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal girls lacrosse team lost to Derryfield, 12-5, on Monday, April 29, 2013. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal girls lacrosse team lost to Derryfield, 12-5, on Monday, April 29, 2013. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal girls lacrosse team lost to Derryfield, 12-5, on Monday, April 29, 2013. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal girls lacrosse team lost to Derryfield, 12-5, on Monday, April 29, 2013. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal girls lacrosse team lost to Derryfield, 12-5, on Monday, April 29, 2013. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal girls lacrosse team lost to Derryfield, 12-5, on Monday, April 29, 2013. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal girls lacrosse team lost to Derryfield, 12-5, on Monday, April 29, 2013. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal girls lacrosse team lost to Derryfield, 12-5, on Monday, April 29, 2013. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal girls lacrosse team lost to Derryfield, 12-5, on Monday, April 29, 2013. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal girls lacrosse team lost to Derryfield, 12-5, on Monday, April 29, 2013. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

It was not the ideal start for a team forced into rebuilding.

The ConVal girls lacrosse team had very little time outside prior to the season opener and having lost nine of 12 starters from last year’s playoff team, the Cougars could have used all the preparation time they could get.

And with one of the more difficult schedules in Division III to begin the 2013 campaign, coach Cher McClelland knew it would be a bit of a rocky start. After Monday’s 12-5 loss to Derryfield, the Cougars fell to 0-6 on the season entering Wednesday’s trip to undefeated Kearsarge — a team ConVal lost to 14-3 in the home opener.

“I knew it was going to be tough, but I don’t know if the girls knew it was going to be that tough, so it’s mentally wearing on them right now,” said McClelland. “They need a win.”

Through the first five games, the Cougars had already twice played Windham — the reigning Division III champion — Kearsarge, as well as Hopkinton and Bishop Brady, teams that stand in the top five of the division. And Derryfield went into Monday’s contest with a 4-1 mark.

While things have not gone the Cougars’ way so far this season, McClelland has seen the progress. She just believes the team needs a win for the players to see just how far they have come since practice began in mid-March.

“The improvement I’m seeing is great,” said McClelland

With only three starters back and a number of new players to the varsity level, McClelland knew it would be a process to get to where she believes this team can go.

The first half on Monday was rough. ConVal senior Haley Webber scored the Cougars’ lone goal of the opening 25 minutes, while Derryfield scored eight times, including a hat trick from Atlee Coler, and six unanswered goals to make it a seven-goal deficit at the break. Three of the goals were scored in the final 1:39 of the half.

“They’re just young, so they make some decisions that a more seasoned player wouldn’t make,” said McClelland.

Then something changed at the break. The players could have easily gone through the motions of the final 25 minutes, yet that was far from the case. The Cougars came out and really controlled most of the second half. They possessed the ball, made good passes and attacked the Derryfield defense. Even if there was little chance of a complete comeback, the players were ready to try.

“The second half was awesome and that’s what I tried to tell them to focus on,” said McClelland. “They’re not going to give up. They don’t give up, ever. They would rather play as hard as they can then give up.”

Junior Zoe Paige drove all the way from the midfield line for ConVal’s second goal and Amanda Merritt followed with a tally to cut it to 9-3. After a Derryfield score, Meghan Close made the most of a whistle inside the circle with a low bouncing shot past Derryfield goalie Cat Greet to make it 10-4. Sarah Kolk showed the fight of the ConVal group, scoring with just seven seconds left.

Now the team just needs to take more advantage of the scoring chances.

“We’re working on shooting to spaces. A lot of our shots seem to be direct and easier for the goalie to read,” said McClelland. “We have girls on our team that can shoot, we just have to work on it.”

Goalie Lilly Grisafi finished with 11 saves, including three in the second half from point blank range. ConVal travels to Pelham today.

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