MANCHESTER — Manchester Valley knows what it's like to be in a dogfight this season, winning two games by a goal and losing another one by the same score.
Saturday afternoon wasn't one of those times.
Junior attacker Kyleigh Masteran and senior midfielder Beanie Colson combined for nine goals as the Mavericks topped Hereford, 19-6, in the championship game of the Manchester Valley Lacrosse Tournament at Man Valley on Saturday.
"We have come a long ways in the last two weeks as a team," Mavericks coach Shelly Brezicki said. "One of the things we struggled with early on is finding that chemistry. That was the difference today. We had tons of chemistry. We were able to move the ball. We knew where our teammates were. We were playing as one."
The Mavericks (7-1) hit the Bulls with two goals in the first 1:33 when junior midfielder Taylor Warehime scored on a shot to the upper left corner past Hereford goalie Sam Swoop after collecting a pass from Masteran. Warehime struck again on a low shot to make it 2-0.
Colson and Anna Geist added goals for MV over the next four minutes to increase the lead to 4-0. Senior goalie Kate Brewster got off to a strong start, making three of her 10 first-half saves during the team's four-goal spurt, including a point-blank attempt from Bulls' Caroline Peterson.
"Their goalie kept in the game early and that swung the momentum," Hereford coach Anne Ensor said. "They weren't bad shots. She made some phenomenal saves."
Man Valley's quick start forced Ensor to call timeout, but it didn't slow down the hosts - the Mavs boosted their lead to 6-0 a little more than six minutes into play.
Hereford (6-2) finally broke through with 15:56 left in the first half when Anna Brandt scored off a feed from Bella Peterson to trim the deficit to 6-1. Man Valley responded with back-to-back goals from Becca Ruiz and Lauren Cremen over the next seven minutes.
After Peterson scored to cut the deficit to 8-2 with 7:53 to go, the Mavericks outscored the Bulls, 4-1, for the remainder of the half.
MV started the second half strong, forcing a running clock after Cremen scored on a free position shot 1:19 into play. Colson and Masteran each found the back of the net over the next two minutes to make it 15-3. Cremen finished with two goals and four assists and Warehime notched a hat trick.
"We are moving in the right direction," Brezicki said. "We focused on what we needed to do: cleaning up our transition, pressing without fouling and playing clean defense. I thought we did all of that."
The three-time Class 2A/1A state champions beat Centennial 15-6 in the semifinal game, scoring the first 10 goals to take a 10-1 lead into halftime. Warehime scored five and Masteran and Cremen each scored three to power Man Valley past the Eagles.
Goals: MV-Kyleigh Masteran 5, Beanie Colson 4, Tayler Warehime 3, Lauren Cremen 2, Anna Geist 2, Chloe Coppa, Hannah Justice, Becca Ruiz; H-Steph Joyce 2, Graeme Eber, Bella Peterson, Anna Brandt, Libby May.
Assists: MV-Cremen 4, Masteran 3, Geist 3, Seipp 1; H-Peterson, Gracie Sanders.
Saves: MV-12 (Kate Brewster); H-7 (Sam Swope).
Halftime: MV, 12-3.