The Walton girls lacrosse team is no stranger to playing teams from the Old Line State, but Saturday's game against Manchester Valley marked the first meeting between the Raiders from Marietta, Ga. and the Mavericks.
Man Valley held off the Raiders 13-11 at Yeardley Love Field on Notre Dame Prep's campus, marking the third straight victory for the Mavs as they close out non-county play for the remainder of April.
Senior midfielder Lizzie Colson paced the Mavs' offense with four goals and juniors Rayna Deltuva and Anna Geist notched three goals apiece. Junior midfielder Beanie Colson added two goals and Geist also added a pair of assists in the victory.
"We came out a bit weak at first and hit some weak spots," Lizzie Colson said. "It wasn't our best game but we came out, got the 'W' and learned some things like how to play under pressure and what we needed to do in different situations.
"It was a learning game for us and overall I think we did well."
After Walton's first goal, Colson powered off two back-to-back scores to get the Mavs (5-1) up early. Beanie Colson followed with her first tally of the day with 16 minutes, 16 seconds to go to give the Mavericks a 3-1 lead.
Walton never let the Mavs lead by more than three in the first and the Raiders tied the score 6-6 with 3 minutes, 17 seconds to go. Lizzie Colson's third tally put Man Valley up 7-6 to close out the half.
Neither team scored in the first seven minutes of the second frame until sophomore attacker Lauren Cremen tossed in a free position tally with 18 minutes on the clock. Lindsay Epstein garnered a free position of her own for Walton to cut the deficit to 9-7 and the Raiders pressed the Mavs' defense harder.
The Raiders scored three goals in a four minute span to try and catch the Mavs but MV held on for the win.
"We made some adjustments at halftime to our defense and what we were going to do and those helped us take away some of their cutters," MV coach Shelly Brezicki said. "They're a great team and have a lot of offenseive talent so we knew coming in we had to stop their threat, they like to feed in the eight so we did a good job of denying those inside cuts."
Dancing, according to Lizzie Colson, is an effective way to relieve any pre-game stress. If her younger sister Beanie feels tense before taking the field, Lizzie knows how to help.
"She's very encouraging and knows exactly what to say to make me think more positive and help me stay pumped up," Beanie Colson said.
Three Colson sisters shared the lacrosse field at Manchester Valley in the last two years. Stephanie Colson now plays at Gettysburg College and Lizzie will carry her talents to Maryland next spring.
With Stephanie gone, the younger Colsons have been each other's driving force on, and off the field.
"It's awesome," Lizzie Colson said. "You have a best friend on the field with you and at home. She helps me get better every day, not just at practice but at home. We talk about lacrosse and having a best friend and sister all in one is really great for pushing yourself."