Thanks to a prolonged scoring run following a competitive start, the C. Milton Wright Mustangs handled the Franklin Indians 16-6 to claim the 3A North Girls Regional Lacrosse Championship.
The Mustangs (12-3) will meet Huntingtown in this weekend’s 3A state semifinal. The game will be played Friday at 8 p.m. at Mt. Hebron High School.
Senior midfielder Taylor Marchetti carried most of the scoring load for the Mustangs with seven goals, including a hat trick in the first seven minutes of the game, while attacker Lydia Cassilly and junior midfielder Haley Cummins each added a pair of goals. Midfielder Aubrey Hoover, sophomore attacker Maddie Remeto and sophomore attacker/midfielder Kaitlyn Bagkowski also chipped in with scores.
“We’ve been working really hard all week,” Marchetti said. “This postseason we’ve been really clicking as a team and it showed today.”
The game started out as more of a back-and-forth affair, with sophomore midfielder Ava Washington putting the Indians on the board first with a strike 24 seconds into the opening period.
Not long after Franklin’s opening salvo, the Mustangs quickly answered back with three consecutive goals over the next minute. The first came at the 24:11 mark, 15 seconds after Washington’s goal, when Marchetti rifled one in to tie the game. Sixteen seconds later Marchetti capped off a rush up the middle with her second goal, giving the Mustangs their first lead of the game, a lead that they wouldn’t relinquish for the remainder of the game.
Franklin kept the game close for much of the early first half, with Washington’s scoring and freshman goalkeeper Loryn Jordon’s netminding holding their team above water. Washington’s breakaway goal following a Mustangs miscue shrunk the lead to 3-2 and after Hoover and Marchetti pushed the lead to 5-2 with consecutive goals in just over a minute, Wahington and Peyton Margerum widdled the lead back down to one a couple of moments later. But once Marchetti and Cassilly tacked on two more goals to extend the C.Milton Wright lead to 7-4 at the 17:14 and 16:40 marks in the first, respectively, the Mustangs began to take hold of the reins.
“We wanted to run the pace of the game,” C. Milton Wright head coach Faye Brust said. “We wanted to have the possessions, make sure we were in control and not let the defense dictate what we wanted to do, so I felt like we really capitalized on that.”
After Margerum’s goal, the Mustangs outscored the Indians 9-2 the rest of the way, including a 7-2 second-half advantage. Coming out of intermission, C. Milton Wright spent most of their possessions whipping the ball around and draining down the clock and any hope for Franklin to spark a comeback. On the occasions where Franklin worked their way into scoring position, the Mustang defenders clogged up any potential lanes, leading to some stagnant stretches that resulted in errant shots or lost possessions by the Indians, especially in the second half.
“We wanted to be on their hands, have that pressure on ball so that we could make sure that we’re not letting the easy feeds in or letting the easy drives in” Brust said. “As long as there was hard pressure on ball, we were controlling the defense rather than them controlling us.”