His team trailing by four goals in the opening minutes against visiting Long Reach on Friday, Wilde Lake coach Michael Rhodovi insists that he wasn’t concerned with making any major adjustments.
He simply implored his young team to regroup and get back to playing its brand of lacrosse.
Starting with freshman Gia Johnson taking control of the draw, the Wildecats heeded the words of their coach and slowly began changing the momentum in the late stages of the opening half and then kept things going into the second on the way to earning a come-from-behind 10-9 victory on senior night.
“It wasn’t really any major changes in philosophy or anything like that, we simply needed to get possession and not be completely reliant on starting offense from back on the defensive end of the field,” Rhodovi said. “We felt like it started the with the draw and Gia really stepped up individually in that area and then Lia [Carlesi] was able to get control on the wing. Once we started getting the ball down the field a little, the game changed.”
Long Reach (3-3, 8-3) still led 5-2 going into halftime, with Leah McClelland (4 goals) accounting for three of those first-half scores for the Lightning.
But Wilde Lake (3-4, 6-6) came out and scored five of the next six goals in the first 10 minutes out of intermission to take its first lead of the game at 7-6. Sara Moody and Carlesi each had a pair of goals during the run.
Long Reach tied the game at 7-7 on a goal by Erin O’Reilly (3 goals) with 10:20 remaining in regulation. But Wilde Lake continued pushing forward to score three more unanswered goals to take a lead it never lost again.
The Lightning scored twice in the final two minutes, but were unable to get possession one last time to try and get the equalizer.
Wilde Lake goalie Anna Boyer (7 saves) made several big stops down the stretch to help keep her team ahead.
After going 3-10 overall a season ago, the Wildecats have now doubled that win total this spring.
“It’s been a fun season. Ginger [Kincaid] and I have had a blast coaching this team,” Rhodovi said. “As a young team, we look forward to the future, but at the same time I’m very proud of my seniors and everything that they have done.”
On the other side, Long Reach is still enjoying a historic season of its own. At 8-3, the Lightning have guaranteed themselves of finishing with the first winning record in program history. Previously, the best mark for a Long Reach girls lacrosse team came from the 2006 group that finished .500 at 8-8 overall.
Wilde Lake (3-4, 6-6) — 10, Long Reach (3-3, 8-3) — 9
Goals: WL — Carlesi 3, Moody 3, Hunter 2, Pittman 1, Johnson 1; LR — McClelland 4, O’Reilly 3, Adigwe 1, Wong 1.
Assists: WL — Johnson; LR — Owens 2.
Saves: WL — Boyer 7; LR — Valdez 2.