Glenelg Country girls lacrosse comes back to upset Notre Dame Prep in season opener

Glenelg Country girls lacrosse goalkeeper Avery Dyer knew if Hannah Mardiney received the ball near the net, she would shoot it. So, Dyer readied herself as Notre Dame Prep searched for the equalizer with about 90 seconds to play Tuesday afternoon.

Sure enough, Mardiney received a pass a few feet to the left of Dyer. And instead of facing the goal, Mardiney flung a no-look attempt over her shoulder with the hopes of catching Dyer off guard.

Her trick shot failed, but not because of poor execution. Dyer just made yet another crucial save in a game full of them as the Dragons went on to secure a 10-9 upset win over the Blazers, who entered the season as the No. 5 team in the country by US Lacrosse Magazine.

“They have a great team over there,” Notre Dame Prep coach Mac Ford said. “The goalie got really hot — that was the difference — and they even played man down for part of the game and they gutted it out. They were just a little bit better on ground balls and in the draw circle they were a little bit better than we were today.”

Dyer made 13 saves for Glenelg Country (1-0 IAAM A Conference, 1-0) in their season-opening home win, while junior Alli Bateman recorded a hat trick and Hannah Glaros, Shay Ahearn and Kate Sites added two goals apiece. Sophomore Lindsey Marshall rounded out the scoring for a Dragons team that found themselves down, 5-0, about 15 minutes into the game.

“I thought we came out, and we were really kind of passive,” coach Brian Reese said. “We didn’t communicate on defense very much and we didn’t get the draws. So I think just fighting for every draw and starting to play our defense, which is communication, constant help and keeping our sticks up.”

Glaros finally got Glenelg Country on the scoreboard with 12 minutes, 29 seconds left in the first half, but Notre Dame regained the five-goal advantage by scoring less than two minutes later.

However, the Blazers did not score the rest of the half, which allowed the Dragons — behind goals from Ahearn and Sites — to pull within 6-3 before intermission.

The lopsided play continued after the break, as Notre Dame Prep scored the opening goal of the period but then allowed five unanswered strikes, the last of which gave the Dragons their first lead with about 10 minutes to play. Less than 30 seconds later, Sites, a Leonardtown transfer, doubled that advantage.

Eventually, the Blazers broke through Dyer’s seemingly impenetrable wall in front of net. Their eighth goal, and the first in almost 17 minutes, brought them within one with about five minutes remaining in regulation. And even after Dyer snagged Mardiney’s no-look shot, the Blazers scored the equalizer with flawless execution on a play they drew up during a timeout.

That goal knotted the game at nine with 51.7 seconds to go.

It also set up Bateman to be the hero, because with 26.9 seconds on the clock, her free position shot pierced the back of the net to all but seal one of Glenelg Country’s biggest wins since joining the IAAM A Conference before last season.

“It started with the defense,” Dyer said. “The defense really helped me out, and then we started getting the draws and started finishing. It was all a team effort. We all just worked together.”

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