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SECTION IV GIRLS LACROSSE: OWEGO COMEBACK BID COMES UP SHORT (2024-03-26)

By TIM TAYLOR
Tioga County Sports Report
OWEGO — The Owego girls lacrosse team made a valiant comeback bid in the second half of Tuesday’s Section IV clash with Windsor, but the Black Knights were able to turn the host away for a 10-5 victory.

“Unfortunately Saturday, our play day got canceled due to weather, so this was really our first time seeing another team this season,” Owego coach Ashlee Marsh said. “We just had some first game jitters that we had to work out and we came out the second half ready to play, and I think if we played like that the whole game, it would've been a different story.”

The River Hawks surrendered a trio of goals late in the first quarter, then gave up three more late in the second period.

Owego turned the tide in its own favor in the third quarter, putting three balls in the back of the net in less than four minutes.

Lexi Herceg put the River Hawks on the scoreboard at 9:28, then added a second tally at 6:41. Madison McEvoy got in on the action with her first goal of the night at 5:43.

McEvoy tacked on a quick score just 33 second into the final frame, closing the gap to 6-4.

“They definitely picked up their intensity the second half,” Marsh said. “We were taking better shots the second half. Our defense was crashing better and coming together. If we had kind of figured that out a little bit earlier before we went on that scoring run ... “

Windsor was able to regroup and Payton Otis chalked up her fourth goal of the evening just 19 seconds later.

The Knights would stretch their advantage to 9-4 on back-to-back scores by Taylen Flynn at 10:22 and 3:33.

Herceg would pick up a hat trick goal at 1:25, then the visitors added one more with 20.5 seconds remaining.

Windsor was solid with its first half possessions, but couldn’t master the Owego defense for nearly nine minutes until Otis collected her initial goal at 3:16.

The Knights put Owego on its heels with another goal 20 seconds later, this one by Elsie Conway. Danika Smith made it 3-0 with 15.9 seconds left in the period.

The River Hawks’ defense stepped up again to get the second quarter going, holding Windsor scoreless for more than nine minutes before Otis and Conway scored 37 seconds apart, at 2:58 and 2:21.

Otis picked up her hat trick with 3.9 ticks on the clock for a 6-0 halftime advantage.

Windsor kept Owego goalie Shannon Maslin busy for much of the contest. The junior keeper made 14 saves. Bryanna Snowball had nine for the Knights.

Oriah Boland and McEvoy contributed one assist each to the scoring effort. McEvoy amassed eight caused turnovers and won three draws. Boland had four caused turnovers, Ashleigh Steele added three and Mikayla Wilbur tacked on two.

The draws weighed in the Knights’ favor as they won 11 to Owego’s five.

Marsh said she will try some different people and try to figure out what will work to make the River Hawks more competitive in the draws.

“(I’m) a really big believer in to win the draw you just have to be aggressive and make sure that everyone's going to the ball, so we definitely have some things to work on there and hopefully we'll do better next time.”

Owego is back on the field Thursday night, hosting Whitney Point at 6:45 p.m.

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IN PHOTO 1: Owego’s Lexi Herceg. ... PHOTOS BY TIM TAYLOR.

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