Langley girls’ lacrosse edges Westfield on a late goal

April 10, 2012

Not a single player on the Langley girls’ varsity lacrosse roster is listed as a defender. And for long stretches of Tuesday’s non-district matchup with Westfield, there appeared to be no defensive players on the field — for either team.

But with the clock winding down in a tie game on a blustery night in McLean, the Saxons proved their ability to defend with the game on the line.

After watching Westfield wind more than 21 / 2 minutes off the clock, junior midfielder Hayley Soutter’s stick-check behind the goal forced a loose ball. She scooped it up and burst down the field where she found a cutting Olivia Sisson who fired home the game-winning goal with 55 seconds left, giving the Saxons a thrilling 13-12 victory.

“They were stalling, so we went out and broke it,” Soutter said. “I got a check, and I didn’t want to throw it away, so I just ran it down the field. I passed it to Olivia, and she got it in. We pulled it together at the last minute.”

Langley (4-1) came out firing from the start, reeling off three straight goals after Westfield’s opener to take a 3-1 lead barely three minutes into the contest. But the Bulldogs (5-1) stormed back on the stick of sophomore Molly O’Sullivan, who scored her team’s first three goals and then tallied twice in the final 13 seconds of the first half to send the teams into the break tied at 7.

“She’s so quick, she would switch hands and shoot this weird side-shot,” Soutter said of O’Sullivan. “You just couldn’t stop her.”

Senior attack Margo Swomley and Sisson scored in a 50-second span to push Langley back out in front to start the second half, but Westfield’s Katie Manning answered on a nifty feed from O’Sullivan.

Swomley’s pressure on Westfield goalie Tatum Roessler forced a turnover in front, but Swomley couldn’t corral the ball quickly enough to shove it into the open net. The Bulldogs grabbed the momentum from there, scoring four more goals in a row while Roessler stopped a pair of eight-meter shots by the Saxons.

Grace Goettman’s eight-meter goal with 8 minutes 23 seconds remaining pulled Langley within 12-10 and snapped a 14-minute scoring drought for the Saxons. Sisson and Jordan Simonides scored to pull Langley level, setting up Westfield’s final possession.

“We were really trying to play high pressure and not let them run down the clock for a final shot,” Sisson said. “We just tried to double the ball and force them to make a mistake.”

O’Sullivan finished with a game-high seven goals for Westfield, while Sisson led Langley with five. Goettman, Swomley and Soutter each scored twice for the Saxons, who face defending Virginia state champion Madison (6-0) on Friday.

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