Moorestown (N.J.) 9,
St. Stephen's/St. Agnes 8
It was the type of competition that Jenny Hauser and the second-ranked St. Stephen's/St. Agnes girls' lacrosse team had been waiting for the entire season.
And even when yesterday's final-minute comeback against New Jersey power Moorestown ended in a 9-8 overtime loss, there was only so much the Saints could have been unhappy about.
"I'm not upset we lost at all, they're such a good team," said Hauser, who scored her second goal of the game with 55 seconds to play in regulation to force extra time. "We've been going through some games where the other teams get four goals and we'll get like 20. Towards the end of the season we're thinking 'Moorestown, Moorestown, Moorestown,' but you can't prepare for anything until you actually get in the game."
About the only thing each team was going to be prepared for was the close game itself, which the Saints (15-2) hadn't seen many of this season. Last season, the two standout programs battled to a 6-5 decision won by the Saints at Moorestown -- a result remembered vividly by the Quakers.
"It's a great feeling, we had a huge revenge factor," said Moorestown midfielder Megan O'Malley, who scored the only goal in overtime with seven seconds remaining in the first three-minute segment of extra time. "We wanted it so bad that we were saying, 'We're not traveling three-and-a-half hours to lose this game today.' "
They certainly had reason to be concerned when Hauser, the school's all-time leading scorer, started to produce by giving the Saints their only lead at 7-6 with a low left-handed shot with just more than five minutes to play.
The senior midfielder struck again late in regulation to force overtime by circling the crease and beating Moorestown goalie Erica Page (13 saves) with a snapping shot to the lower left-hand side of the goal.
"In the first half I really didn't do much, and the coach told me I had to get in the game," Hauser said. "When I got [the ball late], I was thinking 'I have another chance, let's get this."
Even after Hauser scored, it still took a clever sliding stop from goalie Kendall McBrearty in the final 30 seconds to keep it tied and then the Saints had to avoid a near disaster when McBrearty had the ball taken from her on a restart near midfield as she tried to run out the clock.
Carter Foote had three goals and Jennifer Holden added two for the Saints, who had scored 14 or more goals in eight of their last nine games.