Walled off by a pair of Stone Bridge defenders on the left side of the net, Westfield junior Meghan Heick appeared out of scoring options. Early in the second half of Thursday’s Virginia AAA Northern Section girls’ lacrosse quarterfinal, Heick could have kept the play alive by simply dumping a pass back to a teammate.
Instead, the lefty midfielder bent low and fired a shot to her dominant side with her stick nearly touching the turf. With Heick falling down, the ball skittered through the goalie’s legs to the back of the net for an improbable goal.
In No. 8 Westfield’s 15-11 victory at home, Heick and junior Molly O’Sullivan specialized in creating offense by any means necessary. The pair combined for 10 goals and four assists as the Bulldogs moved within a win of their first state tournament appearance since 2008.
Westfield advances to a Wednesday section semifinal against Langley, which beat W.T. Woodson, 16-8.
“That’s one of those ‘Heck yeah’ goals,” said Heick, who had four goals and two assists. “When you get one, it starts to feel like it’s your game again. To start the second half like that really got the ball rolling.”
The teams needed overtime to decide their regular season meeting, which Westfield won, 14-13. The rematch appeared headed that way for most of the opening half until Heick and O’Sullivan sparked the run that put Westfield (17-1) in control.
Starting with O’Sullivan’s goal that made it 6-5 with 4 minutes 52 seconds left in the first half, the pair combined for the team’s next six goals, including Heick’s highlight-reel tally. Less than three minutes into the second half, O’Sullivan scored off a pass from senior Katie Manning to put Westfield up 11-6 less, and the lead reached as many as seven goals down the stretch.
“We kind of get into grooves,” O’Sullivan said. “We were getting almost every draw and taking good shoots, just playing well as a team.”
O’Sullivan had missed most of the first matchup against Stone Bridge (12-5) on March 19, watching from the sideline days after she was hospitalized with a high fever. She finally talked her way into action in the closing minutes in that one to help Westfield pull out the narrow victory.
This time, the junior midfielder played the whole way and made a difference, finishing with six goals and two assists. When the defense sagged to stop her, Heick and junior Grace Horgan (three goals) took advantage.
Heick has been playing with O’Sullivan since third grade and said she’s come to rely on her high-scoring partner for support in crunch time.
“We’re really close on and off the field,” said Heick, who is committed to Virginia. “It’s so good to have her out there. When she’s not, it’s like I’m missing my right hand.”
Junior Megan Ellis led Stone Bridge with five goals.