SHS Girls’ Lacrosse Opens Tourney With First-Round Win

Lea Adams fires off one of her two goals in Tuesday’s first-round state tournament victory for the Lady Knights over Whitman-Hanson.DAN CROWLEY/ENTERPRISE - Lea Adams fires off one of her two goals in Tuesday’s first-round state tournament victory for the Lady Knights over Whitman-Hanson.

A strong second half by Whitman-Hanson turned an 11-3 Sandwich lead at half-time into a two-point game with five minutes to play in the second half. But the sixth seeded Lady Knights (13-6) tacked on two more goals down the stretch to defeat the visiting 11th seeded Panthers (13-6) by a score of 16-12 in the first round of the MIAA Division 1 South Sectionals on Tuesday.

With the win Sandwich moves on to quarterfinal round play where it will face third seeded Needham (18-2-1) at a place and time to be determined.

Caroline McKenna, who led the scoring with five goals got things going for the Lady Knights just 1:42 into the game with a hard overhand shot from out in front of the Panther net off a pass from Annie White. Two minutes later White put Sandwich up 2-0.

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Whitman-Hanson cut into the early lead 5:31 into the game with a goal by Stephanie Warn, her first of six. but 16 seconds later Maggie Layo took a pass from McKenna off the draw and drilled the back of the W-H net. Beth McEntee made it 4-1 scoring on a run up the middle with 17:45 remaining in the half.

The Panthers got one back, but Layo took a pass from McEntee crossing from left to right and gave the Lady Knights a 5-2 lead.

Sandwich was moving the ball well in transition and pressuring the Panther defense. Carly Whittle bounced one in off a restart and Layo hit McKenna with a pass from behind the net for an 8-2 SHS lead. The Panthers scored their third with just over 10 minutes left in the half. The final 10 minutes belonged to Sandwich as the Lady Knights dominated the draw and hit for three more goals, two by White and one by Hailee Steele.

Sandwich controlled the opening half, but Whitman-Hanson came out in the second half with a much more aggressive offense. The Panthers began winning the draw, and with instant possession went after the Sandwich defense. W-H scored in the opening minute of the second half and added three more, making it an 11-7 game, before SHS was able to answer. With 16:40 left, White broke up the W-H four-goal run, with a goal assisted by Layo. Lea Adams then struck with an unassisted effort crossing from left to right and getting off a high shot that found the net, but the Panthers came right back with four more. Adams hit her second with 5:54 left to play, but Warn answered for Whitman-Hanson, cutting the Sandwich lead to 14-12.

A combination of W-H penalties and tough play up the middle by McKenna was more than the Panther defense could handle. Twice McKenna beat W-H goalie Rachel Kelly in the final minutes. Whitman-Hanson fought back in the final seconds slamming a shot off the pipe. Meg Reardon then scooped the ground ball for the Lady Knights with 30 seconds to play, taking the wind out of the Panther sails.

In addition to her two goals, Layo had four assists. McKenna added two assists to her five-goal performance. Anna Hurley was in goal for SHS, making seven saves.

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