BY GENE NARDI
Earlier in the season, the Wellington High School girls lacrosse team defeated the King’s Academy 9-7. The two teams met again, however, on Thursday, April 6, with the District 25 title hanging in the balance. The Wolverines were hoping for a repeat of the earlier performance, but the Lions took a 7-6 victory and the district crown.
Wellington (7-8) went down swinging hard. The Lions went up 1-0 early, but Juliana San Lucas drove in the goal to even it up at 1-1. The King’s Academy got the go-ahead goal to take a halftime 2-1 advantage. Wellington goalkeeper Kaylee Wesolowski made 11 saves in the first half to keep the game close.
Summer Ryder tied it up for the Wolverines early in the second half at 2-2. Wellington was able to tie the game, but never take the lead. The goal by Wellington sparked an offensive surge by the Lions, scoring four more goals, as Wellington continued to play catch-up, trailing 6-3 late in the game.
The Wolverines clawed back, scoring three unanswered goals from Olivia Cames, Ana Stowell and Nicole Wantlin. It was Wantlin’s goal that locked the game up at 6-6, with not more than a minute left to play.
The Lions executed a stellar performance of controlling possession in the later part of the game, which chewed up the game clock. The time management damaged Wellington’s chances to grab the winning goal, but credit must go to the Wolverines’ defense for challenging the Lions.
With under a minute to play, a Wellington defensive penalty set up the winning King’s Academy goal to lift the Lions back into the lead 7-6. Wellington was unable to orchestrate a response offensively in the final seconds and earned the district runner-up spot.
The Wolverines finished the 2017 season at 7-8, and 3-1 in the district. Cames had two goals, Ashley Goldman had two assists and San Lucas had one goal and an assist for Wellington.
ABOVE: Wellington’s Ana Stowell scores a goal in the second half against the King’s Academy.