With nothing to play for but pride, Oak Ridge girls lacrosse fought tooth and nail Friday night but ultimately fell in sudden-death, double-overtime to the visiting St. Francis Troubadours 15-16.
Oak Ridge had come back from four down with just under six minutes left to send it to overtime but after each team scored, the Trojans gave up an early goal in the sudden-death period that ended their season on a bittersweet note.
“I’m so proud of how we battled back tonight. There were times where I thought we were just overmatched, but the girls played their hearts out,” coach Ed Holton said. “Even though we lost, it was an incredible game to be a part of.”
Though St. Francis led 7-4 at the break, Troy quickly erased most of the deficit in the beginning of the second half. A mere 18 seconds in, Morgan Bakarich scored the third of her eight goals on the night, followed by one from Jordynn Wood.
St. Francis scored in bunches and built it lead to four as Tessa Oliaro scored her second of the night. But Bakarich and Co. wouldn’t give up. Following two goals off fast breaks by Bakarich, goal keeper Liz Schaeffer stopped a St. Francis penalty shot and relayed down the sideline to Hansen, who earned a penalty of her own. Hansen came through, slipping it just under the crossbar to get Oak Ridge within one.
With approximately 39 seconds left, Oak Ridge’s Stefanie Polifka gained possession of the draw and passed down to Hansen whose shot just missed. Bakarich got an opportunity to score on a penalty following Hansen’s miss, but a great save by Natalie Dowd kept it out.
With about 15 seconds left, Carney Marino intercepted Dowd’s outlet pass and passed up to Bakarich who raced down the sideline and scored to tie the game in dramatic fashion at 14s.
Bakarich’s shot through Dowd’s legs retied the match in the second overtime. In sudden-death, despite a clutch save from Schaeffer, Kusserow converted to the corner to end it.
“While we would have loved to end the season on a happier note, I know the girls gave their everything tonight,” Holton said.
Oak Ridge ends the season with a 6-7 record.