After losing rough games to Granite Bay and Marin Catholic, the Oak Ridge girls lacrosse team came to a crossroads.
“We were really struggling to find our identity throughout the beginning of the season,” Trojan coach Ed Holton said.
Taking huge steps toward finding that identity Friday night, Oak Ridge pummeled visiting Bella Vista 14-3 to improve its league record to 2-2.
Things didn’t start well for Troy as they gave up a goal off of a penalty with 19:47 left in the first half, and a chance 10 seconds later was squandered when Morgan Bakarich put the ball wide of the net. However, three minutes later, Madisyn Hallare put the Lady Trojans on the board with a shot that skipped through the Broncos goalies’ legs.
Action slowed down after the first goals but great play from keeper Liz Shaeffer and lock-down defense from Mallory Temple, Marissa Perry, and Gabby Zeagler shut down the Broncos offense, giving the Trojans a chance to take the lead.
“We as a team have come together, and it’s showing by how we played on the field tonight,” Temple said.
With 11:23 left, Bakarich weaved her way through the Bella Vista defense and scored to give the Trojans a 2-1 advantage and they never looked back. With 7:00 left, a steal by Carney Marino set up a sequence of passes that led to Bakarich putting the ball past the Bronco keeper, with Stephanie Polifka getting the assist.
Oak Ridge added two more before the end of the half with a Natalie Carillo score, followed by a Jordynn Wood goal that gave the Lady Trojans a 5-1 halftime lead.
Bella Vista scored to open the second half, but after a Polifka answer, Wood took over. She scored with 15:41 left, and after a Bella Vista goal, she scored twice in a minute’s span before assisting Bakarich on another for Oak Ridge’s 10th goal.
With the game well in hand, Oak Ridge refused to slow down. Bakarich found Ari Spring who converted, Madison Hames scored her first of the night and after a fantastic goal by Wood, Hames scored another with 25 seconds remaining to cap off the 14-3 win.
“We put together our first real complete game tonight. Getting stops on defense, and converting on offense,” Holton said.