Despite a late second-half charge by the host Oak Ridge girls lacrosse team Tuesday, Granite Bay held on for the 12-9 Sacramento Valley League victory.
Trailing by five, the Lady Trojans broke from a timeout determined to come back with 8:29 left in the second half. Megan Lee pushed her way through the Grizzly defense but lost the ball before Heather Tegley forced a steal that Bridget Hansen scooped up and put past Granite Bay keeper Katrina Reeves.
After Oak Ridge goalie Liz Shaeffer’s save, a Trojan counterattack produced Hansen’s cradling run and pass to Olivia Wilson for a score that brought the hosts to within three and forced the Griz to call for time.
There was 3:30 left when play resumed and though Lee and Gabby Zeagler made steals, Reeves buttoned down the hatch to deny Troy the rest of the way.
“This was probably our best performance — our passing was tight and we won a lot of draws,” said Lee, who led Oak Ridge with four goals. “Granite Bay is a strong team and did a lot of crease rolls … they got us on that.”
The Trojans did give up too many easy goals in the crease. Repeatedly, Grizzlies cut to the net unnoticed and unchecked for point-blank shots against Shaeffer, who otherwise played a solid match. But she was at a disadvantage to a range of overhand shots that bounced under or landed in either the left or right top shelf for the visitors’ points.
“All you can do at that point is try to get (save) a couple,” Shaeffer said. “We defended much better in the second half with high pressure and our slides came over to cover the open man. Overall I thought we played really well and kept high intensity and our focus the entire game.”
The scoring for both teams occurred in flurries. Unfortunately for the Trojans, they played catch-up the whole way after scoring the first point of the match. That belonged to Morgan Bakarich who took Tegley’s pass and slid a cutback shot inside the far post for the early lead.
The Grizzlies ran a lot of play formations on long passes from Reeves. Oak Ridge had to man-up and guard against the runner who broke long behind the Trojans’ last line of defenders. McKenzie Gainer put back a rebound to tie and Alexa Wolfe’s strong dodge and ensuing shot past Shaeffer gave Granite Bay the lead for good.
Four goals were scored in the next two minutes — Lee took the draw and ran across the top of the crease for one Oak Ridge score while Natalie Carrillo, from behind the net, found Lee cutting for a quick stick goal as the home team stayed within 4-3.
The Grizzlies answered with a 3-0 run before Bakarich countered right before the half with a shot under Reeves for a 7-4 lead at the break.
The Trojans came out strong to open the final 25 minutes but for most of the half the best they could do was trade goals with the Grizzly crew. Wilson found Lee on a cut on goal and later, Lee scooped up her own missed backhand shot and rammed it through Reeves. Minutes later, Wilson, from in back of the goal, assisted Bakarich to inch Oak Ridge to within three.
Applying defensive pressure with a double high on Wolfe, the Grizzly spun out of it and flushed a goal past Shaeffer. After a stop, Wolfe returned to find a cutting teammate wide open in the crease for an easy one and a 12-7 advantage to force Troy to stop play and set up their final push.
Oak Ridge fell to 2-2 in the division while Granite Bay improved to 3-1.
Megan Lee led Oak Ridge with four goals.