IPSWICH – Playing a tough schedule at the end of the regular season has its advantages for the Ipswich High girls lacrosse team.
One day after battling to a last-second tie against powerful Marblehead, the Tigers scored a big win over their arch rivals by knocking off a strong Hamilton-Wenham squad, 11-8.
In improving to 10-3-1 overall, the Tigers will finish second in the Cape Ann Small Division with an impressive 8-1 mark.
“We have Masconomet and North Andover left on our schedule and know both will be very tough games,” said Ipswich head coach Nicole Linehan. “We beat Masconomet by two goals earlier, and North Andover is playing well. Our last four games are definitely good tests and will help prepare us for the tournament.”
Yesterday’s game against the Generals was tied four separate times, the last of those 7-7 midway through the second half after Phoebe Snow scored for the visitors. But Ipswich retook the lead for good just 11 seconds later when Natalie Soliozy won the draw and raced downfield to give Ipswich its final lead.
Tigers captain Brigid O’Flynn, who led her team with six goals, then scored her fifth of the afternoon to make it 9-7, but once again Hamilton-Wenham (11-4) answered back. Shaw set up Anna Rourke in front of the net and she beat sophomore goalie Eliza Statile (15 saves). But O’Flynn added an insurance tally with just under three minutes remaining, and when a penalty was called on HW the Tigers passed the ball around effectively to maintain possession.
Statile made her biggest save of the day when she denied Shaw on a breakaway bid in the final minute, and Olivia Moutevelis scored her second for Ipswich on a buzzer beater.
“We needed someone to step up and take over in goal. Eliza has been a huge surprise and a defensive force,” said Linehan. “She started the season as a field player and had very limited experience in goal. She has been terrific.