MANCHESTER — With the final seconds ticking off the clock last night and the Manchester Essex and Ipswich girls lacrosse teams tied up, Ipswich head coach Nicole Linehan could not have been more confident in her team’s chances with Kelsey Daly controlling the ball.
After a Manchester Essex turnover in the offensive end, Daly weaved her way through the Hornets’ defense, took a shot in traffic and found the back of the net with 7.3 seconds to play to give the Tigers a 9-8 win and the Cape Ann League Baker title.
“When Kelsey had the ball I knew she was going to convert,” said Linehan, whose Tigers improved to 11-2. “She is a great dodger and a great shooter and she put them both together on that last goal. It was a nice team win and a great finish.”
The contest was a benefit game for brain cancer; all proceeds from the event are being donated to brain cancer research.
Over the first nine minutes of play, it appeared that Manchester Essex was going to run away with things.
Brittany Smith put the Hornets up 1-0 just 27 seconds in — and her team ran with that momentum. Just two-and-a-half minutes later Ashling Batchelder made it 2-0, and four minutes after that she scored another goal. Jenny Cochand found the back of the net nine minutes into the first half to give the Hornets a commanding 4-0 lead.
Ipswich, however, did not panic. Thanks to an adjustment made by senior captain Olivia Moutevelis they came roaring back; over the final 41 minutes of play, the Tigers went on to build a 9-4 scoring advantage that eventually led to the dramatic win.
“I have to credit my senior captain (Moutevelis) for helping make an adjustment,” Linehan said. “She called for a timeout after (Manchester Essex) made it 4-0 and she recognized that they were playing a zone. We talked about how to break a zone defense and we were able to tie the score at 4-4.”