Girl’s Lacrosse Takes Down Newberry In Dominant Fashion

With a windy, gray sky as a backdrop, the Eastside girl’s lacrosse team traveled to face off in a highly anticipated game against the Newberry Panthers on Tuesday, March 28th. Having previously beaten the Panthers for our first and only win this season, hopes were high for the outcome of this match. 

Coach Emorie Keimig told us not to get ahead of ourselves just because we beat them earlier in the season, considering the same situation occurred last year, and we lost the second game. 

The scoreboard displays Eastside’s 7-1 win at Newberry.

Our dreams of victory were realized as we came out of the matchup with a score of 7-1. However, it was by no means smooth sailing to get there; the game began tumultuously, as weather delays produced uncertainty about whether the game would even happen. Worry crossed the team’s disappointed faces, as it was one of the few games we were somewhat confident going into. However, soon enough, the bad weather seemed to be behind us, and we were able to get on with the game. 

The game got off to a quick start when captain Linda Mentz scored her first goal of the season five minutes into the game. Throughout the game, the Rams maintained pressure on the Panthers through their patient offense and smooth transition into the attacking third. Honestly, this was a less fatiguing defensive game than usual due to our strong offense. But when opportunities arose, the defense stayed vigilant on who they were marking, including a plethora of scrambles for ground balls. Newberry took multiple shots on goal yet only successfully scored once due to our guardian angel and goalie, Naomi Glover. 

Eastside midfielder Bridget Williams runs the ball down the field with a defender during an earlier game in the season.

At halftime, thunder rumbled steadily overhead, and anxiety brewed amongst the team that the game would be called off. Unfortunately, after only a few minutes back on the field, weather issues ultimately caused the game to end suddenly, with 16 minutes left in the second half. The game was called off with the standing score of 7-1, favoring Eastside. While it was disappointing that we weren’t able to finish the match, the win was still celebrated. 

Captain Teya Broad-Wright led all players in assists, with three of them. Freshman Elseya Wellehan has consistently shown her prowess throughout the season and once again delivered this game. She scored three of the Rams’ seven goals. Bridget Williams, also a freshman, scored twice, showing the positive future potential of Eastside’s lacrosse team (despite nearly half of the team graduating this year). Prithika Bose also scored with a brilliant cut. 

This game was a culmination of two months of diligent practice, and it allowed us a chance to properly display the skills that oftentimes slip our minds when we step onto the field in other matches. 

A Reflection On The Season

The past two months have been a blur for the Eastside girl’s lacrosse team. We performed shockingly well for the disarray that the team was in at the beginning of the season. Some players, including myself, were new to the sport and other new additions who had experience from Pipeline (Gainesville’s travel lacrosse club) still had to understand team synergy. While there are a plethora of seniors who’ve played for a few school seasons, their experience paled in comparison to the seasoned players in our district that have dedicated years to the sport. 

The Eastside team huddled for our pre-game cheer.

Overall, this season has been incredibly rewarding, and everyone has improved both as lacrosse players and as team members. We persevered in every tough game, which was all of them, and have come so far since the season’s start in February. Despite being the underdogs of the district, moments of our full potential reared out. We may have won only two of ten games, but it doesn’t undermine the effort and determination that went into this season. A team goal during the season was “using second-half mentality in the first half,” and I feel that was something we were lacking, among other things. Despite the skills we may have lacked as players, we made up for it with effort and attitude. An enjoyable season should be commemorated, especially as it is the last one for half of our team that’s part of the class of 2023. 

We will hope for the best at our district playoff against the Gainesville High School Hurricanes. Come out and support us for our last game on Monday, April 10th!