Spartan lacrosse teams host Rockbridge in doubleheader tonight
The Salem High lacrosse teams will host Rockbridge County in a doubleheader tonight at Spartan Field. The girls will open the twin-bill at 5 pm with the boys to follow.
Salem was busting with action last week, with two doubleheaders in three days after playing most of the early season schedule on the road. Unfortunately, the Spartans lost both ends of last Thursday’s doubleheader to arch rival Patrick Henry as seven goals just wasn’t enough. The girls fell 10-7 and the boys lost 8-7 in overtime.
“PH looked like their normal strong team with three dominating seniors,” said Salem coach Maggi Pace. “We’re very proud of the girls for hanging with a mature, senior team. Next year we should have a great look at all the region teams.”
Cate Pace led the scoring with three goals, Morgan Leeson had a pair, and both Sika Agblevor and Makenzie Haymaker had one each. Assists went to Cate and Makenzie as well.
Haymaker led the team in ground balls, followed by Jordan Dixon, while Emma Blair had ten saves in the cage.
“As much as I’m not looking forward to playing PH again, I think our girls have the upper hand this round,” said Pace.
The boys bounced back from a rough game at E.C. Glass two nights prior to play a solid game against PH, only to fall in overtime. Salem’s defense played much better in holding the Patriots to seven goals in regulation.
“The defense really stepped up and did a good job controlling a normally high powered offense,” said Salem coach David Turk. “PH can put a lot of points on the board and we did an excellent job containing that offense. I was very concerned that we would not rebound from the Glass loss, but I think we really did respond well and so we played a great game with PH. It certainly was fun for the fans to watch.”
Salem scored twice to take the lead with about three and a half minutes left, but PH scored just inside the two-minute mark to tie it, then won in OT.
“You always hate to lose a game, but we gave a great effort and left it on the field,” said Turk. “I think we turned things back around and are improving every day in practice.”
Connor Sampson had two goals against PH while Salem got one each from Landon Elmore, Philip Robertson, Chad Fisher, Josh Davis and Adam Garst.
On Saturday morning the Spartans bounced back with a 19-6 win over Monticello. Robertson had three goals while Elmore, Sampson, Garst and Joey Dishaw had two each. Peter Chiglinsky, Alex Bentley and Davis also scored.
“Our improvement showed up when we played Monticello,” said Turk. “We really stepped up and in the second half and shut them down completely.”
Salem scored the last 13 goals, including an 11-0 domination in the second half. Michael Hager had 10 saves as the boys improved to 7-3.
The girls also won Saturday, 17-12. Salem had not beaten Monticello since 2007, but it was a bittersweet day for coach Pace and her sister Cate, who plays attack for the Spartans. They had to rush to their grandfather’s funeral after the game, and the Monticello team showed up late for the rare Saturday morning affair, adding stress to the day. Gerald Pace, a beloved figure in the community, died unexpectedly during the week but the girls put on a brave face and played on, and the team wanted to win it for them.
“Every single girl out there played her hardest and we have told them again and again how proud they should be of themselves,” said Maggi. “If we can pull a game off like that every match, there’s not much that stands in the girls’ way.”
Haymaker led the team in scoring with seven goals, followed by Cate Pace with six. Morgan Leeson was a standout with three goals, three assists, four draw controls, and two ground balls and Blair had 16 saves and continues to up her game every time out. The girls are 8-4 overall and 3-1 in the district.
After tonight’s home games with Rockbridge the Spartans are back on the road for a doubleheader at William Fleming Monday night.