ROCKVILLE – In a game that started off as a tight contest but finished as anything but, the Churchill High School girls lacrosse overcame Richard Montgomery in a 19-6 victory on April 27.
The final score tells only part of the story; what it doesn’t say is how much of an impact player senior attacker Lizzie Hsu had on the game. Hsu made nine goals and carried the brunt of scoring for Churchill, with junior midfielder Leah Rubino following behind with five goals.
“My team, we all worked together to open lanes for each other, and they opened lanes for me, which made me able (to) go and score. We have a really great feeder, and when we put those cuts in, she was able to give me the feed and I was able to put the ball in the net,” said Hsu.
Rubino and Hsu scored all seven goals in the first half, with two and five goals, respectively. In the second half, as Churchill entered a groove, there was more diversity in scoring as Rubino scored three goals, while Hsu made four.
Richard Montgomery held the lead for the first 17 minutes of the match; the only time they would hold the lead before Churchill tied the game up and eventually stretched the score far enough that a comeback became improbable.
“Obviously, it starts with our leadership of the team, and once you start winning the draws and putting it together you start settling the ball. We have a lot of talent, so it’s just a matter of making sure that we were able to use it,” said Churchill Head Coach Jamie Frank.
Richard Montgomery Head Coach Rodney Mullinix explained that the team experienced exhaustion and with Churchill’s adaptability, gaps in the defense and their opponent minimizing their mistakes began catching up to the Rockets.
“The first half was awesome. We played very well the first half, I’m very excited about that, for a very good team like that (Churchill), we stuck with them and I can’t complain about that,” said Mullinix. “Second half, we got tired, and I started subbing. The girls hung in there, and I was happy with their subbing.”
In the first four minutes, Richard Montgomery made two goals, one each by junior midfielder Caroline Maggio and freshman midfielder Lindsay Maggio. Caroline Maggio was the top scorer for Richard Montgomery, with three goals to her name. Senior midfielder Delaney Goetz was close behind with two goals.
Churchill initially struggled to find the back of the net, even though their attacking allowed them to get close. Part of the struggle was junior goalie Cory Bucy, whose work in front of the net helped keep the score close in the first half.
Once Churchill grew acclimated to an aggressive Richard Montgomery defense, they opted to play a more-possessive game, incorporating forced turnovers to frustrate the Rockets. The duo of Hsu and Rubino made all seven goals in the first half to go into halftime with a three-point lead – a lead Richard Montgomery would not see again.
“We came out today a little slow, a bit all over the place, but once our coach called time out, we really just regrouped and put our focus on finishing our catches, finishing our shots, really focusing on the little things that we were messing up,” said Rubino.
Hsu scored first in the second half, followed seconds later by Goetz to keep the three-point margin, but then Churchill carried it home with an 11-point streak. Caroline Maggio would score the last goal of the game with seven seconds left on the clock, which cut the final score to a 13-point difference.
With the victory, Churchill earned their sixth straight win, while the Rockets lost their third game in a row.