Girls Lacrosse vs. Waunakee
The University School girls’ lacrosse team is still on the road to a state championship. The Wildcats stayed on the way toward their ultimate goal by walloping Waunakee 14-1 in the Wisconsin Lacrosse Federation State Tournament quarterfinals on Friday, May 31st at USM.
There’s little doubt that the Wildcats have their eyes on the prize. They were focused and played with efficient determination. They knew what they were doing.
Samantha Adey, USM’s head coach complimented USM’s play, “The girls really stepped up during this game. Their ball movement and hustle in transition was excellent, and defensively they were shutting down cutters and drives into the eight.”
The Wildcats didn’t hesitate and went right after a victory. Freshman Grace Tuttle scored the Wildcats’ first goal just 2:27 into the first half. Sophomore Anna Guttormson scored on a free position attempt with 21:49 remaining in the half, and the Wildcats kept at it.
Junior Audrey Engman took a beautiful pass from senior Rylee Sommers and fired a shot past Waunakee’s starting goalie, Sydney Lincoln at 18:29, Then Guttormson made a beautiful dodge and cut across the goal mouth and sniped a shot into the net at 14:18. Audrey Engman scored again off a pass by sophomore Zoe Uihlein at 12:44 to give USM a five-goal lead and forced Waunakee to take a time out and try to settle the USM onslaught.
It didn’t work. Tuttle’s stick work inside the 8 caused her to have two free positions. Both opportunities led to goals and her hat trick. Guttormson scored again; then Tuttle tallied her fourth goal; Uihlein scored; Michaela Fritz scored and Guttormson gained her hat trick. As a result, USM had an overwhelming lead of 12-0 at halftime.
The Wildcats then put real skill on display. They slowed the game down and methodically worked on passing as well as a variety of play-making. They did not receive passes, but they confounded and tired the Waunakee defense, preventing them from getting the ball and transitioning to offense.
When the Waunakee attackers did make it into Wildcat territory, the USM defenders were ready and buzzed all around them like bees protecting their hive. They limited Waunakee to just three shots on goal, all in the second half.
Thanks to USM’s aggressive defending, Waunakee did receive four free position opportunities. Waunakee failed to score on three of them. Evan Maupin did score on one with only 5:05 left in the game.
Maupin’s goal for Waunakee came after Damon had made it 13-0 for USM. Freshman Clara Engman finished USM’s scoring on a long-distance dash with 1:47 left.
In the game, Lincoln made 3 saves, and her temporary replacement Caitlin Davitt stopped 1 shot on goal in two plus minutes of work.
USM’s starting goalkeeper, freshman Dara Omoloja, did not have to make a save in the first half. Her second half replacement, junior Mercy Godfrey, made 2 saves.
Tuttle and Guttormson were kings on the hill for the USM scorers. They led the Wildcats with 4 goals apiece. Audrey Engman scored 2 goals; Damon, Clara Engman, Fritz, and Uihlein each scored 1 goal for the victors.
After the game, Fritz, who is one of the captains for USM, spoke for her team, saying, “It was a very fun game. We brought the pressure and didn’t let up. We were expecting a closer game, but we were very relieved when we ran up the score.”
The Wildcats’ win improved USM’s season record to 14-1. More importantly, the victory allowed the team to advance deeper into the playoffs. The Wildcats will take the field against Whitefish Bay/Nicolet/Shorewood in the Semifinals of the Wisconsin Lacrosse Federation State Tournament at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 4th at USM.