BERNARDS TWP. — With her team trailing for the first time since the opening moments of the game, Bernards High School girls lacrosse coach Jessica McGinn called timeout to settle her players down.
In the 10:59 that followed, the Mountaineers responded with a 4-0 run to erase a two-goal deficit and earn a 13-12 victory over Voorhees on Thursday.
Emma TenBarge and Tegan Warren each scored four goals, and Warren connected for two of hers during the four-goal run that started at the 13:16 mark of the second half and culminated nearly 11 minutes later.
“I would like to think it was something I said, but I don’t even remember what I told them,” said McGinn of the timeout. “It was just an amount of time that we needed to collect ourselves and be reminded how we should be playing at all times. We lose sight of it a little bit.”
After building a 12-10 lead, Voorhees — which was pesky all day long and refused to go away quietly — attempted one last comeback. The Vikings got it down to 13-12 and scooped up a loose ball and earned a free position shot with 32 seconds left on the stick of their most effective player on the day, Katie Koller.
But Koller’s shot found the webbing of goalie Payton Barta’s stick and not the back of the net and the Mountaineers were able to run out the remaining seconds for the victory.
“Payton always plays well and today was a little up-and-down for her,” McGinn said. “She missed some that we’ve been working on, but she came up big and made the saves that she needed to.”
Barta finished with seven saves, but none bigger than stoning Koller — who scored three goals and added three assists for Voorhees (5-3), which trailed 7-6 at halftime and led just twice in the game.
“We came out a little flat and we played well, but it was just some small things that we didn’t do well and Bernards is a very good team, so they capitalized on our mistakes,” Voorhees head coach Courtney Thibeault said.
Freshman Paige Petty scored two goals and added an assist and Grace Gillis and Andra Scaliti each chipped in goals for Bernards (7-2), to give it five different goal scorers on the day.
“It’s not just Emma and Tegan for us; they do a great job finishing, but the difference this year is that we have so many players creating plays, offensively and defensively, and that’s the difference,” McGinn said. “It’s great that we have players that can finish, but we have so many that contribute.”
Olivia DiRienz, Stephanie Linzer and Hannah Ryan each scored twice for Voorhees, which got nine saves from goalie Genevieve Schweikert.
But in the end, the draw controls were the difference, as Bernards controlled 14-26 and used the possession to tax the Voorhees defense.
“The draw was huge for us. It was the defense coming off the line that made the impact for us. We didn’t have the midfielders win every time, we have some very versatile, pro-active defenders that helped us today,” McGinn said.