MEXICO — The Mexico varsity girls lacrosse team fended off a second-half surge from Jordan-Elbridge to earn an 8-7 victory on Monday.
The matchup was tied at 6-6 with 14 minutes left in the second half. The Lady Tigers then got a couple of free-position goals from Chloe LaDuc and Brionna Emery at 10:57 and 3:32, respectively, to take an 8-6 lead.
The back-to-back goals from Mexico turned out to be enough insurance to defeat Jordan-Elbridge.
“That was the difference, and it was huge,” Mexico coach David Passer said.
Emery finished two goals and four assists for the Lady Tigers. Trinity Burton chipped in two goals, while LaDuc, Ayva Ouderkirk, Caitlyn DuBois, and Mackenzie Craig each had a goal. Goaltender Rachel Rose finished with five saves.
With the victory, Mexico (2-3) snapped a three-game skid.
“We got off the schneid today,” Passer said.
The Lady Tigers took an early 1-0 lead when Emery cut from the left corner and scored a goal at 22:39. With 17:49 left in the first half, Emery passed the ball to Craig. Craig proceeded to take a shot for the goal and bump the Mexico advantage to 2-0.
Later in the half, Delaney Dunham sliced the deficit to 2-1 for the Lady Eagles, scoring at 16:20 off an assist from Katelyn Precourt.
Mexico got its two-goal lead back at 3-1 with 11:46 left in the half. Emery darted down field and found Burton with a quick pass. Burton capped the sequence with a shot that went through the legs of J-E goaltender Gabrielle Skotinski for a goal.
At 5:42, DuBois sliced in from the right corner of the net and scored to make it 4-1. Then with 5:05 left, Ouderkirk notched the goal on a free-position opportunity to increase the Mexico lead to 5-1.
J-E’s Hannah Godfrey with four minutes in the half drew a penalty and earned a free-position opportunity, but her shot banked off Rose’s shoulder for the stop. Godfrey got another attempt and tallied a goal with 2:52 left in the half to cut Mexico’s lead to 5-2.
Godfrey was clutch again for the Lady Eagles at 1:34 as she slipped a shot past Rose to trim the deficit to 5-3.
Burton scored for Mexico off of an assist from Emery to give the Tigers a 6-3 advantage at intermission.
In the second half, Jordan-Elbridge seemed like a different team by applying pressure on offense and tightening its defense.
“We made a couple of mistakes,” Passer said. “Offensively, we didn’t get enough shots, and shots we did get were right at the goalie.”
All of the Lady Eagles’ offensive production in the second half can be credited to Gabriella Smart, who notched four goals in a 22-minute span.
Smart got her first goal at 23:40 to cut the deficit to 6-4. At 15:23, Smart scored again on a free-position shot, drawing J-E to within 6-5.
With 14:14 to play, Smart tied it at 6-6 when she zipped a shot past Rose from the left corner.
There was a definite swing in momentum in favor of the Eagles, but the free-position goals by Emery and LaDuc gave Mexico a lead at 8-6 that halted the Eagles’ rally.
“We have to play hard for 50 minutes. It’s our greatest attribute,” Passer said. “We were up 5-1 at one point and that almost slipped away from us. Fortunately, we got enough scoring to eke out a win.”
Smart racked up her fourth goal of the game with 1:50 to go, but the Lady Tigers played lock-down defense to secure the win.
“We’re capable of playing better, but the good news is we got a win, a league win at that,” Passer said.
Mexico hosts Marcellus on Tuesday at 11 a.m.
“(Marcellus) is good, fast, so we’ve got to play better if we’re going to win that game,” Passer said.