The Postseason. It’s a simple game of survive and advance. As the No.1 overall seed in the DI bracket, the Islanders girls lacrosse team looked to pick up their first win of the playoffs vs. Carlsbad and advance to the CIF Semifinals.
Wednesday afternoon’s game started as a back and forth contest with both teams netting two quick goals, the two for the Islanders coming courtesy of Allie White and Ella Ackerly to tie things at 2-2 early in the first half.
However, to the surprise of many, the following 10 minutes would be controlled by the visiting Lancers as they would add two more goals to extend their lead to 4-2. During those minutes, it was not that the Islander’s offense could not respond; it’s just that Carlsbad would save their quality shots.
The early first-half defect forced head coach Caroline Carlson to call a timeout and get the team regrouped, and whatever the message was during that time, it clearly resonated with her squad. Coronado would strike for two quick goals following the timeout, one from one on a shooting space foul and the other on a nice driving-low shot from Julia Mineo.
But the Coronado offense wasn’t entirely done. Following a save by Allyson Bryant and a ground ball by Marianna Dick, the Islanders would quickly run out into transition. After a few crips pass, the ball would find Ackerly, who would send one past the goalie to make it a 5-4 Islander lead with just under two minutes to play in the first half.
In the final minute of the half, the Islander’s offense would add another goal to its total thanks to an unassisted goal by Mineo to give the Islanders a 6-4 lead going into halftime.
As hot as Coronado ended the first half offensively, they would come out with even more offensive firepower in the second half. Allie White would add two more goals for the Islanders in the first six minutes, extending the Islander’s lead to 8-4. Then on the following possession, after yet another drop ball win by Lauren Hundley, Riley McGrath would get in on the scoring action with a goal off an assist from Mallory Morrissey to give Coronado a 9-4 lead.
While it appeared that the Islanders had seized all momentum and extinguished any hopes Carlsbad had, the Lancers didn’t give in. Carlsbad would respond to Coronado’s 4-0 goal run with a 4-0 goal run of their own to make it a 9-8 game with just over six minutes to play.
In some cases, letting a lead like this would shake a team, maybe even cause them to blow the lead altogether. But not these Islanders, as Coronado would quickly respond with another three goals of their own, with two coming from White and the other coming from Hundley to make it a 12-8 game with three minutes to go.
In those final minutes, the Islander’s defense would play their finest ball all evening as Bryant would tally a save while defenders like Katie Collins, Emma Fabiszak, Hannah Fabiszak, and Marianna Dick would play great on-ball defense to seal the 12-8 victory for Coronado and punch their ticket to the CIF Semifinals.
The Islanders Semifinal game will be at home Tuesday, May 17, a game that will have already concluded by the time this paper hits your doorstep.
VOL. 112, NO. 20 - May 18, 2022